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  1. #1

    Default Wine Country, N. CA

    Hi there,

    I am planning a road trip to visit the wineries of Napa, Sonoma, etc. I live in Las Vegas and I have many questions on how to go about planning this road trip. First, what time of year is best to go. I'm really wanting to go sometime in August, but I'd like to know when is BEST. Second, what is the best route to take? I'm very familiar with southern CA, but past LA I'm clueless. What highways do I need to take to hit the majority of the wineries up north? I'm alotting myself two weeks for this trip. Third, any suggestions on lodging, food, etc. I hope someone has done this before without using tour companies, because I plan on just going with some friends and doing this on our own time without the use of any travel or tour groups. Thanks for your help, it is greatly appreciated. Oh, and if you can guesstimate about how much spending cash I may need for this two week trip, that would also be helpful. Thanks again!


  2. #2
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest


    Late September thru October are the harvest times, and it seems the energy of harvest is in the air.

    School is back in session, so ya may encounter less traveling families, but still the wine lovers make their pilgrimage there at this time too.

    Remember still unknown undiscovered Alexander Valley, usually known for it's whites, is relatively close-by and offers a different atmostphere and unique family wineries if you seek something different.

    St Helena is the epicenter of the wine country, so ya may want to consider centering your stay from there.

    The big food and beverage companies tried their hands at winemaking once. Coca Cola, Nestle ect, and they lost their patience with the sometimes fickle release dates and all gave it up a few decades ago.
    Many of the cool Winyards & cellars they constructed are still functioning under different labels and owners, in addition to the old favorites, Mondavi and Martini, ect.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Las Vegas to Napa

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As Ross & Alice pointed out, the vast majority of Napa Valley wineries are in the St. Helena area. In fact, most of them are strung out along two highways which both run north and south of town, CA-29 and Ca-128, the Silverado Trail. As far as getting there from Las Vegas, If you're in a hurry, the shortest route (time-wise) is to take I-15 south out of Las Vegas, cut across southern California on CA-58 from Barstow to Bakersfield, and then take I-5 up to the Bay area. A combination of I-580, I-680, I-780 and I-80 will get you north of Vallejo where a short jog on CA-37 west will put you on CA-29 north into the Napa Valley. At over 600 miles, that may be more than you and your friends want to tackle in a day.

    The other possibility is to take the scenic route over the Sierra Nevada Mountains through Yosemite National Park. For this you'd head north out of Las Vegas on US-95, then use NV-266 and CA-168 to cut over to US-395 north. At Lee Vining, you get on CA-120 through Yosemite, to join I-5 just below Stockton. After a short run north, use CA-12 across the Sacramento River delta area CA-29 north and the Napa Valley. This route is just under 600 miles and is, of course, quite scenic, but it will take considerably longer to drive due to the nature of the roads and traffic.

    To be honest, a guestimate on how much money you'll need would be just that. This is the kind of trip that can be done for anywhere from a beer budget (camping out, eating from a cooler) to a champagne expense account (4 star hotels and fine dining). So that is really going to be up to you and your friends. But either way, I think it is a trip you will enjoy.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Here is the book I use

    Quote Originally Posted by ekiskis View Post
    Third, any suggestions on lodging, food, etc.
    Here is the guidebook I use when I go winery hunting -- it has some excellent tips and info about little-known hideaways.


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