Airports Near Napa Valley: A Traveler’s Guide

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  • on FEBRUARY 18, 2020
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If you don’t live in California, or even if you do, air travel is a great way to start your vacation or weekend trip to Napa Valley. With five airports nearby, each offering different values and benefits to travelers, visiting Wine Country has never been easier or more convenient. From rental cars to restaurants, here’s our guide to what you need to know about each airport before booking your trip to Napa Valley.

Sonoma County Airport – Charles M. Schulz (STS)

Courtesy of Brianfies

About: Fly directly to Wine Country! The Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS) may be small, but it wins for convenience: it’s the closest airport to Napa Valley and is serviced by top carriers as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines. As an added bonus, passengers flying on Alaska Airlines from STS are permitted to check up to a case of wine for no additional charge through the Alaska Airlines Wine Flies Free program!

Distance to downtown Napa: 47.3 miles

Drive time to downtown Napa: Approximately 1 hour (without traffic)

Airlines: Alaska Airlines: Non-stop flights to/from Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. American Airlines: Non-stop flights to/from Phoenix, Dallas, and Los Angeles. United Airlines: Non-stop flights to/from San Francisco, and Denver. Sun Country: Seasonal non-stop flights to Minneapolis and Las Vegas.

Wi-Fi: Free

Busiest times: With only one flight leaving at a time, busiest times are immediately preceding any daily departure.

Food: Sky Lounge Steakhouse & Sushi Bar is the airport’s only onsite restaurant. In addition to steaks and sushi, Sky Lounge offers breakfast in the morning and a full bar for afternoon or evening cocktails. Hours: 8:00 am – 9:00 am. STS also has a food kiosk next to the terminal with grab-and-go items like coffee, sandwiches, and baked goods.

Car rental agencies: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Ace Rent-a-car.

Other transportation to Napa: There are a variety of taxis and shuttles that service Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS), as well as bus and transit services such as Airport Express and Sonoma County Transit. Also available are the ride share companies Lyft, Uber, and Ziro. All ground transportation options can be found on the airport’s website.

Insider Tip: Check out the larger-than-life full color Peanuts character statues located around the airport, an homage to Charles Schulz, the famous cartoonist who spent thirty years of his life in the area. Kids will love sitting outside at the restaurant watching the planes land.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Courtesy of Passenger Terminal Today
About: San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is the bustling nerve center of domestic and international travel for Northern California. The airport is open 24 hours a day, with direct flights to and from many corners of the world.

Distance to downtown Napa: 58.6 miles

Drive time to downtown Napa: Approximately 1 hour, 10 minutes (without traffic)

Wi-Fi: Free

Airlines: SFO services close to 50 airlines, including many international. SFO is a hub for United Airlines and United Express, with daily direct flights from places like Newark, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Chicago (O’Hare), and Seattle.

Food: The airport houses over 70 restaurants and eateries, many open as late as 11:00 pm or midnight. If you just can’t wait until Napa to taste wine, you can get an early start at the wine bar Vino Volo, located at Terminal 2 Boarding Area D, post-security.

Busiest times: Weekdays 6:00 am – 9:00 am (domestic terminals), daily 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm (international terminal).

Car rental agencies Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, National, and Thrifty are located on the fourth floor of the SFO Rental Car Center. Hertz and Fox are located on the first floor of the Rental Car Center. Additional car rental agencies are available off-site.

Other transportation to Napa: If you choose not to rent a car, take one of the nine daily Airporter shuttles to/from SFO offered by Evans Transportation. No reservations are required for the two-hour ride to Napa Valley. Cost: $40 one-way, $30 for children 12 and under. Airporter fares must be paid via cash only.

Insider tip: Forgot your souvenir from Napa? Swing by Napa Farms Market in Terminal 2, D Gates before your flight and pick up your favorite Napa wine or olive oil.

Oakland International Airport (OAK)

Courtesy of Oakland Airport
About: Although a busy international travel hub, Oakland International Airport (OAK) is slightly smaller (and therefore less crowded) than its cousin across the bay, SFO.

Distance to downtown Napa: 49.5 miles

Drive time to downtown Napa: Approximately 55 minutes (without traffic)

Wi-Fi: Free

Airlines: Most major airlines, including direct flights on Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Norwegian, Southwest, Spirit, US Airways, and Volaris.

Food: Enjoy a meal or a snack at one of the 17 Oakland Airport restaurants, coffee shops, or fast food counters, which are getting a refreshed look throughout 2020. Both terminals feature a Peet’s Coffee (so you’ll always be able to fuel up on caffeine) as well as taprooms for a pre-flight libation or two.

Busiest times: Monday – Friday 6:00 am – 8:00 am, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saturday 7:00 am – 9:00 am, and 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, and Sunday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Car rental agencies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National, Payless, and Thrifty.

Other transportation to Napa: Evans Transportation also offers daily Airporter shuttles from Oakland International Airport to/from Napa. One-way fare is $40 for adults (cash only) and no reservations are required. Check the list of airport pick-up times before you travel.

Insider tip: Check out the rotating art exhibits and the view of San Francisco Bay in the walkway between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

Courtesy of Arup
About: Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is significantly smaller than Oakland or SFO, making it much easier to navigate. This airport’s redesigned terminal includes an elevated people mover and concourse.

Distance to Napa: 63.2 miles

Drive time to Napa: Approximately 1 hour (without traffic)

Airlines: American, Delta, JetBlue, United, USAirways, Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Horizon, Seaport Airlines, Southwest, Volaris. Non-stop flights from 30 cities include Atlanta, Denver, Portland, Seattle, and San Diego.

Wi-Fi: Free

Busiest times: Weekdays 4:30 am – 7:00 am and 8:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Food: Sacramento Airport has nearly two dozen restaurants and coffee shops that offer food, with most restaurants open until 9:00 pm.

Rental cars: Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, E-Z Rent-a-car, Hertz, National, Payless, Thrifty, and Zipcar. The car rental shuttle offers pick-up approximately every ten minutes to transport visitors to the on-airport rental car terminal. Additional car rental companies are available off-site.

Other transportation to Napa: Napa Airporter offers door-to-door shared airport shuttle service every day with prices ranging between $75 and $130 for the first passenger, depending on your Napa Valley destination. A $10 additional fee applies to each extra person in your party. For an added $20 flat rate, the shuttle offers non-stop exclusive (non-shared) service for your party only. Same-day or late night (8 pm – 4 am) reservations require an additional charge.

Insider tip: Wander through the exhibits in the extensive public art collection that fill many of the airport’s open spaces.

Napa County Airport (APC)

Courtesy of Simple Charters
About: Napa County Airport, “The Skyport to Wine Country,” is a very small local landing strip that services charter flights and private aircraft only. Originally built by the United States Army Air Forces in 1942, the airport recently completed a runway rehabilitation project. You can now fly directly to this airport on your own chartered plane or, if you’re a licensed pilot, by flying yourself. Of course, flying private comes at a cost; prices range from $9k – $25k+. To charter your own plane to or from Napa, contact Napa Jet Center.

Distance to downtown Napa: 8.7 miles

Drive time to downtown Napa: 18 minutes (without traffic)

Wi-Fi: Free

Food: The Runway by Patrick is the airport’s only restaurant. Enjoy modern yet classic American comfort food while surveying the activity of an active airport runway. Hours: Monday through Friday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, with happy hour offered 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Busiest time: Since this airport is for private aircraft, there is virtually no waiting time before flights. The flight control tower is open daily and airport operations staff are available from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Car rental agencies: None

Other transportation to Napa: Pure Luxury transportation offers private chauffeured service in a sedan, SUV, limo, passenger van, or luxury shuttle bus. For rates and reservations, visit the website or call (800) 626- LIMO.

Insider tip: Napa County Airport is conveniently located only a few minutes from wineries, hotels, and golf, so flying in here means you can get your Wine Country vacation started much faster than flying commercially.

 WineCountry Inspo: No matter which of the airports near Napa Valley you fly into, be sure to book your hotel before your arrival in Napa. When you book using one of our WineCountry Perks promo codes, you’ll get to enjoy exclusive hotel perks like complimentary bottles of wine at check-in, $50 resort credits, late check-out, and plenty more. Want to keep the perks coming? Check out Covet Pass, a unique wine tasting pass that makes it easier than ever to enjoy the best that Wine Country has to offer, including complimentary tastings at 40+ wineries, 365 days a year. Happy travels!


WineCountry Staff


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