How to be a Sustainable Traveler in Napa Valley

In a 2018 visitor profile study conducted by Visit Napa Valley, respondents – when asked about their most-liked aspect of the area – selected wine as their No. 1 choice, followed by scenery and atmosphere. 

Wine was a predictable top choice; after all, Napa Valley is the world’s premier wine region, Downtown Napa’s scenery and atmosphere are indeed memorable, and part of the reason is that the residents and businesses in the area work hard to preserve its grandeur and beauty.  


 

The state of California is renowned as the leader of eco-friendly and sustainability practices, and Downtown Napa is no exception. With more than 80 restaurants, 55 wine tasting rooms, a number of unique art-viewing opportunities, and a host of outdoor activities and experiences to see and do, it’s important for local establishments to be ecological guardians of the area, and just as crucial for visitors to do their part in keeping the region a pristine part of the Golden State. Here are some eco-friendly travel tips to consider, so you can help keep Downtown Napa the magnificent destination it is today. 

Photo: @AndazNapa

LODGING 

Before you decide where you want to stay in Downtown Napa, visit the list of lodging options and select a hotel, inn or bed and breakfast located within walking distance of the attractions you most want to visit. Many establishments also provide details on their eco-friendly practices, so make sure to do your research before you decide.  

When getting ready for your trip, pack a reusable water bottle for each traveler, which cuts down on purchasing plastic bottles that will most likely end up in the landfill. (Some hotels, such as the Andaz Napa by Hyatt, provide guests with reusable aluminum bottles.) And rather than buying travel-size toiletry bottles – a huge source of pollution – fill up reusable bottles and containers with shampoo, conditioner and other products from your larger bottles at home (make sure to check FAA regulations if traveling by airplane). 

Depending on how long you’ll be staying in Downtown Napa (we suggest a long visit), ask the front desk to instruct the cleaning crew to change the bed sheets every two or three days, rather than daily, and don’t throw towels on the floor after a single use. After all, would you do that at home? 

Photo: @gracestable

RESTAURANTS 

Fortunately for Downtown Napa visitors – and especially residents – there is a range of restaurants to try, providing everything from quick snacks to four-course fine dining and, of course, desserts and a wide selection of wines and craft beers. 

Many of these dining establishments are eco-conscious and follow or exceed sustainability guidelines, from serving locally produced ingredients to using compostable packaging for takeout orders. But patrons can do their part as well, beginning with bringing that reusable water bottle or tumbler you packed for the trip. It doesn’t hurt to pack some Tupperware so you can take home what you can’t finish, rather than wasting it or using styrofoam packing. Make sure to bring along reusable utensils for the times when you get a quick-service restaurant craving, as plasticware can sit in a landfill for 1,000 years. 

Photo: @Cadet-Wine-Beer-Bar

WINE TASTING

The majority of wineries are committed to green practices, with many being awarded top certifications for sustainability. From low-impact harvesting to water conservation, these vintners are doing what’s best for the land, while often producing an even better product. 

Bring along a reusable wine tote or two to carry the delicious fruit of the vine you discover at Downtown Napa wine tastings. There are a number of area stores that sell the eco-friendly totes in a variety of designs, with some made by local artisans. 

Photo: @BalloonsAboveTheValley

TRANSPORTATION

Practicing sustainability can arguably make the biggest difference when it comes to modes of transportation, and it’s the category in which Downtown Napa has the biggest advantage. The beauty of Downtown Napa is that it’s walkable – meaning that diverse experiences are around the corner from one another. So just by visiting our area, you’re lessening your carbon footprint by traveling by foot. Many wine tasting rooms, restaurants, breweries, shops, art venues and historical homes are located within a few short blocks of one another, and guided tours are available to those who want the backstory on the area’s incredible history.

Riding a bike is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the downtown, and you’ll be able to go even further if you rent an e-bike – check out Fat Tire E-Bike rentals or Napa Valley Bike Tours for rental options. With Napa’s year-round beautiful weather, traveling on two wheels is a great option no matter the season. Another alternative is the Napa Valley Wine Train, where you can enjoy a piece of history while touring the lush local vineyards. 

For the ultimate sightseeing experience, take a hot air balloon tour and enjoy a birds-eye view of one of the most beautifully-preserved places in the world. Powered by propane, which is nontoxic and insoluble in water (so it poses no threat to the groundwater supply), the morning ride is an ideal way to start the day and see the breathtaking scenery.  

Photo: @CIAatCopia

A SUSTAINABLE STAY 

Visiting Downtown Napa is a dream vacation. And we hope you will treat it as home and help us sustain the beauty and wonder of the area to ensure it’s a dream that will continue for generations to come. 

YOUR TRIP WILL BE MEASURED BY THE MEASURES WE TAKE

Your safety is our top priority — come here to get away and restore yourself. We have put measures in place to ensure businesses and lodging properties are ready to make your stay and entire Downtown Napa experience extraordinary.

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