A Napa Valley Honeymoon Is Perfect for Wine Lovers

From Michelin-starred restaurants to luxury hotels, California wine country has something for everyone.
Hot air balloon rides in Napa Valley, California
Photo: Cheng cheng | Shutterstock
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
Beth Ann Mayer
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
Beth Ann Mayer
The Knot Contributor
  • Beth Ann writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, including venues, honeymoons and planning advice.
  • Beth Ann is a lifestyle freelance writer, with bylines on healthline.com and parents.com.
  • Prior to freelancing, Beth Ann was a writer and editor for Long Island Pulse Magazine.
Updated Apr 24, 2024
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Considering a Napa Valley honeymoon? California boasts several wine countries, but this particular US honeymoon destination, with its rolling hills and bold cabernet sauvignons, arguably gets the most buzz.

A honeymoon in Napa Valley is ideal for couples who appreciate the finer things in life, such as exquisite wines, gourmet dining and stunning landscapes. This world-renowned wine region in Northern California offers a tranquil and romantic backdrop for newlyweds to unwind and connect. With its luxurious resorts and serene ambiance, Napa Valley is the perfect Californian honeymoon for a memorable and intimate getaway.

Ready to plan a honeymoon you'll never forget? Below, you'll find everything you need to get started.

Napa Valley Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    grapevines in california
    Photo: Emily Kent Photography | Getty

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Napa Valley

    The weather is mild from March through May, and you'll catch the region in full bloom and before its peak tourist season. August through October is harvest season—this time of year, you can expect high prices but the best weather, gorgeous foliage and vines that are full of grapes ready for picking.

    Best weather: August to October.
    Festival highlights: The Napa Valley Film Festival in November features independent films, culinary demonstrations, and offers wine tastings. The BottleRock Napa Valley, usually in May, is a popular music festival that combines top musical acts with culinary and wine experiences.

    Napa Valley Honeymoon Planning Tips

    Most people visiting Napa Valley will fly into San Francisco and then make the 90-minute drive to the region (depending on California's notorious traffic). It's easy for many West Coast honeymooners to visit Napa Valley, but it'll be a longer trek for Southerners and East Coast couples—about five hours by plane from Atlanta to San Francisco, and about six hours from New York City.

    If your favorite kind of vacation is a foodie destination, Napa Valley is a paradise full of endless wine-tasting opportunities and Michelin-starred restaurants. If you don't know the difference between pinot and cabernet sauvignon, you will by the end of your romantic getaway, as tour guides and tasting room staff are eager to share their knowledge. Though a honeymoon to Napa Valley will keep you plenty busy, many couples pair it with a day trip to nearby Sonoma, the region's more laid-back cousin known for its world-class chardonnay.

    Whether you fly there or make your Napa Valley adventure a multi-destination road trip honeymoon, here are a few more things to keep in mind before solidifying your plans.

    Entry requirements: Since Napa Valley is in the US, you won't need your passport—but make sure to bring ID just in case you need it.
    Location: Napa Valley is located in Northern California, about 50 miles north of San Francisco. It stretches through several quaint towns including Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga.
    Currency: USD.
    Flight time to Destination: Flights from Los Angeles to the nearest major airport in San Francisco typically take about 1.5 hours. From New York City, flights to San Francisco are approximately 6 hours long.
    Getting around: Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore Napa Valley, giving you the flexibility to visit various vineyards and attractions at your own pace. Alternatively, many couples opt for guided wine tours, which can include transportation between wineries.

    Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to join your vendor team. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Napa Valley honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

    Best Napa Valley Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    This gorgeous wine region boasts a range of accommodations, from luxurious honeymoon hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts. Here are a few of our top picks when it comes to romantic getaways in California's Napa Valley.

    Bicycles on the sidewalk in downtown Yountville California USA near Napa and Sonoma valley
    Photo: Pgiam | Getty

    Auberge du Soleil

    Auberge du Soleil is an adults-only spot with seriously high-end perks that make it one of the most sought-after hotels in the region. Tucked away on a hillside overlooking 33 acres of olive and oak trees, the luxury resort feels like a retreat to the south of France. The 50 country-chic guest rooms and suites are bright, airy and come complete with soaking tubs. Some have private balconies offering beautiful California wine country views. The on-site restaurant sources wine and ingredients from local farms and vineyards.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort

    Modern luxury meets relaxed ambiance at this boutique hotel and spa in Calistoga. The sun-soaked rooms at Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort have kitchens with refrigerators that are ideal for stashing vino. Some suites have hot tubs, and newlyweds can get massages and facials without ever leaving the pristine grounds.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews


    Solage, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, is a favorite luxury hotel among honeymooners. The spa has treatments designed for newlyweds, including couples massages and facials, as well as chances to bathe in geothermal pools. Couples can book experiences, like hot air balloon rides, biking tours and foodie-centric outings.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Carneros Resort

    This luxury resort is within walking distance of downtown St. Helena, offering easy access to shops and restaurants. Guests at Carneros Resort can rent complimentary bikes, dine in one of three full-service restaurants, and soak in two pools and hot tubs. All the while, they'll be surrounded by stunning vistas of Napa's rolling hills.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Bardessono Hotel and Spa

    Couples can take in vineyard views as they swim in the rooftop pool at Bardessono Hotel and Spa. Other perks of this luxury hotel in Yountville include a spa, a fitness center with Peloton bikes, and a bottle of Napa wine in each guest room.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Alila Napa Valley

    Alila Napa Valley is a 10-minute walk from tasting rooms, restaurants and shops in downtown St. Helena—not to mention it's just three minutes away from Beringer Vineyards. Inside the 68 guest rooms and suites, guests will have a chance to detox, courtesy of soaking tubs, rainforest showers, spa treatments and a pool with plenty of chaise lounges.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    The Inn on First

    Those who crave breakfast all day long will want to run—not walk—to The Inn on First. The charming bed-and-breakfast in downtown Napa serves up creative brunch fare daily. Rooms have views of the downtown area or gardens, and the B&B is walking distance from shops and restaurants. Couples can book experiences, like a chauffeured tour of under-the-radar Napa vineyards.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for Napa Valley honeymoon accommodations that'll provide you more privacy or lower prices, consider looking into a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

    Napa Valley Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    Sometimes, people think of Napa Valley as one large town. But it's actually a region with a vibrant downtown and several smaller areas, each with a unique vibe. With plenty of things to do and Napa Valley wine to taste, here are a few itinerary ideas to get you started.

    Castello di Amorosa winery in Napa Valley
    Christopher Pfeifer/Shutterstock

    Visit Downtown Napa

    As gorgeous as the rolling hills and vineyard views are, downtown Napa is a must-stop. The area features several restaurants and wine bars. Biking down First Street is fun and easy, but you may want to consider strolling, as you'll want your hands free to carry shopping bags. The area's luxury shops stock everything from stylish clothes to home goods that are as luscious as a glass of cab sauv.

    Taste Some Rutherford Wines

    The wines in Rutherford, California, have a distinct subtly spicy flavor, likely courtesy of the soil, which was once a riverbed. Popular vineyards include Frog's Leap, where a gorgeous garden and pond (as well as a glass of red) relax guests. Toast to your new beginnings at Mumm Napa, which specializes in sparkling wine. Rutherford Grill's lively atmosphere and ample portions of comfort-food fare will get you ready for your next wine tasting.

    Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

    Napa Valley is beautiful on the ground, but it's arguably best enjoyed from above. Honeymooners can see the rolling hills from the sky during a hot air balloon ride, which takes off in Yountville and ends with a glass of bubbly. Hungry after your excursion? Yountville boasts many Michelin-starred restaurants, including The French Laundry and Ciccio.

    Spend the Day in St. Helena

    Hailed as the "Main Street" of Napa Valley, St. Helena boasts high-end restaurants, luxe resorts, posh shops and more than 400 vineyards. Just off Main Street, you'll find two of the biggest names in the wine business: Beringer Vineyards and Charles Krug. Beringer's is Napa's oldest continuously run vineyard, and Charles Krug is California's first tasting room. For lunch, stop by Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, a farm-to-table restaurant set in a renovated barn.

    Check Out Old Faithful

    Napa Valley is located near a significant landmark: Old Faithful Geyser of California. Here, you can see water shooting up into the sky and relax in thermal hot springs. Once you feel rejuvenated, head to Castello di Amorosa, a medieval-style Tuscan castle. Couples can tour the California wine country jewel and sip Italian-inspired vinos.

    Pro tip: Add Napa Valley honeymoon experiences to your wedding gift registry so your family and friends can pitch in on the honeymoon fun.

    What to Pack for a Napa Valley Honeymoon

    Aerial View of Downtown Napa and Riverfront
    DianeBentleyRaymond/Getty Images

    You don't need to dress to the nines while wine tasting in Napa, but you will want to look put together. Denim, comfortable-but-stylish tops like polos and breezy tunics, slacks, and nice shoes and sandals are great things to add to your packing checklist. Pack cardigans in case the tasting rooms have the AC blasting.

    Sunglasses will keep your eyes protected while sitting out on vineyard patios, and bringing sunscreen along in your honeymoon luggage will also come in handy.

    You may also want to pack semi-formal attire—like a little black dress, slacks and a collared shirt—for dinners at five-star restaurants. Bring a bathing suit and workout gear if you plan to take advantage of hotel pools and fitness centers.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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