Located north of San Francisco Bay area, Napa County is famous as California’s wine region. There are literally hundreds of vineyards on the hillsides facing towards the Pacific. Obviously, if you’re a wine lover, Napa Valley will seem like a true heaven for you. But, even if wine isn’t your favorite drink, you can still find this area interesting.
For example, the city of Napa, which is less than 40 miles away from San Francisco, is famous for its Oxbow Public Market, where you can find all kinds of delicacies from this part of the state. If you go a few miles to the northwest, you will reach Yountville, a town famous for a large number of luxury restaurants.
Considering how close Napa Valley is to SFBA, it would really be a shame not to pay it a visit. If you live in San Francisco or somewhere near, you have no excuse not to go on a trip to Napa, especially if you own your own car.
Driving from San Francisco to Napa Valley
You can get pretty quickly to Napa from SFBA if you go by car. The distance between these two places is less than 50 miles, so you can reach your destination in less than an hour. Of course, the biggest problem is the traffic in the city, but as soon as you get past Richmond, you’ll have an open road in front of you.
Speaking of Richmond, going through that city seems like your best choice, as it’s the fastest route. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t pick an alternative. For example, the route via the Golden Gate Bridge seems pretty interesting. If you decide to go this way, you will go past the western outskirts of the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge on your way to the city of Napa.
There’s another route that seems pretty interesting – go to Walnut Creek, where you should take the Interstate 680, go over the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, and through Cordelia, before reaching Napa.
San Francisco to Napa Valley on a Private Tour
The fact is that Napa Valley has so many things to offer, much more than you can take in a single day. If you’re traveling on your own, you’re probably going to end up missing to check out some of the biggest Napa attractions. That’s why going on a private tour with a professional tour guide seems like a very good idea.
There are several companies that take small groups of people on day trips to Napa Valley. By taking on such a trip, you have nothing to worry about transportation – they will get you to Napa and back, showing you all the valley’s most important attractions along the way. The best thing, though, is that these arrangements are usually not too expensive. In fact, the whole adventure will cost you no more than 150 dollars per person.
Some of the companies that offer these kinds of tours are Blue Heron Tours and A Friend in Town. Surely, you can try to find some others with a little help from Google, but we can’t vouch for those companies. These two, on the other hand, are guaranteed to provide you with an unforgettable adventure.
San Francisco to Napa Valley by Public Transport
It would be a real shame to visit Napa Valley and not try its famous wine. This is probably the most famous wine region in the whole of United States. There are thousands of vineyards across the valley, most of which are Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards.
This is a grape sort that’s used for the production of some of the finest red wines on the planet – Dominus, Opus One, and Rubicon. It would be a real shame not to try some of these wines. But, you can’t drink and drive! This is why going to Napa by public transport seems like a very smart solution.
Considering that San Francisco, the unofficial naturalists’ capital of the USA is your starting point, the chances are you care about nature. Using the services of public transport is also a much more eco-friendly choice than going by your own car.
Thanks to the fact that Napa is just about 50 miles away from San Francisco, public transport seems like a legit way to get from one place to the other. Surely, it can take more time, but you’re not in a hurry. Going by public transport can be a very exciting adventure, not to mention that it’s pretty affordable.
Basically, your biggest problem is getting to Vallejo from San Francisco. Our advice is to take a ferry on Fisherman's Wharf Pier 41. Once you get to Vallejo, it’s time to get onto one of the Napa Valley VINE buses that go over the route 10. Of course, you got to pick the direction towards Napa. In total, the trip should take you about 3 hours.
San Francisco to Napa by Bike
If you’re an eco-conscious traveler, you might consider getting to Napa Valley from San Francisco by bicycle. Of course, you will need a little help from the public transport. Again, you will have to take a ferry ride from Fisherman’s Wharf to the city of Valleyo.
A great thing about this route is that you can make many stops along the way. As soon as you go past Valleyo, you’re in Napa County, where there are lots of places that seem worth checking out. Your first stop is the city of Napa, which is about 15 miles away from Valleyo docks. This means that it should take you less than an hour to get there.
Your next stop could be the city of Yountville, which is less than 10 miles away from Napa. From there, you can go to Oakville and Rutherford. If after cycling for several hours, you’re still in the mood for an adventure, you might consider going to check out Lake Hennessey as well. The total distance between the lake and the ferry terminal in Valleyo is a bit over 30 miles.