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Jul 23, 2012 09:42 AM

Napa crowds & timing

My husband & I will be arriving in SF on Friday Sept 7. We originally planned to drive to the inn in Yountville, & spend the entire weekend in Napa County (focusing our time on Northern Napa). We then planned to head to Healdsburg on Monday morning, wrapping up our trip in Sonoma on Wednesday morning. However, my husband is concerned that with crowds and traffic, it might make more sense to flip the plan around, so we avoid doing Napa Cnty on the weekend.
He's wondering if if makes more sense to have our Sonoma time Friday - Sunday, then head to Napa on Monday, because he thinks the Napa crowds & traffic will be less of an annoyance on weekdays.
If you have any thoughts you can share on the subject, I would greatly appreciate! Thanks!

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  1. That's post Labor Day so crowds in Napa on the weekend shouldn't be a big deal. What should be of more concern is that some of the smaller Sonoma Cty wineries may not be open early in the week, while their Napa counterparts are generally open 7 days per week.

    3 Replies
    1. re: TonyVelebil

      Thank you! I hadn't thought to consider the fact that some wineries may be closed.

      1. re: ChrisEM

        And not just wineries that are closed. Some restaurants in Sonoma County are closed on Tuesdays, rather than Sundays or Mondays when some tourists will still be around.

      2. re: TonyVelebil

        I disagree with Tony that the crowds diminish post-Labor Day. Living there, the crowds start to ramp up around Memorial Day and don't dissipate until harvest = late October.

        Considering it can stay cold and drizzly in San Francisco year round, we tend to get enough "local" folks who head to Napa at the last minute just to get some warm sun.

        I think your idea of flipping around is a good one but, as you mention, check which wineries you want to hit to see their hours.

      3. And I would check Sears Point Infineon Race Track schedule too--nothing worse than being caught in that traffic going to or from Napa.

        2 Replies
        1. re: alfairfax

          Really good point, Alfairfax. Nascar has already had their big race there this season so it shouldn't be too bad, but there are smaller races there that can cause traffic.

          1. re: alfairfax

            Very good point. The other big race, I think, is the NHRA race which is happening this weekend. (July 27-29).

            I have found the crowds, from a winery perspective (in Napa and Sonoma) to thin a bit post Labor Day. But I worked at appt only wineries. The real slow down is post mid late October until about Spring break.

          2. Thank you for your insight! We switched the trip around and I think we'll be glad we did!

            1 Reply
            1. re: ChrisEM

              Wise move. Hope you have a wonderful time.