Ahh . . . wine country. California’s Napa Valley is a dream not only for their legendary wine, but for the beautiful scenery, unforgettable experiences, and fantastic hotel accommodations (you better be staying at the Four Seasons.) Napa Valley is one of my favorite vacation destinations, and no matter how many times I go, I still find more to love about this Cali oasis. Today is all about my Napa Valley packing list tips and advice.
Since I’ve traveled this way so many times, I’ve become an expert packer. I’ve got what you need, where you need to buy it, and when you need to use it, so your trip can go off without a hitch. Whether you’re going for the whole Napa Valley Wine experience, or to simply experience downtown Napa, I’ve got you covered. Here are my Napa packing tips below. Have you been? Drop a comment and let me know some of your fave packing hacks too!
Napa Valley Packing List
First, everything starts with great luggage. I really believe that! In fact, I don’t think “any old thing” will do. You don’t want your vacation to start with you wheeling around a cheap bag that’s difficult to maneuver onto planes, into cars, etc. Plus, you don’t want to be digging for your lip balm at the bottom of a tote bag that doesn’t really work as a functional personal item. A great bag will protect and organize your items, keeping you stress-free from packing to unpacking!
So, what do I recommend? Nothing but Mark & Graham luggage. It’s super high-quality, reasonably priced, and you can monogram pretty much everything. I love that! Not only is it functional when grabbing your luggage from baggage claim, but it’s also stylish. It adds a little you and a little luxury to your items. And, when you’re constantly taking Insta selfies at the airport, you need luggage that’s aesthetically pleasing. Here are my must-haves:
This is my 100% go-to. It’s my all-time fave! It’s roomy, but still carry-on size, so you don’t need to check it if you’d rather bring it on board with you. My favorite part? The zip-front tech compartment, where I can put my laptops, tablets, and other travel essentials that I want to keep super easily accessible. (And easy to slide out in security!)
Additionally, the top of the luggage has a lock that’s TSA-friendly. And the big wheels make it super easy to maneuver, don’t worry about it getting heavy. It’s lightweight enough I’ve never struggled to get it in the overhead bin. Moreover, the luggage is SO cute. Both the white and the navy look super cute and totally gender neutral. Just don’t forget that monogram. It’s the best part!
What about those personal items? I love their Elisabetta Slouch handbag. It’s leather (they have suede too) and is sort of a cross between a tote bag and a purse. It’s deep enough and big enough for a blanket, laptop, or your favorite book, but it’s also stylish enough to elevate an outfit. I love that I don’t have to sacrifice style for function!
This slouch handbag also has a center zipper pouch for all your smaller essentials, so no struggling to find your lip balm, hair ties, or gum sticks when squished into that middle seat. This bag does it all! It can go anywhere, be anything, and will always function like you need it to.
Mark & Graham Elisabetta Tote Bag
These clear pouches are perfect for toiletries! They come in three cute colors that you can coordinate with your luggage, and, of course, you can get them monogrammed too! They’re water resistant, and the perfect sizes for all your cosmetics. These could definitely double as beach bags – store your sunscreen, rental car keys, and other essentials in there once you arrive at your destination!
If you like bags on bags to keep things wicked organized, Mark & Graham has more pouches for you. They’ve got their scalloped pocket pouches, their travel jewelry case, and their packing cube set. Needless to say, Mark & Graham has all you need for luxury, affordable luggage.
Most of the year, Napa has perfect dress weather. Unless you’re going in the dead of winter (which even then, it’s, like 55° at the lowest), you can definitely rock some dresses. Dresses are the perfect vacation look, because they’re lightweight, instantly elevating, and easy to style! I’ve linked my Sail to Sable collection, which has all you’d ever need for the perfect vacation wardrobe! (For a wine tasting outfit, though, I’d recommend dark colors in case the red wine drips!)
White Denim and Wide-Legged Pants
If you’re preparing for a chillier evening or a more active afternoon, may I suggest wide legged pants? They provide lots of coverage, but they’re also breezy and shaping! They’ll help form the perfect silhouette while keeping you comfortable. I also love all things white denim (even in Napa). Stick with a cropped pair, like these Farrah white jeans, which have long been one of my go-to denim items in my closet. Love!
Jeans are so easy to style. They’re naturally flattering, and you could wear one pair across multiple outfits. That saves room when packing and saves time in the morning while assembling your outfits! I love this jean selection, these stretch black skinnies, and these straight raw hem white jeans from Good American. These pairs are all so different, but so versatile and fashionable! Just find a couple pairs you love and pack them up.
‘Ab’Solution Stretch Skinny Jeans
Speaking of breezy and chic, blouses are the perfect companion to those wide legged or denim bottoms. They’re shaping, comfortable, and can be layered with lots of accessories! You can add jackets, coats, sweater vests—whatever! Go long or short sleeves, but definitely pick something with a lot of summer cali vibes. Think bold prints and colors. Use this floral & cotton silk blouse for inspo.
Floral Cotton & Silk Blouse
If you’re staying at the beautiful Four Seasons in Napa Valley, you’re going to be all over that pool. Pack a couple stylish swimsuits to keep you fashion-forward even while tanning on the deck! Swimsuits don’t take up much room in your bag. And, on more casual evenings, a pair of shorts paired with a swimsuit can double as an outfit. See how I did that here.
This nylon tote is perfect for travel, because it folds completely flat! Plus, it has leather accents, lots of inside organization, and it’s water resistant! So, you could take this to the beach or sport it with your wine tasting attire. Inside, you can store all your wine tasting must-haves like an umbrella, sunglasses, your favorite snacks, and even a full bottle of wine. (More on that later.)
Longchamp Le Pliage Tote
When you’re packing accessories for vacation, you’ve got to keep it minimal. So, choosing versatile pieces that you can mix and match, or that can be formal and casual, is key. Gold hoops are just that. Totally timeless, naturally neutral, and infinitely versatile. Pair them with really anything!
Tuckernuck Gold Hoop Earrings
There’s something about Rattan that just screams holiday. The woven texture just reminds me of beachy views and cultural destinations. Anyway, these navy ones act as a neutral and go with so many outfits. When you’re looking for a break from the refined hoops, grab these instead!
Have we not talked about how much I love monogrammed things enough? Nope! This gold pendant monogrammed necklace is so chic. Again, it can go with a lot of different looks, and the personalization set in gold can completely elevate any look.
Braca Initial Necklace
Friends, please protect yourselves from the sun while you’re on vacation. Yes, coming back with a nice sunglow is fine, but letting yourself burn and bake is bad for your skin and hair! Simply pop on a cute sun hat like this one, and protect yourself. The origami style holds a lot of visual interest, but the natural straw color means it pairs easily with lots of looks.
Lorna Murray Hat
This is the hardest part of packing. You can’t go overboard on the shoes. But, you can definitely prioritize a pair of chic and comfortable sandals like the ones I linked! They don’t take a lot of space in your bag, and you’ll appreciate the break from the heels! Especially if you’re just taking a quick trip to get ice or pick up food.
Again, you can’t go overboard, but you need some cute shoes. Wedges work great, because you get all the benefits of a heel without wobbling on a stiletto. Plus, the combination of the canvas and woven material is so beachy. It’s perfect for vacation!
On sale for $175
Remember the talk we had about the sun? Yeah, keep your skin healthy with some quality sunscreen. Coat it on every couple hours, and don’t leave your skin care routine at home. You can keep your skin healthy and hydrated even on the go! (Especially if you’re planning on extra sun exposure.)
Moisturizing is a super important part of the skincare routine. Plus, Napa Valley has a dry climate and hotel rooms always seem to be extra dry. Make sure you bring a quality moisturizer like this one! I know it’s expensive, but a little goes a long way, and it’s a complete skincare game changer!
Cleansing balm is a must when vacationing. You never know what new things your skin will be exposed to! Whether it’s chlorine, wildfire smoke, or other dust and debris, your skin is going to need a good nightly cleansing. This stuff will get off the make-up as well as any impurities on your skin!
Farmacy Green Clean
This is just my favorite lip balm. Don’t pass it up! The color is bold, and it leaves your lips looking super shiny. Plus, it has shea butter in it, so it’ll keep your lips moisturized like the rest of you!
Fenty Fussy Lip Balm
Hotel rooms usually have hair dryers, but for many of us, that’s not enough. This Dyson Airwrap can do it all, and it’s pretty compact as far as a multi-tool goes. I definitely recommend making room in your bag if you’re someone who likes to do their hair every day. Moreover, it also saves you time, because it dries and styles at the same time! It’s really the perfect styling tool!
Wine Tasting Essentials
When wine tasting, it’s important to stay hydrated. I love to use my Hydroflask to keep my water cold throughout the entire day. If I drop some ice cubes in this thing, they’ll still be there when we get through with the wine tour. It’s the best!
A crossbody bag is ideal for wine tasting, because it keeps your hands free. Frankly, it’s always a must-have when traveling, but especially for your Napa Valley packing list. Plus, this one is a great size, so you can fit all your other essentials on this list in there too! (Bonus tip: throw in a few snacks. Most wine tours don’t offer anything to eat unless you go to the amazing B Cellars Winery!)
Mark & Graham Crossbody Bag
Weather on wine tours can be unpredictable, so I like to bring an umbrella. This one is totally on brand for me with the bold colors! Beyond style, it’s a travel umbrella, so it’s super compact and will fit in your crossbody bag!
Get out those sunglasses when the sun is beating down! It doesn’t have to be these…but these are super chic and versatile. You can rock them with most outfits, and they complement a lot of face shapes. When you’re spending a lot of time outside, eye protection is a total must-have, whether you’re wine tasting or sitting by the pool.
Oval White Sunnies
Layers are always a good idea when going wine tasting. Wool is a great way to make sure you’re not too hot and not too cold. Plus, this one is light enough, you might be able to roll it up and tuck it away if you don’t want to wear it! Moreover, it’s not a bad idea to pack a coat to wear in Napa Valley if you’re going after August. There can be some chilly days.
Napa Valley Packing List Tips
Bring comfortable walking shoes.
Even if you’ve booked the wine train, you can expect to do plenty of walking in Napa Valley. From touring wineries to exploring the beautiful landscape, you don’t want to be caught in uncomfortable shoes. Bring only your most comfortable sandals and wedges.
Pack plenty of layering options.
During your stay in Napa Valley, you can expect warm temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures during the night. So, be sure to bring along at least one or two layering options. A good cardigan or shacket should do the trick.
Don’t forget your sun protection.
Although I already mentioned sun protection earlier, it’s worth mentioning again. Be sure to bring along plenty of sunscreen, as well as other forms of sun protection. Think sunglasses, sun hats, protective clothing, and your umbrella. (Yes, umbrellas can be used for sun and rain.) It’s an essential for any Napa Valley packing list (or any destination really).
Leave the perfume at home.
If you’re in Napa Valley for anything other than wine tasting, you can forget about this tip. BUT, if you’re planning on hitting the wineries and experiencing the wine culture of this region, be sure to leave the perfume at home. (Or at least back at your hotel.) The aroma of perfume can negatively affect your wine tasting experience, and the experience of those around you as well.
Bring along a day bag.
If you plan to be out all day wine tasting or simply exploring, be sure to bring along a day bag. Something easy to carry that fits all your essentials – like your makeup, sun glasses, sunscreen, snacks, etc.
Napa Valley Packing List and Checklist
- High-Quality Luggage
- Tote Bag/Purse
- Clear Toiletry Bags
- Wide Leg Pants
- Moisturizing Cream
- Make-up Remover
- Lip Balm
- Other Essential Skin-care Products
- Hair-styling Tools (Straightener, Curling Iron, Dyson Airwrap, etc.)
Wine Tasting Essentials
- Water Bottle
- Travel Umbrella
For your next wine tasting trip to Napa Valley, use this packing guide to ensure you’re ready for anything fashionably and functionally!
If you’re planning a trip to Napa Valley, I hope you found this list comprehensive Napa Valley packing list helpful. (And, if you’re not planning a trip to Napa Valley, you should be!) I’ve been there and back again enough times to know what’s needed. So, follow this list and you’ll find yourself super prepared and oh-so ready to enjoy your vacation and wine tasting journey!
For all of you regular wine tasters, what would you add to my Napa Valley packing list? Let me know in the comments! And, make sure to join the Style Charade community on Instagram! Check back weekly for more blog posts about style, travel, and our amazing life!