How to Plan a Romantic Honeymoon in Napa Valley

Calling all oenophiles!

A view of a vineyard in Napa Valley, a romantic honeymoon destination.

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Ah, Napa. If your vision of the perfect honeymoon happens to include world-class wineries (over 400 of them), sumptuous accommodations, gourmet dining, lots of sunshine, and a variety of outdoor pursuits, then Napa Valley is the perfect destination to celebrate your recent nuptials.

With a mild climate year-round, and a never-ending roster of romantic hotels, restaurants, spas, and vineyards to frequent, there’s no place that caters to oenophiles and gastronomes quite like Wine Country. Here, with the help of a few Napa experts, we’ve outlined everything you need to know to book the honeymoon of your dreams in this Northern California sanctuary.

Meet the Expert

Planning Your Napa Valley Honeymoon

Unlike other honeymoon hotspots with set seasons, Napa is truly a year-round destination so you have that on your side when planning your post-nuptials getaway. That being said, deciding when to go greatly depends on your preferences and interests as a couple. 

“August through October is harvest season, the perfect time to see the wineries in action and partake in the wine-making process,” explains Virgi Schiffino Kennedy, founder of Lux Voyage. “Alternatively, spring is a gorgeous time to visit as the wild mustards create a carpet-like scenery with bright yellow flowers.” 

Keep in mind these are also peak seasons and therefore more expensive. So, if you’re looking for fewer crowds and better deals, consider a shoulder or off-peak season. According to Renee Risch, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Auberge du Soleil, December can be a wonderful month to be in Napa. “We have deceivingly sunny days so you can still enjoy wineries and the outdoors, then cozy up in the evenings in front of the fire with a Napa Cabernet,” she shares. “Plus, it’s a little quieter than summer or harvest season.” 

Risch also recommends the summer months of June through August to honeymooners looking to explore the valley. “The drives to our neighboring hillside wineries are nothing short of spectacular at this time of year.”

Here are our Napa basics:

  • Language: English
  • Currency: USD
  • When to Go: February/March (Mustard Season) or August through October (Harvest Season)  
  • Getting There: There are three main airports that are closest to Napa and Sonoma: the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, which is about 32 miles from Napa, the Oakland International Airport, which is 50 miles south of Napa Valley, and the San Francisco International Airport, which is 55 miles south. Since SFO is the largest airport in Northern California, they have more flights and airlines available from major cities. From there it’s about an hour to an hour and a half drive by Uber or car depending on where you’re going.
  • Transportation: While there are plenty of Ubers and cabs around areas like downtown Napa and Yountville, taking cars to and from vineyards and restaurants all day can get expensive and tricky if you’re going far. We suggest mapping out your plan of attack beforehand (i.e. choosing wineries and restaurants closer to your hotel or hiring a driver for the day if you want to explore beyond that). 
  • Must-Pack: Vineyards can be dusty, dirty, or wet, depending on the season so you’ll want to reserve the heels for nighttime and opt for closed-toe, comfortable shoes for the day. Other than that, lighter pieces and sundresses work for spring/summer (although it can get chilly at night so toss a jean jacket in your bag), and heavier layers and sweaters for the fall/winter.

Places to Stay During Your Napa Valley Honeymoon

Choosing where to stay is arguably the best part of planning a Napa ‘moon, but it isn’t always the easiest. Are you a couple who likes to maximize every second of the stay? Then a five-star resort with a calendar of activities might be best for you. Or, are you a twosome who prefers total privacy and relaxation? You may want to try a manor with only a handful of rooms that feels worlds away from the Napa crowds.

With that in mind, here are some of Napa’s finest hotels that fall into both categories:

An aerial view of Alila Napa Valley in Napa, California.

Courtesy of Alila Napa Valley

Alila Napa Valley

Should you heed Risch’s advice and decide on a December sojourn to Napa, book a stay at the adults-only sanctuary, Alila Napa Valley. The Georgian-style farmhouse that dates back to 1907 is one of the most romantic properties in St. Helena, nestled next to the Beringer Vineyards, and they have an unbeatable Winter Revival promotion with a $250 resort credit that can be used at celebrity chef Chris Cosentino’s restaurant Acacia House or put towards wellness treatments and crystal sound baths.

The Francis House, a Napa Valley honeymoon hotel.

Courtesy of The Francis House

The Francis House

If a smaller luxury hotel is more your speed, Schiffino Kennedy is enamored by The Francis House. “This seven-room boutique hotel is designed with a Parisian flare and has a cozy, homey vibe for those looking for a more intimate refuge,” she says. “It’s located in Calistoga, on the north side of the main action in Napa Valley, and children under 16 are not allowed.”

Auberge du Soleil

Courtesy of Auberge Du Soleil

Auberge du Soleil

“Nestled in a 33-acre olive grove and designed to reflect both the beauty of Provence combined with the Californian wine country vibe, Auberge du Soleil exudes romance,” says Christy Danforth, a luxury travel advisor with Global Travel Collection. “Not only is the hotel located in the town of Rutherford, offering easy access to vineyards, but it boasts a fabulous pool, wonderful spa, and is adult only so honeymooners can expect a very quiet romantic atmosphere.”

An aerial view of the Four Seasons Napa Valley

Courtesy of Four Seasons Napa Valley

Four Seasons Napa Valley

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley is the perfect location for couples because it offers a unique setting amidst an active vineyard, with the vines mere steps away from our guest rooms,” explains their Director of Sales and Marketing, Terrance Kelly. More reasons to check in include their newly-opened restaurant Auro, which offers a seasonally-inspired, rotating five-course tasting menu and a holistically-minded spa that features a Spa Garden whirlpool, outdoor misting decks, and Biologique Recherche facials.

Solage in Napa Valley

Courtesy of Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection

Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection

Kelly is also a fan of their Calistoga neighbor Solage—a 100-key haven with newly-renovated suites that were designed for couples (think outdoor showers, soaking tubs, and cozy fire pits). Their Bathhouse is another draw, with geothermal pools that range from icy cold to a comforting 98 degrees and a soothing 103 degrees. “The setting of both resorts in the heart of Calistoga—which is extremely charming, quaint, and friendly—makes it a must-visit destination for honeymooners,” adds Kelly.

The interior of a room at Meadowood in Napa.

Courtesy of Meadowood


What began in the 1960s as a small club with cottages for frequent visitors, has morphed into one of the most esteemed Napa Valley resorts, with recent Forbes Five-Star Awards for both its hotel and spa. With 36 lodge-style rooms and suites spread across a luxurious 250-acre estate, it’s definitely a splurge-worthy option for your honeymoon. Forum, the resort’s newest dining location, features a seasonal menu with produce sourced largely from Meadowood's five-acre garden and they offer a Forbes Five-Star Getaway package tailored to twosomes with two nights in a sizable suite, a $500 credit to the spa, and a 60-minute Tree House Bath Experience.

Things to Do During Your Napa Valley Honeymoon

Whether you’re a Napa newbie or a loyalist, it’s impossible to pack everything Wine Country has to offer into one trip, so we asked our experts to map out a few of the most romantic things to do in Napa:

Vineyard Hop

If you chose Napa Valley as your honeymoon destination, chances are you’re there to try the wine. Nevertheless, narrowing down their never-ending list of vineyards and wineries can be a burdensome task so allow Schiffino Kennedy to help. “Far Niente is by far the most romantic winery and the highlight here is a tasting of their Dolce signature wine (aka Liquid Gold from Napa Valley).” Also on her short list: Duckhorn Vineyards. “It’s located in a lovely location surrounded by lush gardens and their Cabernet Sauvignon is simply outstanding.”

As for Fuller’s ideal-day-in-Napa cheat sheet, she suggests a 10 am tour and tasting at Schramsberg for sparkling wine and caves, followed by the 1:30 pm Pride Mountain tasting and a picnic on their beautiful grounds, then onto a 4 pm Frog's Leap tasting and dinner at Mustards Grill. “I always suggest no more than three wineries in a day so couples can enjoy spa time, shopping, the pool, or a drive to the coast, which is only two hours away,” she adds.

Plan a Picnic

If you’re crunched for time in between tastings and can’t swing a three-hour lunch, go the picnic route with provisions from Oakville Grocery or Oxbow Market. “With its mild climate and epic scenery, Napa Valley’s local parks and vineyards are the perfect place to unwind and connect with your significant other,” says Kelly.

Get Muddy

“As Calistoga is known for its wellness ethos, spa treatments are a must,” explains Kelly. Visit Spa Talisa at the Four Seasons for a locally-inspired vineyard scrub and mineral-rich mud application, or take a dip in one of the region’s famed mud baths at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, Golden Haven, or Baths at Roman Spa.

Go For a Hike

If you start to feel a bit sedentary on the ‘moon—sitting and sipping 24/7 can take its toll after all—hike to the top of Mt. St. Helena at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. “On a clear day you can see all the way to San Francisco to the south and Mount Shasta to the north,” shares Risch.

Sign Up for a Cooking Class

Taking a hands-on culinary class at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia is another preferred pastime of Risch’s, where you can enhance your cooking skills and learn to make a romantic dinner together at the same time.

Can't Miss Romantic Experience: For Napa-bound newlyweds that also live for thrills, Schiffino Kennedy always recommends a hot air balloon ride to her adventurous guests. “It’s a great start to your day and you can even book a Flytographer to memorialize this romantic moment.”

Where to Eat During Your Napa Valley Honeymoon

Even though there’s no shortage of excellent eateries in Napa, reservations are always a good idea, especially if you have your heart set on Michelin-starred mainstays like The French Laundry—which Schiffino Kennedy says is actually possible to get into if you set your alarm two months in advance, then pre-pay on TOCK. As for more noteworthy restaurants in town, here are our experts’ favorites:

The Charter Oak

Schiffino Kennedy favors Chef Christopher Kostow’s casual concept The Charter Oak for great comfort food in St. Helena. With an ivy-clad courtyard and seasonally-driven menu that sources ingredients from their garden, it’s a top date-night contender.

FARM, Boon Fly & The Hilltop Dining Room at Carneros

You’ll see FARM at Carneros on many best Napa restaurant lists for its elevated fare courtesy of Chef John Carney, but Protravel International advisor Victoria Zindell also urges discerning guests to visit their Hilltop Dining Room for its vantage point. “It’s the perfect setting to indulge in culinary delights with panoramic views of nearby vineyards,” she recalls. And their sister restaurant Boon Fly Café is a no-brainer for brunch. The big red barn serves its famous donuts and breakfast burritos from 9 am-2 pm daily, so make it a point to go.


Risch’s answer to the waterfront dining question in Napa? Angèle, at the riverfront, with great patio dining and French country cuisine. “The rustic interior transports you out of Napa and into the French countryside, with floral arrangements that are reminiscent of an old-world flower market!”

Cook St. Helena

Risch also loves Cook in St. Helena for its cozy atmosphere. “Couples can share mussels, house-made pasta, and seasonal panna cotta, plus they have an extensive list of Napa and Italian wines.”

The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil

While not every meal in Napa has to be a pricey one, some are worth the splurge, like The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil. This is on every Napa Valley visitor’s bucket list, which, according to Risch, is world-renowned for its awe-inspiring views and sunset dining experience from the outdoor terrace.

Can’t get into The Restaurant at ADS, or running low on the honey funds? Fuller has a pro tip: Try their walk-in bistro. “The Bar has the same view as the restaurant but with a smaller, less pricey menu,” she says. As for her other must-visit haunts, she’s partial to Bistro Jeanty, Bouchon, RH Yountville, Regiis Ova (a Thomas Keller pop-up for champagne, caviar, and live jazz), and any of the taco trucks in Napa.

Gott's Roadside

If by the end of your trip, you can’t bear one more tasting menu, there’s always Napa’s hangover cure: Gott’s. “It’s a classic with one of the best burgers around,” raves Kelly.

Budgeting for a Napa Valley Honeymoon

Budgeting for your Napa ‘moon really depends on the time you go. If harvest season is your dream, then by all means make it a reality but be prepared to shell out big bucks (around the tune of five to 10 thousand dollars for a week) for flights, accommodations, and vineyard visits. 

You’ll also want to factor in any add-on excursions like cooking classes, hotel air balloon rides, spa appointments, and extra cash for shopping (and buying) some of that wine you sampled. After all, what’s a better souvenir to take home than the first bottles you shared as newlyweds?

And if you’re looking to do Napa on a modest budget, consider these tips: skip the pricey hotels and check into more affordable inns and B&Bs like River Terrace Inn, White House Napa Valley Inn, or Fuller’s pick: The Cottages of Napa Valley for their historic, yet fully remodeled, accommodations with fireplaces, air-jetted tubs, heated bathroom tiles, and morning delivery of pastries from Bouchon.

You can also pack your own picnics for an al fresco lunch for $20 instead of a three-course one for $200 and stick to areas that are walkable or bike-able so you don’t have to Uber all over—Yountville and downtown Napa are packed with tasting rooms, wineries, and a plethora of restaurants at every price point.

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