Forget the Fall Foliage, Now's the Time for Napa

Written by | Travel

If you’re thinking of avoiding the summer heat and planning your vacation for fall, do I have a recommendation for you: No, it’s not the New Jersey Turnpike or Norman Rockwell’s Americana. It’s the valleys of Napa and Sonoma.

Napa Valley Fall

Fall is almost here, so it’s time to set your plans in motion. Almost every travel guide will tell you that the best time to visit Napa and Sonoma Valley is in the summer. Okay, but that’s about as right as saying that the best time to go to Toys ‘R’ Us is the week before Christmas. In my experience, the California wine country in the summer is chaotic, overstuffed with tourists, and good luck in getting decent hotel and restaurant reservations.

Napa Valley Fall

A summer trip to Napa means standing in lines, fighting for that very last parking spot, waiting for your food order an additional half hour and hotel rates that are generally the highest they’ll be all year.
Go in the fall – pick a week anytime from September to early November. That’s when the leaves start turn to golden brown and it’s also when vineyards harvest their grapes. It’s not too hot, not too crowded, it’s easy to get reservations at Michelin-rated restaurants and you’ll find hotels throughout the valleys quite affordable.

napa valley fall

Enough of me. Let these images do the work instead. See for yourself and fall in love with Napa. (Need I mention the numerous wine tastings, or that they have the most amazing fancy restaurants and also some great casual
BBQ – in restaurants with entrees under $15.)

Enjoy new highlights of travel photographer Edwin Santiago’s journeys each week.

Last modified: August 22, 2017