Insider Insights: Five Steps for Planning the Perfect Trip to the Napa Valley

Linda Motty is lead concierge at the Napa Valley Welcome Center – as such, she’s ground zero for answers to every possible question surrounding where to stay, what to do, where to eat and drink. With vacation season on the horizon, we thought it would be a good time to check in and ask for her insights on how to plan a trip to the valley that will exceed everyone’s expectations. Here are the first five questions she considers when planning a trip for visitors.

Where would you like to stay? “The Napa Valley offers every possible type of accommodation, from homey B&Bs to lavish spas and resorts – and everything in between. Do you want an intimate, family-like experience? Would you like to play golf on site? Do you prefer the bustle of a cultural center like Napa, or the quaint, small-town vibe of Calistoga? It’s also important to consider your budget up front, which will help to narrow your focus and prevent unpleasant surprises down the road.”

How many days do you want to spend here? “Planning a weekend retreat requires a totally different itinerary than planning for a full week. Don’t be too ambitious – consider the timeframe when making your list of must-do activities.”

What kinds of experiences are you looking for? “The Napa Valley has it all, from hiking and kayaking to art museums and nightlife. Are you a wine connoisseur or a foodie? Or is your idea of getting away just lounging by a beautiful pool? Curating your favorite activities is one of the things we do best.”

What type of transportation will you need? “Would you like a private car with driver or prefer more independence? Getting around on foot or maybe just renting a cruiser bike to explore the town?”

How would you like to do your tasting? “At least one winery is on everybody’s list, but there’s a wide range of experiences there, including private tours, group tours, and self-guided tours. We want to ensure that you see, feel, and taste the Napa Valley in the way that’s exactly right for you.”

Linda can be reached at the Napa Valley Welcome Center, (707)251-5895 or (855)847-6272 (toll-free), or at concierge@visitnapavalley.com.

Kirsten Mickelwait is a St. Helena-based writer who has lived and raised her family in the Napa Valley for nearly 20 years.

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