NAPA — Napa Valley beat out nine other locations to earn the top spot in the world as the best food and wine destination, according to the recently announced TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards.
Based on what it said were millions of “real reviews,” the awards, now in their eighth year, determine the top destinations by a combination of TripAdvisor user’s rankings and overall popularity from the travel site.
In describing why Napa Valley won the distinction, the site says, “It’s no wonder Napa made three of our lists this year … it might just be the world’s most perfect spot for a weekend getaway.” The other lists that Napa Valley was selected to are the best relaxation and spas, most romantic and top 25 in the U.S.
Clay Gregory, Napa Valley Destination Council CEO, which is tasked with promoting the valley and is in the process of forming a tourism business improvement district that will funnel an estimated $4 million toward regional marketing efforts, said the Tripadvisor award winners “are truly places that travelers love – and we are honored to be selected as the world’s number one food and wine destination.”
Among the locations that Napa Valley topped for best food and wine are: Western Cape, South Africa; Charleston, South Carolina, New Orleans; Chicago; San Francisco; Beunos Aires, Argentina; Florence, Italy; Siena, Italy; and Melbourne, Australia.
TripAdvisor Media Network, which operates numerous brands under the umbrella name TripAdvisor, LLC, said it attracts 46 million monthly visitors and has 15 million registered members. It is an operating company of Expedia Inc.
While Napa took top honors in the food and wine category, neighboring Sonoma County recently earned itself a unique distinction – it has the second “coolest” small town in the U.S. in Cloverdale, according to a reader’s poll in Budget Travel magazine.
Cloverdale garnered nearly 75,000 votes in the poll, second only to Ely, Minn., among 21 nominated towns that included Cooperstown, N.Y., Sitka, Alaska, and Red Lodge, Mont., among others.
According to the magazine, Cloverdale is a “quiet wine town along the Russian River flanked to the north by an unspoiled wilderness of redwood forests and to the south by orderly rows of vineyards.”