Ease your journey: The best airports to access Napa Valley.


Apr 24, 2024

15 min read

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    When you land in wine country, you don’t have just one Napa Valley airport option. With five nearby airports serving every type of traveler—private, chartered, or even commercial — experiencing the wine, food, and terroir of Napa is more convenient than you may think.

    Whether you are dashing off in a private jet into Napa Valley’s closest airport (Napa Valley County) or globetrotting into a larger international hub like San Francisco, here is a breakdown of all your options for the next time you fly in for a weekend of tastings.

    Flying to Napa Valley: What you need to know.

    Napa Valley is California’s world-famous wine-infused motherland. It’s just north of San Francisco and West of Sacramento, tucked between the Vaca and Mayacamas mountain ranges. The breathtaking valley stretches across 35 miles of pristine agricultural landscape dotted with 400 wineries and vineyards.

    Five small towns along the scenic Highway 29 travel the valley from end to end: Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville, Napa, and American Canyon. For those flying here, Napa County Airport (APC) is the most convenient airport, sitting at the southern tip of the valley between Napa (city) and American Canyon.

    This airport is only open for charter flights and private aircraft, so you’ll have no travel-related crowds or chaos to wade through when you land. If you select this option, you’ll be on your way to your first tasting or Friday night reservations within 10 minutes of hitting the tarmac.

    The Buchman Field Airport (CCR) is a second private charter airport option slightly farther away, about an hour outside Napa Valley. Or you might fly to Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport (STS), just 30 minutes away from Calistoga, with commercial service.

    Or you may be coming up to Napa after business in the city. There are several larger airports in the area, including:

    • San Francisco International Airport (1.5 to 3 hours away)
    • Oakland International Airport (1 to 2 hours away)
    • Sacramento International Airport (1.5 hours away)
    • San Jose International Airport (2 to 3 hours away)

    The 5 closest airports to Napa Valley.

    Below are the five closest airports to Napa Valley wine country, from the most conveniently located (in the valley itself) to the farthest away in San Francisco.

    Below are the five closest airports to Napa Valley wine country, from the most conveniently located (in the valley itself) to the farthest away in San Francisco.

    Napa County Airport (APC)

    Location: 2000 Airport Road, Napa, CA
    Distance to Downtown Napa: 18 minutes
    Services: Black Car and Limos, tours, Skyservice FBO

    Napa County Airport is the fastest way to get to wine country. Located only five miles outside downtown Napa, this public airport exclusively serves private and charter flights. “The Skyport to Wine Country” was first established for the United States Army Air Force in 1942 but has evolved to become the most convenient airport for wine connoisseurs with their own pilot’s license or those flying in on a private chartered flight.

    Because of its location and exclusive clientele, APC ensures your vacation starts as soon as you land with no delays for long lines, crowded transportation queues, or slow luggage pick-up. This is the fastest way to kick-start your trip and is the preferred way to get to Napa Valley.

    Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport

    Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS)

    Location: 2200 Airport Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA
    Distance to Downtown Napa: 47 miles or 1 hour, traffic depending.
    Services: On-site restaurant, Sky Lounge, rental, and private car service, several FBOs

    Named after Charles M. Schultz, the creator of the beloved Peanuts cartoon, Sonoma County Airport is less than 50 miles west of Napa Valley. If you land here, be sure to schedule a few extra moments to explore along Porter Creek Road as you enter the Valley. Not only are there several vineyards en route, but also the incredible Petrified Forest.

    If you’re looking for commercial airline service, Sonoma County Airport is the closest airport to Napa Valley wine country, with regular flights from American, Avelo, and Alaska Airlines. If you are flying privately, you’ll also be pleased to know there are several FBOs here, including Sonoma Jet Center, Kaiser Air, and Santa Rosa Jet Center.

    napa valley

    Oakland International Airport (OAK)

    Location: 1 Airport Dr, Oakland, CA
    Distance to Downtown Napa: 61 miles or 1 to 2 hours, traffic depending.
    Services: 17 restaurants and cafes, rental and private car service, terminal retail shopping, several FBOs

    Just west of San Francisco and about an hour and a half south of Napa Valley, you’ll find Oakland International Airport. Although still a major commercial hub, it’s slightly smaller than its San Francisco counterpart, which means less time spent in lines and fewer people in the terminal.

    From a private or charter perspective, Oakland has two on-site FBOs: Signature Flight Support and Kaiser Air. If you must fly into one of the larger regional airports, Oakland is an excellent alternative for getting ahead of traffic on the weekends and avoiding congestion on the bridges.

    Oakland International Airport

    San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

    Location: Highway 101, San Francisco, CA
    Distance to Downtown Napa: 66 miles or 1.5 to 3 hours, traffic depending.
    Services: 80+ restaurants, rentals and private car services, access to San Francisco Vallejo Bay Ferry.

    San Francisco International Airport is one of the largest transportation hubs in Northern California. Although it’s close enough to Napa Valley to serve as a major regional airport, it primarily caters to commercial carriers.

    SFO serves almost 50 commercial airlines that fly to 40 international and more than 70 domestic destinations. If you’re flying into Napa from overseas, this will be your first port of call.

    As such a crucial flight hub, San Francisco International is a massive facility to navigate, encompassing four terminals and seven concourses. In 2022, more than 42,000,000 passengers came through its gates.

    Driving from San Francisco Airport to Napa Valley can take anywhere from one hour to over three, depending on the traffic out of the city. If you land at rush hour, give yourself extra time before your first scheduled wine tasting in the valley.

    napa valley airport

    Stick the landing: The right airport for your Napa Valley trip.

    If you’re flying via a commercial carrier, like Delta or Alaska, you won’t really have a choice of where you land. But what if you are flying privately? Private jet charters to Napa Valley allow you the flexibility and freedom to fly to a regional airport.

    This means you can land in Oakland first to pick up your party before heading to Napa. Or you can land in the Valley to save several hours of driving and traffic-related headaches.

    For those flying their own plane or chartering one for a trip up to the country’s most prestigious weekend destination, here are a few considerations for choosing the right airport.

    Convenience: Napa County Airport

    Hands down, the most convenient and closest airport to Napa is Napa County Airport. It sits between the towns of Napa and American Canyon, and from the moment you walk off your aircraft, you’ll be mere moments away from the first stop on your itinerary.

    While small, this airport only serves private and charter jets, which means you can expect the usual black car and limo services, private tours, and the Skyservice FBO. Beyond its location, there are rarely any lines or crowded terminals here.

    Fixed-base operators: Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport

    If you prefer a few more options for landing, you could pivot to Charles M. Schulz, the nearby Sonoma County Airport with several FBOs and a few more on-site services than what you’ll find in Napa County.

    As an airport serving private and commercial flights, Charles M. Schulz is busier but still far quieter than the major hubs in Oakland or San Francisco. Sonoma is only an hour or so away from the Valley, but you’ll be happy to know there are several fantastic vineyards along the drive in.

    International terminal: San Francisco International Airport

    Are you jet-setting in from an international destination? San Francisco may be one of the busiest airports in Northern California, but it’s also a major port of entry.

    Inside the Signature Flight FBO, you’ll find a host of exclusive services for private jet travelers, including a VIP waiting lounge, refreshments, concierge, and an on-site sauna that take the headache out of crowds and congestion. Plus, you can always jump on a Volato charter from San Francisco to Napa after you clear customs to skip the long drive out of the city.

    It pays to charter a private jet to Napa Valley.

    Most people visit Napa Valley over a weekend, spending three days wining and dining their way through the terroir of Northern California’s culinary epicenter. So, why would you waste hours of your valuable time navigating long lineups, luggage carousels, and crowded public shuttles?

    Charter a private jet directly to Napa Valley for convenience and the elevated level of service and discretion you can expect from the moment you book. Flying private into Napa Valley means your weekend of relaxation, wine tastings, and Michelin-starred excess starts as soon as you step onto the tarmac.

    Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only. Volato is not responsible for omissions or inaccuracies in such information, or for data that is no longer accurate due to delay, change in law, rules, or regulations.