SOUTHERN NAPA VALLEY
Start in Napa at the far south end of the valley. Begin at Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, get breakfast to go and stroll along the recently spruced up Napa River nearby.
Wine, Food and Art
True foodies will enjoy a visit to COPIA, The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts. The 80,000-square-foot center features cooking demos, art exhibits, wine tastings and food forums. Thrifty travelers prepare for a full day of wine tasting by first stopping at the Napa General Store for picnic provisions such as local artisan cheeses, breads, pâté and bottled water.
To cap off a day enjoying Napa's multi-winery tasting rooms, stop for a slice of Tuscany at moderately priced Bistro Don Giovanni. Set in vineyards, you'll get more bang for your buck with a view or alfresco dining, plus it's a hangout for local wine producers you can ogle.
THE NORTHERN EXPERIENCE
On Day 2, head north again on Highway 29 starting in Yountville, a town slightly off the beaten path.
Hit the chic town of St. Helena, the hub of the Napa Valley, for a value-packed lunch at local favorite, Market. If scrimping time and money, opt for Taylor's Refresher, a retro roadside burger stand with addicting milkshakes.
Pamper yourself after a long day spent sampling wine at the region's unique vineyards. At the farthest northern point of the valley, ramble through Calistoga, known for its natural springs, spas and mud baths. Some of the best yet least expensive treatments can be enjoyed at Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort.
Reasonably priced lodging is scarce in the Napa Valley, but you can find values in Calistoga, including overnight lodging at Dr. Wilkinson's individual cottages. The EuroSpa & Inn is also reasonable and includes free wireless Internet and a continental breakfast. El Bonita in St. Helena is another affordable motel.