Napa Valley in autumn: 16 colorful places to visit this fall

Published Date: September 26, 2023

Napa Valley fall colors drape the vineyards in shades of orange and red.
Although Napa Valley is gorgeous year-round, Napa in fall is another level of beauty. The autumn atmosphere elevates your wine-tasting experience, and seasonal activities abound. From grape stomping to gondola rides, Napa in fall has something for everyone to enjoy. Pour a glass and toast to autumn delights as we guide you through the best winery tours, experiences to savor and trails to explore in Napa Valley this fall.

Where to sip back and relax

A map shows the best places to see Napa Valley fall colors.
Whether you want to stay in Napa at a winery that doubles as a luxury inn or simply spend the day in the company of golden grape vines, we’ve got you covered. Check out these popular autumn spots.

1. Chateau Montelena Winery 

Great for those who want to be near the waterStroll through Chateau Montelena’s lush gardens, where the vines take on an array of autumnal colors. You must taste world-famous Chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon while you’re there. And don’t miss the chance to take photos by Jade Lake, framed by fall foliage.

2. Sterling Vineyards

Great for enjoying a Mediterranean ambianceStart your visit to this iconic winery with a scenic aerial gondola ride, granting you breathtaking views of the valley's colorful vineyards. Once at the winery, embark on a guided tour to explore the winemaking process and Mediterranean-inspired architecture. Conclude your day on the elegant terrace with a wine tasting, where you can savor Sterling's exceptional vintages.

3. Harvest Inn 

Great for an overnight stay in NapaAt Harvest Inn in Napa Valley, you can relish curated wine tastings from esteemed local wineries, an exclusive activity for guests. Unwind by the inn’s crackling fireplace with a glass of fine wine. Harvest Inn epitomizes the essence of Napa Valley in the fall, offering a blend of unspoiled nature and luxurious hospitality.

4. Rutherford Hill Winery 

Great for those who love merlotAs you arrive at Rutherford Hill Winery in Napa Valley, you're in for a treat. The area’s vibrant autumn colors provide a stunning backdrop as you sample the exceptional wines, particularly the renowned merlots. Explore the unique caves that run deep within the hillside. When you’re through adventuring for the day, unwind on the terrace to enjoy an outdoor wine tasting while admiring the sunset over the valley.

5. Chappellet Winery

Great for those who love a good cabEmbark on a guided vineyard tour at Chappellet Winery, where you'll stroll through rows of grapevines adorned with vibrant autumn foliage while learning about the winemaking process. Savor a wine-tasting session in the courtyard as you sample acclaimed wines, including the renowned cabernet sauvignon. Chappellet also offers gourmet picnic options with locally sourced treats.

6. Far Niente Winery 

Great for those who love chardonnayTake a tour of Far Niente’s vineyards to uncover the artistry behind its renowned chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon production. Then, indulge in a tasting session of exquisite wines, complete with a view of autumn leaves. Opt for a luxury picnic under the trees for the ultimate Napa Valley autumn experience.
Travel tip: Book a picnic to enjoy a meal perfectly paired with Far Niente wines.

7. Stags' Leap Winery

Great for those who want to sip somewhere famousAfter a tour through the Stags’ Leap estate and vineyards, indulge in a tasting of the winery’s renowned cabernet sauvignon and petite sirah. Take in the sweeping views and fall foliage of Stags Leap Palisades, the prominent row of cliffs that provide the volcanic soil which makes the district’s wine unique. 

Fall for Napa’s other autumn activities

A graphic shows other activities to enjoy after seeing the Napa Valley fall colors.
There’s much more to do in Wine Country this fall than tasting wine. Here are just a few. 

8. Schramsberg Crush Camp

Great for budding wine connoisseurs Immerse yourself in the art of winemaking like never before. Roll up your sleeves to participate in the season’s grape harvest. Under the guidance of expert vintners, witness the meticulous process of crafting sparkling wine. This hands-on adventure offers an intimate and educational glimpse into the world of Schramsberg's renowned sparkling wines, giving you newfound appreciation for every bubble in your glass.

9. Grape stomping 

Great for those who love hands-on experiencesParticipate in the age-old tradition of grape stomping during your trip to Napa Valley this fall. Kick off your shoes and step into the bins filled with freshly harvested grapes. With each stomp, you release the juice, and the sweet aroma of fall at the vineyard fills the air. After immersing yourself in the winemaking process, relax with a glass of the winery’s best vintage in hand.
Travel tip: Pack an outfit that you don’t mind getting stained with grape juice.

10. Downtown St. Helena

Great for those who love small-town charmSt. Helena is a Napa Valley town that boasts a charming blend of quaint shops and vibrant autumn hues. In the fall, the downtown streets are adorned with golden trees, creating a warm atmosphere to wander in between trips to the wineries. Explore boutique stores, try local eats at an outdoor cafe and sample wine from the nearby vineyards. 

11. Nimbus Arts paint n’ sip

Great for artists of all levelsAs you settle into a picturesque outdoor setting for this class, you'll be guided by talented artists to create your own masterpiece — all while sipping on legendary local wines. The serene vineyard views and the gentle Napa breeze add to the ambiance, making Nimbus Arts the perfect setting to let the heart of Wine Country inspire your artwork.
Travel tip: Head to Napa Valley in October to sip a vintage red while painting something spooky

12. Napa Valley Gondola 

Great for those who value luxuryOld World Venice meets New World Napa! The Napa River is an ideal fall spot to enjoy an authentic Venetian gondola ride. The private cruises are marked by the sounds of Italian music and a singing gondolier as they row you gently through the heart of downtown. 

13. Balloons Above the Valley 

Great for thrill seekers and photographersAscend into the early-morning sky while the world below transforms into a patchwork of vineyards and the sprawling Napa River. ‘With Balloons Above the Valley, you can head to the clouds early enough, and you’ll catch the sunrise illuminating the valley — perfect for professional and amateur photographers alike.

Unwind in Napa nature

Autumn is arguably the best Napa Valley season to enjoy a hike or drive, with the foliage turning to warm hues. From lush trails to scenic highways, Napa has all the autumn views you could want and more.

14. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Great for avid hikers
 A photo of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, one of the best places to see Napa Valley fall colors.
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is a prime destination to enjoy Napa Valley fall colors. The park's lush forests transform into a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges and yellows, creating a picturesque backdrop for your hike. Head to the state park’s Redwood Trail for a serene walk under towering redwood and oak trees.

15. Oak Knoll Avenue near Napa

Great for photography lovers
A photo of Oak Knoll Avenue, one of the best places to see Napa Valley fall colors.
Oak Knoll Avenue is lined with a stunning tunnel of autumn foliage — making it the perfect setting for a scenic drive or a leisurely bike ride. It is also a wonderful photo spot to take Instagram-worthy portraits that will leave your followers craving those Wine Country views.

16. Highway 12 (Wine Road)

Great for those who love to cruise
A photo of  Highway 12 (Wine Road), one of the best places to see Napa Valley fall colors.
As you drive along Highway 12, also known as Wine Road, the hills come alive with a vibrant tapestry of autumn colors. You'll find yourself immersed in the heart of Wine Country, with the vineyards framing your journey. Fallen in love with Napa Valley? Napa in fall is a wine lover’s paradise and is full to the brim with seasonal activities. If you can see yourself sipping from a glass here every autumn, consider buying a second home  in the heart of Wine Country.Having a fully managed co-owned home away from home means you can make your autumn adventure through Napa Valley as cozy and customized as you’d like. Plus, you’ll have a front-row seat to some of the best wineries in the world.

Napa in fall FAQ

When is the best time to visit Napa Valley for fall foliage?

The best time to visit Napa Valley in the fall is early November. The autumn leaves are at their peak at Napa in November and the weather is cool enough to enjoy fireside tastings on the vineyards.

Where can you see fall colors in Napa Valley?

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, Oak Knoll Avenue and Highway 12 are some of the best locations to enjoy the colors of Napa in the fall.

What is Napa Valley weather like during fall?

Napa Valley's fall weather temperatures range from the mid-70s to mid-80s degrees, with cooler evenings in the 50s to low 60s (10-17 degrees Celsuis). Rainfall is minimal.

Is Napa Valley or Sonoma better in the fall?

Napa Valley and Sonoma are both wonderful Wine Country destinations to enjoy during the fall. While Napa boasts world-famous wineries and vineyards, Sonoma is full of hidden gems that locals love.

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