Best Ways to Get to Napa from San Francisco
There are numerous ways to get to from San Francisco to Napa Valley, depending on your budget and how much time you have. These are our picks!
The Napa Valley brings to mind images of rolling vineyards, sunny days, and beautiful scenery. If you’re a wine enthusiast, or even if you’re not, Napa is a must-see destination to visit in California Wine Country. So read on to learn how to get from San Francisco to Napa Valley!
In this guide you’ll find:
- Driving To Napa From San Francisco
- Local Transportation to Napa From San Francisco
- Local Transportation From SFO to Napa
- Chartered Napa Wine Tour Bus
- Limo From San Francisco to Napa
- Flying to Napa From San Francisco
- Guided San Francisco To Napa Valley Tour
- Small Group Wine Tour From San Francisco
- Napa Valley Shuttle Trolley
- Guided Tour Of Napa Valley
- Lyft And Uber In Napa
- Local Napa Valley Transportation
By the way, did you know that Dylan’s Tour of California Wine Country From San Francisco is rated as one of the best tours that goes to both Napa and Sonoma in a single day?
- See the best of Sonoma and Napa Valley in one day.
- Learn from the knowledgeable winery staff about the unique processes and techniques.
- Visit two boutique wineries.
- Spend two hours for lunch in Sonoma Square.
- Stop for photos of the picturesque Golden Gate Bridge.
- Meet at the beautiful Fisherman’s Wharf before departure.
- All tasting fees included in the price.
- Enjoy coffee and pastries in Oxbow Public Market on your way through Napa.
And it’s not just a region that’s known for its wine, although the locals vineyards are world-renowned and thought to be some of the best in the world. The valley also offers a relaxing weekend away from the busyness of the Bay Area. Napa Valley is made up of 5 towns, the largest of which is Napa City. And believe us when we say that there’s plenty to love about downtown Napa, the place where most people stay on a trip to the valley.
Want to discover the wonder of California Wine Country for yourself? Grab your partner or friends and enjoy a day of incredible wine tastings and gorgeous scenery on Dylan’s Tour of California Wine Country From San Francisco .
The city boasts a striking promenade along the water, boutique shops, food trucks, a vibrant nightlife, and an impressive art scene, just to name a few attractions. We could go on, but let’s just say that there are numerous reasons to make a visit to Napa, and chances are you already know this if you clicked on a post about how to get there!
The good news is that Napa Valley is easy to access, especially if you’re based in the Bay Area. From San Francisco, Napa is a mere 50 miles (about an hour north), meaning there are a wealth of options for how to get to Wine Country, no matter your style, budget, or timeframe.
How to Get to Napa from San Francisco – the options
Driving to Napa from San Francisco
Getting from San Francisco to Napa can be as easy as renting a car and driving for an hour north to get to the Valley. The best route to take to Napa depends on traffic and recent accidents, but usually I-80 E to CA-20 N is the most straightforward and quickest drive up to the Napa Wine Country. However, you can also take the US-101 N to CA-37 E to CA-121 N to CA-29 N as a backup. Just keep in mind that there are going to be tolls no matter which route you choose. On weekends, that hour or so of driving can easily turn into two or more with traffic. If you’re only going up for the day, leave as early as possible. Most wineries open around 10am.
Local Transportation to Napa from San Francisco
If you’re on a budget, or simply don’t want to drive because you plan to be wine tasting all day, you can take advantage of the local transportation to Napa from San Francisco. The Amtrak service to Napa leaves from Emeryville, which is easily reached by BART or Uber, and takes anywhere from 2-3.5 hours to get to Napa. The cost starts at around $20 for a round trip.
Spend a day outside the bustle of the city exploring California’s wine country on a tour of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Enjoy wine tastings at boutique wineries while learning about the region and the processes used to craft wine!
Local Transportation from SFO to Napa
If you’re flying into San Francisco and you’re wanting to leave for Wine Country right away, there are a couple of options for local transportation from SFO to Napa. Take the red N-train heading toward Richmond directly from SFO. Next, you’ll take BART all the way to El Cerrito Del Norte Station. From here you can take VINE Redwood Park & Ride 29 Express bus that will take you to Soscol Gateway Transit Center, the main transit hub of Napa. In total, this trip will cost you $20 and should take around 2.5-3 hours. Just note that the VINE 29 bus doesn’t run on weekends, so this option is only possible during the week. Alternatively, you can take BART from SFO to MacArthur Station, and take an Uber from there to the Emeryville Amtrak station to use the bus and train services mentioned above.
Chartered Napa Wine Tour Bus
If you’re looking for an easy way to get to Napa from San Francisco, and you want to explore Wine Country at your leisure, a chartered Napa bus tour is a good option. Hiring out a San Francisco to Napa Valley Shuttle Bus is the perfect way to enjoy a day or weekend in Napa with a big group of friends, or for a bachelorette party. There are numerous options for hiring out a Napa wine bus that you can find with a quick Google search.
Limo from San Francisco to Napa
If you want to take it up a notch, you could instead opt for a limo from San Francisco to Napa. This is a great option for those who like to travel in style, with a large group of friends, or want a romantic and classy weekend away. Napa Shuttle Limousine offers various chartered limo services, as well as bus charters, and airport and dinner transfers to Napa from San Francisco.
Flying to Napa from San Francisco
This might least popular option because of the expense and closeness of Napa. Flying to Napa from San Francisco is also possible, though! If you’d rather fly to Napa and you have some extra cash to spend, you can take a quick chartered flight from San Francisco. The Napa Airport is not very well known. Mostly because they don’t have any commercial airline services that fly into it. However, you can browse chartering options here and get a quote from SFO to Napa County airport.
Guided San Francisco to Napa Valley Tour
If you don’t want to deal with the headache of getting to Napa via public transit, renting a car and driving, or taking a limo or chartered flight, there are plenty of options for guided Napa tours from San Francisco.
Small Group Wine Tour from San Francisco
Want to see the two most popular wine regions in California – Napa and Sonoma – in one day? Get the best of both worlds by visiting both Napa and Sonoma with this tour that combines one Sonoma winery with one Napa winery, to bring you the best of both Valleys! This Wine Country Tour of Napa and Sonoma includes visits to two boutique wineries, with no extra tasting fees. As well as two hours to spend for lunch in Sonoma Square. Enjoy coffee and pastries in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market on your way! We meet before departure at the beautiful and entertaining Fisherman’s Wharf at Hyde & Beach. This way, you can enjoy the sights and activities before or after your tour!
Discover the incredible wineries and beautiful rolling vineyards of Sonoma and Napa Valley. You’ll sample wines from carefully selected boutique wineries and discover the best of both wine regions in one enjoyable tour!
Best Ways to Get Around Napa Once You’re There
The biggest question for those who are traveling from San Francisco to Napa Valley is how to get around the region. The wineries aren’t always close to each other. And when there’s wine tasting involved you don’t want to drive yourself. So, what are the options? Luckily, because it’s such a popular wine region in California, there are plenty of ways to get around. Even if you choose to pass on a guided tour from San Francisco!
Napa Valley Shuttle/Trolley
The most popular option to easily visit is the Napa Winery Shuttle, also known as the Napa Trolley! The Napa Trolley is a motorized replica of the San Francisco cable car from the 1890s. So it’s not only an easy way to get to a few different wineries, you also get to travel in historic style. The trolley stops at 4 wineries. It even offers a French-inspired picnic lunch along the way. You can grab your tickets for the Napa Trolley here.
Guided Tour of Napa Valley
Would you rather leave all the planning and transport in the hands of someone else? A guided tour of Napa Valley is an ideal option!
Napa Valley Wineries Tour
If you’re looking for a perfect overview of some key wineries around the region, find it here. This small group tour (limited to 14 people) is a great one to sign up for! You’ll visit and sample wines from boutique wineries across Sonoma and Napa Valley— meaning you get to see and taste the best of both regions on one fantastic wine country tour! They’ll also include a visit to the bustling Oxbow Public Market at lunchtime. Wineries may include Robledo Family Winery, Nicholson Ranch, and Bouchaine Winery.
Half-Day Napa Valley Bike and Wine Tour
There’s nothing better than a little fresh air and exercise if you plan to be drinking all day. This half-day bike and wine tour around the Napa Valley allows you to take in the beauty of Wine Country at a slower pace. The 5-hour tour includes visits to two wineries and finishes in the early afternoon, so you have plenty of time to visit other attractions around Napa.
Note: If you’d rather not go on a guided tour, there are bike rental shops all over Napa where you can rent your own bike and create your own itinerary. A couple favorites include Calistoga Bike Shop and Napa Valley Bike Tours, who both have daily bike rental options.
Lyft and Uber in Napa
Another great option if you want more flexibility is to simply take a Lyft or Uber in Napa. There are plenty of Lyft and Uber drivers in the region. And they are happy to pick you up and drop you off at the next winery on your itinerary! This can be your cheapest and most convenient option to visit different Napa wineries in a short amount of time. Especially if you’re traveling with 1-3 other people.
Local Napa Valley transportation
If you’re on more of a budget, you can take the local Napa Valley transportation to get around Napa City. But, you will be restricted mostly to the tasting rooms in and around the city that are near bus routes. The good news for those from the Bay Area is that you can use your Clipper Card. Otherwise, a one-way fare is $1.60. Using local transportation can be a good option to check out some of the non-wine related attractions around Napa. That being said, to get out into the country and the actual wineries, your best options are the above choices.
Planning a trip to Napa can be overwhelming with how big and popular the region is. But, we hope this guide gives you insight into the best ways to get to Napa from San Francisco! And also how to get around Napa once you’re in the region. We also wanted to show that Napa can be for everyone, no matter your budget. Yes, it’s known as the most expensive wine region to visit in California. But it is also possible to do it without breaking the bank!
Happy wine tasting and enjoy Napa for us!
Looking for a taste of nature and Wine Country? Dylan’s Wine Country Tour From San Francisco offers time wine tasting in scenic Sonoma County and Napa Valley, all in one day! For those short on time, this is a great option to see some of Northern California’s best wine offerings.
Looking for more places to explore in Northern California? Check out our related blog posts below:
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