When it comes to a trip to Napa Valley, wine tasting at award-winning vineyards and world-class dining are musts. Now you can add another Napa sightseeing activity to your itinerary: a scenic bike ride on the Napa Valley Vine Trail.
What is the Napa Valley Vine Trail?
The ongoing project is in various stages of development, with the ultimate goal of implementing a 47-mile trail that connects riders to different parts of the region in 10 sections, all named for the city or vineyard AVA (American Viticultural Area) that you pass on the trail. Once it is complete, you’ll be able to travel from San Francisco via ferry to historic Vallejo, where the trail begins, taking you all the way to gorgeous Calistoga for hot springs, wine, and farm-to-table dining.
For those who want to hit the trail now, you’re in luck: four sections have already been completed connecting the city of Napa to charming Yountville.
How long does it take to bike the Napa Valley Vine Trail?
As of 2021, this Napa Valley bike trail is about 13 miles long, stretching from Kennedy Park to Yountville. That could mean, depending where you start, you’ll clock a 26-mile round trip if you want to cover the sections of the trail that are currently open for public use. All paths are paved and flat.
The good news is that, no matter your pace or distance, this trail is completely car-free. Along the way, you’ll see fellow cyclists along with joggers and walkers, some accompanied by their dogs on this Fido-friendly trail.
What will I see on the Napa Valley Vine Trail?
The Napa Valley and its surrounding area offer views of rolling hills, farmland, and the Napa River. On the Napa Valley Vine Trail, you can expect to see young trees lining your route; some 300 trees have been planted along the route to provide shade to future trailblazers. You’ll also find informational plaques that show you the Napa Valley Vine Trail route, as well as fun facts about the area you are passing through on your bike.
Food Guide to the Napa Valley Vine Trail
Here are some of the best stops along the Napa Valley Vine Trail.
You’re on a bike (and vacation) so live it up with some dessert that you can burn off on your bike ride later. You can’t miss the pink and pretty section of Napa’s Oxbow Market that belongs to Kara’s Cupcakes. This Bay Area sweetheart has multiple locations, including a spot on the Embarcadero near Fisherman’s Wharf. Expect freshly made cupcakes that are also available as gluten free and vegan options. For a real splurge, order some bubbles to wash down your sweets.
Kara’s Cupcakes, 610 1st St #19, Napa, CA 94559 (Oxbow Public Market), (707) 258-2253
Another great way to start (or end) your ride is ZuZu, a tapas bar and restaurant, in downtown Napa. Their Spanish-inspired menu includes paella, ceviche, charcuterie, and more, accompanied by a wine list that offers Spain and Portugal wines alongside some of the Napa and Sonoma favorites. This small space is a great place to enjoy a date at the bar, or sit outside to take in the Main Street action.
Zuzu, 829 Main St, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 224-8555
In Yountville, this local favorite is a great option for those who want to have a picnic. Boxed lunches include specialty sandwiches, build-your-own deli sandwiches, shareable salads, and pizza available as whole piesm or by the slice. If you arrive during the breakfast hours, you can also order off their morning menu.
Wine Tastings on the Napa Valley Vine Trail
Along the public trail, you’ll find easy access points to some of the area’s urban wineries.
This fun urban winery is just about five blocks from Napa’s 1st Street, nestled in the Rail Arts District. St. Clair Brown opened in 2010, the brainchild of industry experts Elaine St. Clair and Laina Brown, who have both worked for the likes of Domaine Carneros Winery and Black Stallion Winery over the last two decades. The space is home to an urban winery, nano brewery, and culinary garden on site. Reservations are required, and limited to 6 people per group.
St Claire Brown, 816 Vallejo St, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 255-5591
Explore more with Unlimited Biking
Come enjoy Napa’s bounty with the freedom to explore more, and enjoy more, on two wheels. Unlimited Biking offers bike tours as well as bike and ebike rentals. Bonus: If you are a guest at the River Terrace Inn, a downtown Napa hotel, you’ll get to enjoy a free hour with an Unlimited Biking rental.