With two days in California wine country, you can spend one day in Napa and the other in Sonoma, allowing you to compare and contrast the wines, wineries, food cultures, and general vibes of the two separate counties. Here are our favorite ways to create an itinerary that suits your interests.
Watch the sunrise on a hot-air balloon ride followed by a bubbly brunch at Domaine Chandon. Then hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train or the Napa Valley Wine Trolley—the train passes by towns such as Oakville and Rutherford while the trolley (a replica of a San Francisco cable car) stops at wineries.
For a VIP-style experience in Napa, book a private winery tour by limo that can be tailored to your wine preferences, or opt for a food and wine tour of the gourmet town of Yountville, home to The French Laundry, if you’re also interested in discovering Napa’s food scene.
If you didn’t ride the Wine Train earlier in the day, take an evening tour to enjoy twilight views of the vineyards and an onboard dinner. Or head to Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa for food and drinks—including oysters, pizza, wine, coffee, cupcakes, and ice cream—from an array of vendors.
Starting in late morning, various wine-tasting tours and other activities introduce you to Sonoma County. You have another chance for a trolley ride with the Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley, or perhaps choose a Segway tour. To go beyond wine, opt for a bike tour of breweries in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol.
A small-group wine-tasting tour gives you the chance to visit wineries around Sonoma County without having to worry about driving after tastings. Alternatively, learn more about a single town and its culinary scene with a food and wine walking tour of either Healdsburg or downtown Sonoma.
Experience a bit of Africa in Sonoma with a visit to Safari West, a wildlife preserve home to animals like giraffes, wildebeest, and zebras. The preserve is open all day, but you can go at the last entry time for an evening experience, and there is even the option to spend the night in a safari tent from Botswana.