Napa Valley Wine Train // Family Trip Idea


If you are planning to visit Napa, you must add this to your to-do list!
Have you heard of the Napa Valley Wine Train before? Probably not. We recently discovered it and knew we had to cross it off our summer bucket list of activities!

What is the Napa Valley Wine Train
Well, it's what it sounds like: a train ride to wine and dine in the beautiful city of Napa Valley. The train ride is actually a round trip to St. Helena and back. Perfect for adults and even families too! We went our little toddler and he absolutely enjoyed it!

First, book your Napa Valley Wine Train tickets (here). Was debating between the Vista Dome lunch experience and the Gourmet Express Lunch ride. Comparing the two below.

Vista Dome Lunch experience:
* 3 hours ride
* 2 story vista dome with elevated views
* all tables are private tables
* multiple course gourmet meal
* welcome sparkling wine
* adults only (ages 13+) tickets available
* ticket prices vary from around $300 and up (tip not included)

Gourmet Express Lunch experience:
* 3 hours ride
* traditional rail seating in vintage train
* shared seating tables unless upgraded
* multiple 3-course meal
* children and adults tickets available
* ticket prices vary from around $200 and up (tip not included)

They also have afternoon tea, dinner, and full day wine tasting train ride packages to choose from too! We went with the Gourmet Express Lunch experience since we had our toddler with us and choose the "early seating" ticket which means you dine first and then switch to the cable cars side after for dessert. The "late seating" ticket would be the opposite: ride the cable car side first then switch to dining area for lunch. The "early seating" worked perfect for us cause lunch started around 11:30am and then we switched to the cable car side for dessert/tea/coffee around 1:30pm.

TIP :: If you're a AAA member, call Napa Valley Wine Train directly at 800-427-4124 to let them know while you book your tickets so you can save some $.

What kind of food was served?
The ticket includes a 3 course gourmet meal (starter, entree, dessert) created with dishes made from local fresh produce. I'll admit I had low expectations for the food. I mean, how good could food on a train be - right? Well, it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised. You can taste the freshness and quality of the dishes from the first bite. Even more impressive that the chefs are creating all the meals on a moving train!

Also, note that we went in early summer so their menu and other things may change depending on the season.

What's not included?
* tip is not included so please be kind and remember to tip
* wine is not included
* alcohol drinks are extra

Toddler travel tips:
* ask for booster seat on dining side
* ask ahead for booth seating on lounge side
* bring any water cups/snacks as backup food & drinks
* bring activities (coloring books, small toys, etc.) to keep them entertained

Is it worth it? 
Yes, totally! The cost of the ticket is a pretty penny but we felt like it was worth it. The food was actually good and you can't beat the winery views while you get to relax and enjoy. This was something different than other travel experiences. I really liked how it didn't take the whole day to do either so you still have time to enjoy other activities afterwards too. 

Would you try the Napa Valley Wine Train?

We're so glad we got to experience the Napa Valley Wine Train and highly recommend it! It was definitely one of our favorite family memories this year and I know you'd love this one-of-a-kind experience too!

As always, thanks for reading and sending air hugs!

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