Wably Travel

How to tackle Napa Valley on a budget

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two glasses of white wine overlooking napa valley

Image: Shutterstock/FloridaStock

Visiting Napa is on almost every American’s bucket list. The only problem? It’s has the potential to be one of the most expensive domestic vacations you’ll ever take! That’s because Napa has a reputation to uphold of fantastic wine, world-class food, and inspirational views.

But don’t worry—there are plenty of ways to experience Napa Valley on a budget. Check out this guide to getting the most out of your Napa vacation, no matter your tax bracket!

Here are the best tips to enjoy Napa Valley on a budget.

Go With Friends

The biggest secret to experiencing Napa on a budget is to go with friends. With hotel prices ranging from $99 per night and up, splitting the bill a few ways will help your bank account stay high. And that’s not the only thing you can split: transportation, food, and deals are all easier on more than one person. And if you road trip there? Split the gas bill, too!

Rent And AirBnb

With hotel prices so high, it’s recommended to rent an AirBnb in Napa instead. You’ll find cheaper options with more space than a hotel, which is all the easier to split with friends. Plus having your own kitchen will come in handy: it’s much cheaper to cook your own food on vacation than it is to eat every meal out. Napa is famous for it’s farmers markets that are full of fresh, local ingredients, so take advantage! Bonus: split the grocery bill, as well!

Try Food Trucks

Napa is an American culinary epicenter, which makes food there extremely expensive. While the meals come at a steep price, the quality and preparedness often make them worth it for some visitors. So how do you meet in the middle to stay on budget? Try one of Napa’s many food trucks! At Gott’s Roadside, you’ll find delicious burgers for less than $8. And for a real treat, visit Ad Hoc’s food truck to enjoy a meal prepared by Michelin star chef Thomas Keller. A few other noteworthy trucks include La Esperanza Taco Truck, Mark’s the Spot, and Crossroads Chicken.

Organize A Bike Tour

Transportation in Napa is a bit complicated, considering the main purpose is to drink wine all day. For a fun and safe alternative to driving, organize your own bike tour! Bike tour companies have plenty of options to choose from, but they come with a steep price (around $100 per day) that doesn’t always include tasting fees at the vineyards. The better alternative? Organize your own tour! Simply Google a few wineries in close proximity you’d enjoy visiting, rent bikes, and hit the road!

Take An Uber Or Lyft

You can rent a transportation service to explore Napa, but prices start at $35 per hour and only go up from there. Ouch. For a large group, Uber or Lyft might be the best transportation solution. Since these companies are cheaper the more ways you split it, feel free to skip the hourly fees and cruise along in an Uber or Lyft instead!

Find Deals

There are several ways to find deals upon visiting Napa. First, be sure to check the Tourism Office to take advantage of either the city-wide tasting card or 2-for-1 tasting cards. The former allows you to sample wine from from any of the tasting rooms around the city (but not from the vineyards themselves), while the latter gets you and a buddy half-price tasting tickets at various locales. Another great source to find deals is the app Winery Finder, which lists current promotions at wineries in Napa. And the ultimate kinda-deal: many vineyards will wave their tasting fee if you buy a bottle of their wine. That’s a deal…ish!