Note: Some tour providers on this list may have limited or ceased operations due to COVID-19. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.
A guided tour of Napa Valley will not only provide you with an experienced guide and their knowledge of the region, but also a safe and easy way to explore as you sample the region’s best wine. These tours, determined by U.S. News to be some of the best available using expert input and tourist opinion, use various transportation methods, ranging from vans and trains to bicycles and hot air balloons. No matter which method you choose, you’re sure to see the best Napa has to offer. Plan to make a day of it to drink it all in and remember that participants must be 21 or older to tour.
Napa Valley Wine Trolley – Classic Tour
Napa Valley Wine Trolley uses replicas of California’s iconic open-air cable cars to transport wine enthusiasts around Napa Valley. Its six-hour Classic Tour stops at three wineries in the lower half of the valley; specific wineries vary from day to day. Drivers double as guides and provide information about the region and its best-known product, and patrons generally find them to be both very informative and amusing. The tour departs from the Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa at 10 a.m. daily, with pickups at select hotels starting earlier. Tickets cost approximately $115 and include transportation and a picnic lunch, but exclude wineries’ tasting fees, which range from $20 to $30 per person.
Platypus Wine Tours – Join-in Wine Tour of the Napa Valley
Platypus Wine Tours escorts tour-takers to three area wineries over the course of approximately 6 1/2 hours. Wineries visited depend on availability and change from one tour to the next, though they tend to be small, family-owned operations. Driver/guides earn enthusiastic praise for being knowledgeable, professional and personable. Tours typically depart from a central location in Napa (for those driving into Napa), but pickups from nearby hotels are also available. Group sizes range from eight to 12 participants. Tickets start at $119 and include a picnic lunch at one of the stops as well as bottled water aboard the bus. Tasting fees, which tend to cost about $15 at each winery, are not covered. Platypus also offers tours of Sonoma Valley and private tours.
See the best of Napa’s scenery by bike, and taste delicious wine along the way, with a guided excursion from Napa Valley Bike Tours.(Courtesy of Napa Valley Bike Tours)
Napa Valley Bike Tours – Napa Valley Wine Tasting Bike Tour
Cycle to two different wineries on this 12- to 15-mile ride. Along the route, guides share information regarding the region and wine-making, and they are widely regarded as knowledgeable and helpful. If you aren’t an experienced cyclist, heed the advice of reviewers and upgrade to an electric bike. The outings, which are restricted to 12 participants, begin each day at 9:30 a.m. and end around 3:30 p.m.; this includes bike fitting and riding instruction. Tickets start at $189 and include use of a bike and helmet and lunch, but not wineries’ tasting fees, which can range from $30 to $40. E-bikes are available for an additional charge. Napa Valley Bike Tours also offers tours that feature a hot air balloon ride.
Napa Valley Wine Country Tours – Join-in Napa Daily Wine Tours from Napa
You’ll visit three wineries, ranging from well-known vineyards to small, family-owned establishments, on this six-hour outing. Drivers, who are generally found to be both friendly and accommodating, provide insider information about the region during trips between the wineries. Along with the chauffeurs, travelers also enjoy the wineries selected for the tour. Buses pick up tourgoers from Napa area hotels between 10 and 11 a.m. and tours typically end at about 4 p.m. Tickets cost approximately $120 and include a picnic lunch at one of the stops; tasting fees are not covered. Private tours are also available.
Napa Native Tours – Private Wine Tour
A lifelong Napa Valley resident curates and leads this six-hour private tour. You’ll visit three to four small boutique wineries, providing your preferences to the company during the booking process. Guides share information about wine-making along the way, which tour-takers tend to find exceptionally insightful. Tours cost approximately $500 for a group of up to six people. Tours start at 10 a.m. daily and include a break for lunch. Napa Native Tours also offers tours for larger groups.
Napa has more to offer than its famous wineries; check out its food scene downtown.(Getty Images)
Laces & Limos – Private Safari for Two
Couples rave about their experiences with Laces & Limos. They say they loved riding between vines and that the guides are personable. The company’s private tour for two people will take you to little-known wineries for tastings. You will also have a picnic lunch complete with charcuterie, cheeses and small bites. Transportation is provided in the company’s white Jeep or its tuk-tuk; you get to choose your vehicle. Tickets cost about $495 for two people. Tasting fees at the wineries and gratuity are not included. Outings run multiple times a week beginning around 11:30 a.m., but specific schedules can vary by season. Laces & Limos also offers private tours for up to four people.