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Napa Valley Directions

Horse and Buggy
Highway 29 is the main road that travels the length of the Napa Valley.

The Napa Valley is located in Northern California, at the center of "the Wine Country." It is situated between two large metropolitan areas, about 50 miles northeast of the San Francisco Bay Area and about 60 miles west of Sacramento. While close to big cities, Napa is primarily a rural community and home to acres of vineyards. The Napa Valley is only 35 miles long and 5 miles wide, nestled between low mountain ranges. Napa, the county seat of Napa County is 18 miles long, and located in the southern end of the county.

Getting to Napa by Air

The Napa Valley Airport is a smaller, general aviation airport for charter flights and private aircraft, but it does not have any scheduled commercial air flights. The closest major airports are Oakland International Airport (OAK), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and Sacramento International Airport (SMF). OAK is about 50 miles away, SFO and SMF are about 60 miles away. Once at the airport, you can get to Napa via a rental car, limousine, or charter bus. While rental cars can usually be obtained once at the airport, charter services should be scheduled ahead of time.

Getting to Napa by Car

Driving from San Francisco, you'll travel north on Highway 101 across the Golden Gate Bridge and continue driving for about 40 miles until you get to the town of Petaluma in southern Sonoma County. You'll take the Highway 116 turnoff and veer left on Frates Road. The signs will continue to direct you to Napa, about another 23 miles from the turnoff.

If you're coming from Oakland or the East Bay, you'll want to take Interstate 80 (I-80) East (north on the map) to Highway 29 North at Vallejo. Highway 29 takes you to Napa, just continue and the signs will direct you to the town.

To get to Napa from the Sacramento area, you'll take Interstate 80 (I-80) West towards San Francisco. You'll turnoff at the Highway 12 exit and follow the signs to Highways 29 and Napa.

Driving the Napa Valley

Highway 29 is the main road that travels the length of the Napa Valley. It is dotted with the notable towns of Napa County (Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, and Calistoga), as well as many vineyards, wineries, restaurants, lodging facilities, and shopping areas. The less traveled road and more scenic byway is Silverado Trail, which parallels Highway 29 to the east. Both roads will take you from Napa in the south to the northern end of the valley.

Places to Visit

Napa may seem just like any other small town, but it is also the location of the Napa Valley Wine Train Station and the Napa Valley Visitor Center. Driving north to one of the smaller towns, however, will showcase more of the Napa Valley ambiance. The town of Yountville is home to many world renowned restaurants, excellent lodging facilities, and great shopping at Vintage 1870. Among some of the shops and art galleries at Vintage 1870 is MIRA Jewelry, where you can find a wonderful selection of handcrafted and unique wine related jewelry. Yountville is also home to the Veterans Home and the Napa Valley Museum. The towns of St. Helena and Calistoga are great walking towns and offer many local places for shopping and dining. The Culinary Institute is located on Highway 29 just outside of St. Helena, and welcomes guests to visit their facilities and restaurant. The wineries that have made Napa famous are scattered thru out the Napa Valley. With over 200 wineries, the choices are plentiful and varied. Most of the lodging facilities and visitor centers in the area should be able to provide you with free guides to the Napa area that have information to help you get around the valley and choose the places you would like to visit while in the Napa wine country.

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