Visiting Napa On A Budget

June 12, 2022

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We answer lots of emails from family, friends, and friends of friends to help them put together an itinerary to visit Napa on a budget. (You know who you are!) 

Why Do They Ask Us About Napa On A Budget Itineraries? 

Well, not only do we have the local insider scoop in Napa Valley by being a local, but we at Danielle Gibson Events are forever advocating for our clients, this means a large portion of our job consists of scouting new hotels, restaurants, wineries and activities. 

While we have a little break in planning events at the moment, we love to share our wealth of knowledge and hopefully inspire some memorable trips to our favorite valley! So, without further ado, here is the best of our secret list – How To Visit Napa On A Budget. 

First, we always focus on what a vacation to Napa looks like to the inquirer…

Why are you visiting Napa Valley?

Most people are visiting for the wine and food, but we want to make sure.

Where are you staying in Napa Valley?

This is very important! The valley is larger than most people think. You want to spend less time driving and more time experiencing what Napa has to offer. We focus on building daily itineraries around your accommodations location. Or, if you’re looking for a suggestion of where to stay, we can help there too! The valley runs South to North starting from the city of Napa and ending in the town of Calistoga.

Do you want to enjoy wine tasting while visiting Napa Valley? YES

What is most important to you when wine tasting?

  1. I want to experience Napa’s wine country tasting wine and touring wineries, not sure if I will buy wine
  2. I can’t wait to taste and purchase affordable wines to take home with me 
  3. I want to see amazing views of the valley and taste high-end wines. I would like to purchase wine to add to my cellar

Keeping these questions in mind, this blog is mostly for the type 1 or 2 wine traveler. Napa Valley can be an expensive trip, but there are ways to see Napa on a budget.

What kind of wine do you enjoy?

Napa Valley  produces some of the world’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon. There are plenty of white wines as well, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and other interesting varietals. If you like these wine varietals, you are coming to the right place!

If you are looking for a more higher-end Napa wine and food experience, try our other Napa blogs:

Napa-Valley

Our Visit Napa On A Budget List

Our list compiles places in Napa to stay, taste, eat and still have some money to take a few bottles of wine home! Please note: While there are many affordable places to stay, eat, and drink in the Napa Valley, we have pared down our list to guarantee wherever you chose has Danielle Gibson Event’s seal of approval.

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Napa On A Budget – Hotels

Calistoga (North part of the valley) usually has the most economical choices when it comes to hotels. It’s a little further from the SFO airport (if you are flying in) and a little quieter than most Napa Valley towns, but you can save a few hundred bucks a night on lodging.

Our favorites: 

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Napa On A Budget – Wineries

Most wineries use Tock or CellarPass to make it quick and easy to book reservations. Our recommendations below are for tasting appointments that range between $20- $40 per person and usually include 3-5 wines as part of the tasting.

Use this Napa Winery Map to help navigate the area, I always send this to friends and event clients who are visiting (click to enlarge and download). Our list below goes from north to south.

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Calistoga Wineries 

St. Helena Wineries 

  • Hall Winery Large, modern visitors center with with many different Napa wine varietals
  • Orin Swift Interesting blends and labels by the dynamic winemaker, Dave Phinney
  • Salvestrin Winery Family owned, very charming Napa estate winery
  • Long Meadow Ranch Wine tasting, olive oil tasting and a restaurant in a beautiful barn right on Hwy 29

Rutherford Wineries 

Napa Wineries 

  • Azur Wines An old barn tucked away with great design features and the best Rose in the Napa Valley
  • Saintsbury Winery Sweeping views of Carneros vineyards and casual seated tastings hosted in their rustic cellar
  • Trefethen Winery Historic Oak Knoll property producing estate grown, highly regarded wines
  • Whetstone Wine Cellars Casual, laid back tasting under the trees with a bottle/glass service option and picnic friendly

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Napa On A Budget – Restaurants

There are many amazing restaurants in Napa Valley and you don’t have to spend a lot to eat a delicious meal. Below are some of our favorites for casual dining at prices below $20 per person. For a list of more restaurants in several price points see our other Napa blog – Our 25 Favorite Napa Restaurants.

Calistoga Restaurants 

St. Helena Restaurants

  • Gotts Roadside – Napa fast food with local ingredients for lunch and dinner
  • Model Bakery – Try the well known English muffins! Enjoy your baked goods to-go or in the bakery for breakfast, lunch and desserts

Yountville Restaurants 

  • Bouchon Bakery – Arrive early before the line starts about 9 am. To-go items for breakfast, lunch, and desserts
  • Mini Model – Try the well known English muffins! To-go items for breakfast, lunch, desserts)
  • Southside Yountville  – Mexican food with a California twist for breakfast and lunch

Napa Restaurants 

  • Oxbow Public Market 
    • C Casa – Mexican cuisine for breakfast/lunch/dinner
    • Gotts Roadside – Napa fast food made with local ingredients for lunch/dinner
  • Kitchen Door – Something for everyone for dinner
  • Genova Deli – The best to-go sandwiches, be prepared to wait so plan ahead
  • Heritage Eats  – Casual meals offering different cuisines for lunch and dinner
  • Southside Napa – Mexican food with a California twist with 2 locations in Napa for breakfast and lunch
  • The Dutch Door – Lunch items served at “the door”. Enjoy your meal on the sidewalk bench or tables or to-go

Enjoy your trip! X, DG Events

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