Napa Valley is a special get-a-way for Jake and I and one we try to make at least once or twice a year. There is something about the beauty of the vineyards, cozy restaurants, and charming bed and breakfasts. We have the best time seeking out our next favorite winery...one that isn't known to the masses.
Some people avoid Napa Valley as it's become extremely touristy. I won't disagree that tourism has made certain months almost unbearable. If you plan your trip right and pick just the right time to visit you may be surprised at the lack of crowds and how easy it is to find a quiet tasting. Continue reading to learn the BEST time to visit Napa Valley!
**The Best Time to Visit Napa Valley is Spring and Fall**
SPring in Napa: March – May
Spring is the best time to visit Napa Valley for decent weather and lower prices/crowds
Spring is the best time to visit Napa Valley for those looking for decent weather, crowds and prices. April happens to be one of my favorite months to go to Napa. March can be a bit on the cold end with highs in the low to mid 60's. May gets a little warmer with highs in the low 70's, but this is also the wettest month of Spring. April is the sweet spot with the least amount of rain and highs in the high 60's.
April is also the best time to visit Napa Valley if you're looking for decent hotel rates. Prices are awesome this time of year since there typically aren't many, if any, festivals or events going on this month. May and March have several big events like Bottle Rock, Flavor! Napa Valley, CabFest, Napa Valley Marathon, and more. April focuses more on the arts scene in Napa. These events are smaller in scale and held at galleries and homes, which means you won't be seeing an influx of travelers during April.
Visit Napa Valley lists pretty much every event in Napa.
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Napa in Fall: September – November
Fall is the best time to visit Napa Valley if you want to experience harvest season...which means ideal weather, fun events, and high prices.
Fall is the best time to visit Napa Valley if you want to experience harvest season and are willing to pay the price. Visitors flock during this busy season as the valley seems to come alive. Many wineries host events like crush parties, special tastings, live music events, and more. It's a really fun time to visit and get in on the action.
October is typically the busiest month as that's when harvest is in full swing. Prices will be steap for both September and October not only because of harvest season but because the weather is beautiful with highs in the mid to upper 70's. If you are visiting this time of year make your reservations as far in advance as possible for everything...hotels, restaurants, wineries, etc. Hotels start booking up a good 4-6 months out, earlier if you don't want to be robbed on price, and it's common for restaurants to be full a month out.
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November is the best month to visit Napa Valley in fall if you don't mind missing the harvest and are looking for cooler weather and lower crowds. Temperatures range from the high 30's to mid 60's. November also has the lowest chance of rain during fall. The colors are a beautiful gold this time of year, crowds are low for Napa standards, and you'll have a pretty good chance at finding a hotel deal.
The Next Best Time to Visit Napa Valley is Winter
napa valley in winter: December – February
Winter is the best time to visit Napa Valley for low crowds and prices
Winter in Napa Valley may be on the chilly side with highs in the mid 50's, but the upside of slim crowds, lowest hotel rates of the year, and more personal attention at the wineries is worth packing your extra coat. December is a fun time to visit with wineries hosting special Christmas events and decorating their tasting rooms in holiday cheer. Christmas and New Years Eve surprisingly doesn't get overly crowded, but be careful because many wineries close their tasting rooms or have very limited hours.
January is a must for truffle lovers as Napa hosts its annual Napa Truffle Festival with tastings, pairings, classes, and more. Napa restaurant week is also held in January.
Try to book a cozy Bed and Breakfast with a fire place! Inn on Randolph is one of my favorites.
Thinking about visiting oregon wine country?
Summer in Napa: June – August
The worst time to visit Napa Valley is summer. It's crowded, expensive, and wet.
The summer months not only bring warmer temperatures in the mid to high 70's but also plenty of rain. This is Napa Valley's wettest season, July and August being the worst. Pair that with heavy summer crowds, steep hotel prices, and the necessity to book reservations for restaurants and wine tours far in advance makes this one of my least favorite times to visit. Save yourself some money and a headache from the hordes of crowds and visit in late fall or spring instead.
See my California and Oregon posts!
When do you think is the best time to visit Napa Valley? Let me know in the comments below!
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