Budget Travel Tips for Napa Valley, California

By Jenna

People often ask me how they can get more bang for their buck in Napa Valley, and because I usually travel on a budget, I decided to share budget travel tips for Napa Valley with you. The name Napa Valley creates romantic visions of rolling hills, endless vines, rustic architecture, and deep red wines, but for most people, it also means expensive. As one of California’s most beautiful and special regions, Napa Valley attracts visitors from all over the world and therefore is not geared toward budget travel. However,with a few tricks, you can definitely get more out of your travel experience for less.

When to go:

The first time I stayed in Napa Valley, the concierge told me that I should come back in the winter when “prices are lower but service is double.” The valley’s low season is December-April. Winter in Northern California is the rainy season, but the weather can be mild, with sunny days and temperatures in the 50s and 60s. Spring starts early here, even in February with cold mornings and evenings but daytime temperatures often in the 70s.

February is a great month in Napa Valley because the yellow mustard plants fill the vineyards, making for beautiful views even though the vines don’t have leaves at that time of year. Weekends tend to be very busy in Napa Valley year-round but are quieter in the winter and early spring.

Photo Credit:http://bit.ly/1boPFCT

Accommodations

Staying in Napa Valley is expensive. The area’s luxury hotels and B&Bs enhance the travel experience here, so this may be the part worth splurging on. You can usually get a lower rate during low season, especially on weekdays. If you’re looking for deals, avoid September-November when hotels are packed with people ready to experience harvest, crush, and theNapa Valley Film Festival; however, that time of year is possibly my favorite in Northern California because of the beautiful weather and fall colors.

More tips: Search for special rates in Calistoga, where more budget-friendly options exist at small hotels and motels. Seach for discount codes online, especially in off-season. There are some lower-priced accommodations, such as Best Western and Travelodge, in Napa and nearby Fairfield. There are also camping facilities at the area’s state parks.

Photo Credit:http://bit.ly/1boPFCT

Wine Tasting

Wine tasting is a great way to connect with locals in Napa Valley. The tasting room managers are friendly and knowledgeable and ready to answer your questions about the area, what it’s like to live there, the grapes.Wine tasting in Napa Valley can be expensive, with most wineries charging at least $20 per flight. However,there are ways to taste wine and stick to your budget.

Get a Downtown Napa Wine Tasting Card: This card is available at the Visitor’s Center, at theDoNapa website, or at any of the participating tasting rooms in in Downtown Napa. For $25, you get a card that is valid for one year and allows you to park your car and taste at 12 tasting rooms, all within walking distance of each other.

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