The Napa Valley has one of the most gorgeous sections of wine country in the world. It’s vast — the county covers 789 square miles — and some of the best wines come out of the region. Fortunately, there’s a way to experience the many different parts of the Napa Valley while sipping on a glass of wine: The Napa Valley Wine Train.
The train offers a variety of different trips featuring different wineries. Samuel Brannan, San Francisco’s first millionaire, built the railroad in 1864 to take tourists to the resort town of Calistoga in northern Napa. The Napa Valley wine train operates on the same railroad, and starts at McKinstry Street Station in downtown Napa to take patrons through Oak Knoll, Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, and St. Helena.
What it’s Like to Ride the Napa Wine Train
Passengers take a wine tasting expedition through Napa Valley while making stops at some of the region’s most famous vineyards. You can sip wine on the train while admiring the idyllic scenery, and patrons have the option of dining in the first class car.
The Santa Train
The Napa Valley Wine Train also has holiday themed rides such as the Santa Train. This family friendly tour is an hour and a half journey to the “North Pole” featuring hot cocoa, freshly baked cookies, music, and, of course, wine.
Read Napa Wine Train Reviews
Over the years, the Napa Valley Wine Train has received some stellar reviews. USA Today ranked it the fourth best train ride in the country in its “10 Best Reader’s Choice 2016.” Trip Advisor reviews describe the Napa Valley Wine Train as the “best way to go wine tasting,” and a “fantastic way to see and taste Napa Valley Wine Country.”
The Infamous Napa Wine Train Lawsuit
That’s not to say the Napa Valley Wine Train has been chugging along without controversy. In 2015, members of the Sistahs on the Reading Edge book club were thrown off the train for allegedly laughing too loudly. The book club, which consisted of 10 black women and 1 white woman, accused the Napa Valley Wine Train of racial bias, and settled a lawsuit out of court. The incident sparked the twitter campaign #LaughingWhileBlack, which became a platform for people to tell stories of racial bias, especially while traveling.
Where To Get Napa Wine Train Tickets
Tickets can easily be purchased on the Napa Valley Wine Train’s website. You can also call to make reservations at (707)-253-2111.