Wine Tours California: Arrive in Style

The lovely state of California offers a variety of climates and landscapes. It has famous beaches on the eastern coast, hot deserts in the southwest, snow-capped mountains and snowy trails in the northern and southern regions (during the winter), and a Mediterranean climate and scenery in the north. It’s like a world away after another in just one state!

So it’s no question that California is a popular tourist destination. One of the things you wouldn’t want to miss is the wine tours in California, to experience its world-class homegrown wines and view the idyllic landscape.

And while you’re at it, you just don’t want to arrive in the Wine Country just by driving your own car or by taking a public transportation. If you have a budget to spare, you may want to arrive there in style, comfort, and luxury, even for just a day. And maybe take a hot air balloon ride for a more memorable journey.

Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) is always ready to give you the memorable “arrive” in your California holiday. Two of our tour packages, the “Balloon & Wine Tour Package” and the “San Francisco Balloon & Wine Tour Package,” will help you get to the Wine Country in style.

Your tour company, Napa Valley Wine Country Tours, has a fleet of limousines and limo buses which will take you to and around the wineries. Experienced and knowledgeable chauffeurs will chat about other interesting and delightful sites of interest as you go along. In the “San Francisco Balloon & Wine Tour Package,” we will pick you up from downtown San Francisco and take you all the way to the Wine Country. While on the course of the journey, you and the other guests will also enjoy an onboard breakfast inside the limousine. How cool is that?

It’s not just the fun and luxurious wine tours that you’re going to enjoy. Of course, the most-awaited part of the tour is the hot air balloon ride! BATV provides sunrise hot air balloon rides for its guests.

Although a hot air balloon ride can be taken early or late in the day, the morning is thought to be the most glorious time of the day to have a hot air balloon journey. Once the balloon is inflated, you are comfortably transferred into the wicker basket. The pilot is ready and the balloon rises above the ground and departs for the sky.

Since the hot air balloon is moved by the direction of the wind, the hot air balloon just “floats” in the air, and the passengers won’t feel any winds during the course of the flight. The result is absolute stillness and quietness.

Enjoy the uninterrupted views of the Napa Valley expanse: neat rows of vineyards, deep valleys, lush rolling hills, the occasional clouds and fog that envelop the peak of the hills. You will never want to forget to take beautiful photos and videos of the stunning scenery. Afterward, take these home as a wonderful souvenir and reminder of that wonderful flight above one of the most famous wine regions in the world.

When you’re up in the sky, the bird’s-eye views of the Napa Valley are absolutely spectacular and breathtaking. This is an experience like no other, and you only wish you would be able to enjoy wine tours in California in the same “stylish” way again very soon!

Finding Napa Valley Things to Do Is Easy

Finding lots of Napa Valley things to do is easy. But because of the wealth of sights, tastes and experiences that await every tourist, choosing which ones they should do first becomes a little bit difficult.

But one thing that shouldn’t be left out of your Napa Valley travel list is, of course, wine tours. There are hundreds of wineries in Napa, most of them family-owned, so each of them offers a different and unique experience to every guest. If you’re on a short getaway to Napa or having a week-long holiday there, it is best to visit a winery or two a day. To make the most out of your day trip, it is best to visit a winery which is the closest to where you are staying. Or if distance is not much of a factor, you may consider other things. Do you like to do wine cave tours? Or experience food and wine pairings? Or ride the Napa Valley Wine Train or enjoy a cable car ride at the Sterling Vineyards? Or are wineries with amazing art galleries and architecture more your thing? You may consider these factors before actually visiting these wineries.

Of course, no visit to Napa Valley is complete without food! Go for a classic fine-dining at the French Laundry or grab a lunch at the Oakville Grocery and go for a picnic at one of the wineries, in an idyllic setting, or sample artisanal treats at the Oxbow Public Market. The Napa Valley caters to every foodie.

Not surprisingly, there is a wealth of outdoor activities in Napa Valley on account of its breathtaking, scenic natural beauty. Going out all day and visiting the vineyards is a good past time, but there are also other things to do such as cycling, hiking, swimming (at the lake Berryessa and the Napa River), golfing, and riding a hot air balloon.

Yes, a hot air balloon! Not everyone can experience this unique activity as it is kind of pricey. But it is worth the cost, as you will be able to see Napa Valley in a way like nothing before. Enjoy 360-degree views of the expansive and neat rows of grapevines, deep valleys, verdant rolling hills, and estates that seem like toy houses when viewed from above. The beauty of Napa Valley from a different perspective is really something that you cannot forget. Of course, you won’t finish the journey without taking beautiful photos and videos of the Napa Valley from your smartphone, DSLR, or Go-Pro. Even just a point-and-shoot camera will suffice and you can still manage to take breathtaking photos!

Seeking a hot air balloon flight adventure (as well as a piece of tranquility) is pretty easy to find with Balloons Above the Valley (BATV). Our decades of experience, competent pilots, and customer staff and of course our flawless hot air balloon flights surely put us above the competition. Our pilots are highly experienced, FAA-licensed, and have demonstrated their love for flying and meeting different folks throughout their piloting experience. So you’ll know you’ll be in safe hands with our pilots and you will enjoy your light (and informative) with our masters of the skies as they skillfully maneuver the hot air balloons.

But first, a lovely breakfast greets you and gets you prepared for the flight. A post-flight champagne brunch is served for you and the other guests to celebrate the successful and wonderful flight.

With Napa’s bountiful offering of wonderful sights, sounds, tastes, and activities, finding Napa Valley things to do isn’t much difficult at all.

Choose BATV for Hot Air Balloon Rides Near San Francisco

San Francisco is a tourist destination, as well as a starting point for other interesting tourist spots such as the Wine Country. After all the sight-seeing and dining in the downtown, you’d sometimes crave for some adventure. So how about hot air balloon rides near San Francisco?

Fortunately, the Wine Country — where the Napa Valley is located — is a great place to enjoy hot air balloon rides due to it’s expansive and absolutely stunning landscape. This is really best viewed through flying a hot air balloon in either early in the morning or in the late afternoon.

Let Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) take care of your adventure cravings. We offer packages that will suit your taste, schedule, and budget.

If you’re specifically staying in the city, you may want to take BATV’s “San Francisco Balloon & Wine Tour Package.” This two-day package (for $836.50 for two persons) serves up impeccable wine tours and hot air balloon experience all the way from the downtown to the Wine Country. This package includes a seven-hour wine tour from San Francisco in a limo bus comfort, plus an onboard continental breakfast with a mimosa.

You and the other guests will be transported to two wineries in Napa and two in Sonoma, where they will learn the delectable differences between the wines coming from the two regions. To cap off the day, a delicious buffet-style picnic lunch is served at one of the wineries, in an utterly idyllic setting.

Day two is the one you’re waiting for – your hot air balloon ride adventure! Fill your tummies first with a warm breakfast that consists of Starbucks coffee and freshly baked pastries. After that, you will be transported to the launching site where the balloons are in the final phase of inflation. Once the balloon rises, you’ll be transferred to the wicker basket and you’re ready to go!

As the balloon leaves the ground, you feel as though you’re transported into another entirely different dimension, into an entirely different world. Since the hot air balloon just moves along with the air’s movement, it just floats in the air and you will feel absolutely no wind during the course of your flight. Everything feels quiet and tranquil too.

But in spite of the tranquility, you will be nevertheless excited by what you see: endless rows of vineyards arranged in a neat fashion, the rolling hills and the majestic mountains (which would sometimes be shrouded by clouds or fog) that surround the deep valleys. All of which makes Napa Valley one of the world’s most prestigious wine regions not only in America. It is one of the famous wine regions in the world too.

After the one-hour flight, you and the other guests will be treated to a feast: a buffet-style seasonal brunch with a sparkling wine. Celebrate the successful and wonderful flight with a toast of champagne, over the sumptuous brunch meals.

Following the post-flight brunch, you will have the option to do some sight-seeing or shopping at either the Oxbow Public Market or The Napa Premium outlets, before being sent to the Ferry Terminal in Vallejo where you will take the ferry back to San Francisco. Or you may want to be driven off to the Ferry Terminal right away after the post-flight brunch.

If you don’t wish to have the wine tours, or if you have done a wine tour of your own already and want only the hot air balloon ride, BATV also offers the base package “Sunrise Balloon Flight & Brunch” which includes the pre-flight breakfast.

Hot air balloon rides in San Francisco provide an excellent opportunity for those who are staying in the city but are otherwise craving for nature, thrill and adventure. If you choose us at Balloons Above the Valley, we will do our best to make sure that your cravings will be satisfied!

Wine Tour San Francisco: How Many Wineries Do We Visit a Day?

A wine tour in San Francisco makes for a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to the idyllic and romantic Wine Country. But what if you’re only on a getaway trip and only have a day to experience a wine tour?

Responses are varied from one visitor to another, but most of them agree that the reasonable number of winery visits should be limited to three to four. Many tourists have visited even up to six wineries in a single day and have felt that it was a bit too much. Even so, they have ended up not being able to do other things in between like sight-seeing, having lunch or shopping, and felt exhausted at the end of their trip.

If you plan to have a weekend getaway trip to Napa Valley and want to include a hot air balloon ride, Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) should provide the answer even to your brief travel needs.

If you’re staying in San Francisco, in particular, and want to escape to the wine country, then BATV’s “San Francisco Balloon & Wine Tour Package” is the ideal option. For two days you will be able to enjoy the best of Napa Valley, both on the ground and in the air, with wine tours and a hot air balloon ride.

Travel to the Wine Country from San Francisco while riding in the comfort and luxury of chauffeured limo buses, where you can enjoy an onboard breakfast with mimosa.

Your chauffeur will take you to a total of four wineries — two in Napa and another two in Sonoma. That’s a reasonable number of wineries which will allow you to study and savor the delectable differences between the wineries produced by the two counties. Plus, it will allow you time to do sight-seeing and enjoy the rides through the beautiful countryside (and it is highly unlikely you will end up getting drunk). There’s also a picnic lunch at one of the wineries, at an idyllic setting.

The next day is the hot air ballooning adventure! Enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon ride with us at BATV where our competent, experienced, and licensed pilots help to achieve your dreams of flying over the gorgeous Napa Valley landscape. See the neat rows of grapevines, the rolling green hills, the deep valleys … and enjoy the warm rays of sunshine in the midst of the cool morning.

A yummy, seasonal brunch with a sparkling wine follows the one-hour airborne journey. After the brunch, you may have the option to do some more shopping and sightseeing before sailing back to San Francisco via a ferry.

A wine tour in San Francisco is a perfect escape from the city to the countryside. Although visiting wineries are a must when visiting Napa, the number of wine tours you do in a day should be limited to three or four wineries so that you can enjoy other things that this world-class wine region has to offer.

Vacations in Napa Valley – Enjoying Art and Wines on Vacation

Wines and art may be two different things, but during vacations in Napa Valley you’ll discover that wine and art can make a harmonious pairing.

Don’t dismiss Napa Valley as another wine region, as it is also rich in history and culture. If wine and art are your two passions, you’ll find plenty of them here in Napa Valley!

A lot of wineries in Napa boast magnificent classic and modern architecture that can be called a work of art themselves, thanks to the skill and creativity of the locals as well as national artists behind them.

Artesa Winery has an artist in residence by the name of Gordon Heuther, who has been showcasing his works at the winery since the early 90s. Check out his mind-boggling glass works, sculptures, and art installations there.

The Hess Collection Winery is another winery favored by both wine and art lovers alike. Inside the premises is a private gallery which features extensive contemporary artworks which owner Donald Hess has been collecting since 1966.

Clos Pegase Winery is an award-winning winery whose art collection will definitely astound visitors. When you walk into the winery, it’s as if you’re stepping inside a real museum — there’s even a work by the late famous English sculptor Henry Moore. Even the gardens are also dotted with sculptures and other art. The winery’s building itself — designed by Michael Graves — also makes an artistic statement.

The Cliff Lede Vineyards in Yountville is one of the wineries under the wings of the Stag Leap name. It has a contemporary art gallery, a garden dotted with sculptures, and a terrace.

Mumm Napa doesn’t only boast in traditional French winemaking techniques and its famous sparkling wines. It also houses an amazing permanent exhibit which features a private collection of original photographs by none other than Ansel Adams himself. The photographs at the winery’s exhibit are on loan from the Adams family.

di Rosa may not be an artsy winery, but it is also a great place to explore art in Napa. Its 271-acre grounds are the home of the best Bay Area art showcased through a variety of mediums. It has three galleries (including the famous Gatehouse Gallery), a park filled with sculptures, a lake, and a wildlife preserve.

These are only several of the wineries which show their artistic side. You may still get your art fill even as you step outside those artistic wineries. You can see even more art at the Napa Art Walk in downtown Napa where you can see street sculptures and art installations by several artists coming from different states.

Another art walk is the Yountville Art walk which 29 different sculptures are spread throughout the town. Most of the pieces displayed there are on sale, and proceeds will go toward the local arts community. Both the Napa and the Yountville art walks are free.

After you’ve enjoyed the wine and the art, don’t forget to let your eyes view the beauty of the valley. Balloons Above the Valley will help you see the beauty of the Napa Valley landscape from the air and allow you to take artistic photos while the balloon floats gently on the morning breeze.

See, vacations in Napa Valley are not just idyllic scenery, vineyards, wineries, and word-class wines, but also world-class art and architecture. The best tip to discover wine and art in Napa? Don’t go there in a hurry, and visit the artful wineries, galleries and art walks t a leisurely pace to really absorb and enjoy the best of the local Napa art.

Staying Safe During a Honeymoon in Napa Valley

In order to have an enjoyable honeymoon in Napa Valley, as all the other purposes of traveling in the wonderful Wine Country, one has to stay safe.

Going around vineyards and to wineries are part of the must-do’s on your list of Napa activities. In order to remain safe during your wine tours, you have to avoid getting drunk, especially if you’re expected to taste a lot of wines. Spit the samplings of wine into a spitoon instead of gulping them.

So what happens when you’re feeling a bit tipsy after visiting wineries, especially when you yourself do the driving around the area? You know that driving under the influence of (DUI) of alcohol will likely cause vehicular and/or pedestrian accidents, even if you’re trying to drive carefully. You don’t want an unpleasant episode like this to become a part of your Napa memories for years to come.

Hire a driver instead. Not only is this necessary to your safety and to the safety of your loved ones (and also of those around you), a good driver also knows his way around the wine country. A great driver will most likely guide you about what are the best places to visit.

Going for an adventurous honeymoon? If you and your new husband or wife love the outdoors in particular, go hiking and exploring! Still, nothing beats the basic hiking tips to ensure your safety. Be sure to bring enough water when hiking; have at least two liters of water for each of you, or even more when the hike is going to be more arduous especially during the summer season. Observe the rules imposed by the management of hiking trail parks.

When hiking, it’s also good to wear long-sleeved clothing or arm sleeves to avoid plants such as those with thorns or poison ivy, which is known for causing irritation and painful rashes on the skin. In case you come in contact with such plants, wash the affected area with soap and water, and use a hydrocortisone cream to keep the rash from spreading.

It is also extremely important to watch over your belongings during your stay in Napa. Although it looks like a safe place, there have been few incidences of missing valuables and other personal effects at hotels, other lodgings, and vehicles.

This is not to say that all the hotel staff, especially the maids that tidy up your suite whenever you’re out, are not trustworthy. However, you might as well become vigilant over your personal belongings especially the most important ones. Bring your own phone, your credit card, your camera, and cherished items like your heirloom necklace with you whenever you leave your suite to go on a wine tour.

If you want to go on a hot air balloon adventure but are concerned about safety, you might as well choose an operator with an excellent safety record. Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) has been around for four decades and ever since guests have been feeling safe as well as satisfied. They have enjoyed their flights with us.

When you go to Balloons Above the Valley, you know you have made the right choice. Safety is our top concern and priority to ensure smooth, pleasurable flights for our guests.

After you are driven to the launch site, you will be given a safety talk by one of our pilots before having the ride of your life!

Our pilots are backed up by years of experience in hot air ballooning and are licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They are passionate about flying, the outdoors, and meeting new faces. They are considered the frontrunners of the art and industry of hot air ballooning. Our pilots work hard to make sure that you have the safest and the most enjoyable moments with BATV, from the takeoff to the touchdown.

Do you want to have a more intimate hot air ballooning experience? When you have chosen a “honeymoon flight” over the Napa Valley, pick BATV’s “Exclusive Flights” package where you can enjoy the entire basket to yourselves (except for the pilot, of course), and a private table at our after-flight champagne brunch.

Fun and romance should fill the air especially in a picturesque region like Napa. Be watchful over your personal belongings and be mindful about your safety so that you will create the most eventful and most memorable honeymoon in Napa Valley.

Napa Wine Tour Package: Is Lunch Included?

Napa wine tour packages may or may not include meals. But if you ask tourists, most of them want to have a taste of the local cuisine or at least have something to eat along the way to make the most of their stay. So they choose a package that will enable them to at least enjoy local cuisines.

Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) will give you the best experience you’ll ever have. Try our Balloon and Wine Tour Package, which has the combination of scenic views, thrill and adventure, as well as gustatory delights. In case you ask if there’s lunch included in this package, not only does it have lunch but it also has breakfast and brunch! How cool is that?

The total price of this package is $608 per two persons, and with this incredibly low rate you will be able to experience the luxury that you can afford!

This wonderful package starts with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Napa Valley. But of course, we don’t wish for you to become airsick due to an empty belly! Before you proceed on your hot air ballooning adventure, first enjoy a breakfast consisting of a freshly brewed Starbucks coffee and warm, freshly baked pastries.

As you arrive at the launch site, you will witness how the balloons are inflated. Once the balloons are ready for flight, you will be assisted comfortably in the wicker basket. And you’re good to go!

Enjoy the elevation and the scenic views of the Napa Valley — the immaculately trimmed rows of grapevines, the rolling hills, the deep valleys. When the whole scenery is bathed with the early morning sunrise glow, everything is breathtaking and seems magical!

Balloons Above the Valley assures you a few things when you’re on tour. One, our hot air balloon pilots are highly experienced, trained, and FAA-certified so you know you’ll be in safe hands. Another, we make sure that our hot air balloon baskets are roomy and carry fewer passengers so that you will be able to enjoy uninterrupted views of the Valley.

After the successful one-hour hot air balloon ride, you will be treated to a champagne brunch where you and your friends celebrate and reminisce about the flight. Enjoy the freshest seasonal menu and a sparkling wine that will have you coming back for more!

The great thing about this package is that you can choose to have your wine tours right after the brunch or on the following day. Of course, no tour in Napa will be complete without doing the essential activity: wine tours! But instead of the usual transportation, Napa Wine Country Tours will tour you around the wineries in a fleet of chauffeured limo buses.

During this activity not only will you have the chance to taste premium wines from smaller, boutique and family-owned wineries, you will also get to enjoy a buffet-style picnic lunch, at a lovely and idyllic setting at one of the wineries you have visited. Feast on its sample menu that consists of a turkey roll, pasta, basil-tomato-mozzarella skewers, dolmas, falafels, hummus, and fresh strawberries covered in rich and dark chocolate! Sounds mouthwatering!

Balloons Above the Valley’s Balloon and Wine Tour Package is ideal for those who crave adventure, breathtaking scenery, and sumptuous lunches. You’ll never have to look for another Napa wine tour package again!

Fun Things to Do in Napa Valley Come Rain or Shine

Any time can be a good time for fun things to do in Napa Valley, depending on how you look at it. Even during the gloomiest season of the year.

The winter season in Northern California may not be the typical snowy winter, but it occasionally experiences rains and showers. Rainy days in Napa may make you feel a little gloomy, but it doesn’t mean that the touring and fun days are over. Or if your scheduled trip to Napa meets an unexpected downpour, you don’t have to turn your car around and drive home — you’ll still find a wonderful time in Napa Valley even during a rainy day.

But of course, staying indoors should be the priority of your visit. Find a hotel or inn with a nice, warm bed, a private tub with a warm water to soak the rainy day blues away, and a private fireplace where you can sit beside to warm yourself up while sipping a Cabernet Sauvignon.

The great news is you’ll find plenty of discounted hotel rates in the winter as this season the cooler months are Napa’s lowest in tourism. A hotel you’re having trouble reserving for the summer suddenly becomes cheaper and more available.

The chilly, wet days are also great days for warm and hearty meals. And you’ll have no trouble finding delicious comfort foods in Napa as the region is brimming with restaurants that go from a Michelin-starred fine dining spot down to a trendy joint which serves up hefty organic burgers or a freshly brewed coffee.

This might surprise you, but you can even do some extreme sports in the middle of the showers. Take zip lining through the tall redwood trees — while this activity is usually done on a clear, sunny day, doing this as the rain pours down can also be an exhilarating experience!

What else does a lazy rainy day in Napa urge you to do? Relax and luxuriate yourself at a spa! Although there are a lot of cities in Napa with their own spa and massage establishments, Calistoga is the best place to go. This city is known for its natural hot springs, so you’ll find plenty of spas, massage and wellness places there to refresh, rejuvenate, indulge and get pampered.

To be honest, Napa Valley isn’t a place where you’ll find an ugly time or season of the year. But a lot of people agree that a sunny day in Napa is the best time to do lots of fun activities.

Summer in Napa means flocking by the Lake Berryessa or the Napa River. Choose from activities like swimming, kayaking, fishing, volleyball, boating, or just having a picnic or relaxing on the beach. There are several marinas at the shoreline that provide boating rentals and other accommodations.

Summertime is a also a peak time for outdoor entertainment, such as series of late afternoon to evening concerts in Calistoga during this very season. Bring your blankets, picnic munchies, portable chairs and tables, and celebrate the summer with music and camaraderie. Great for families and friends!

Sunny days are also great for biking, hiking, golfing, or simply exploring in Napa. Not a few people say that autumn is the best time for Napa Valley as the weather is cool but still sunshiny. Surround yourself with the beautiful changing colors of the season and discover the full, ripened grapes ready for harvesting, as well as the act of the harvesting itself.

A clear, sunshiny day is also a great day for a hot air ballooning. This is best done where the sun has just started to shine and the Napa fields are going to see the light! Get settled into the basket, lift off, and effortlessly drift over the picturesque or “Instagram-worthy” Napa fields — the trim, clean rows of vineyards, green and rolling hills, deep valleys, and the wonderful natural colors no matter the season especially when basked under the rising sun.

Waking up to such an adventure couldn’t be any more fun, special or memorable! This is especially true when you opt for a dependable hot air balloon operator like Balloons Above the Valley (BATV). We have over 40 years of experience of giving our guests the most memorable time of their Napa visit. We are veterans in entertaining our guests not only by amazing sunrise hot air balloon flights, but also by other activities like post-flight champagne brunch celebrations, pre-flight breakfasts, and wine tours in Napa as well as Sonoma. You can even enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the wineries, shopping, and more sightseeing.

And of course, a Napa sojourn is not complete without visiting the vineyards and the wineries — rain or shine. Whether you visit the more established wineries or the smaller, boutique counterparts, most of the wineries in the region are family-owned and are ready to showcase their own varietals with pride. If you want a more intimate tasting session, it is wise to book for a place in the tasting rooms in advance. Or pick BATV’s tour packages like the “Sunrise Balloon Flight – Champagne Brunch – Wine Tour” for the complete Napa touring experience (of course, you can do this only a sunny day).

As long as you are capable (and a little inventive) of finding great things to do in Napa along the way, you will still be able to enjoy your holiday there to the hilt, whether the day rains or shines.

What to Do in Napa When You’re Here for One Day

You are wondering what to do in Napa Valley in case you’re here only for a day as a part of your weekend getaway. It is still possible to enjoy the sights and tastes that the Napa Valley offers even in a day, although you may want to pick and choose the sights and tastes you enjoy.

You may want to start the day with a bang. How about sunrise hot air balloon flight? If you choose Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) to take care of that, you’ve made the right choice! We offer a variety of sunrise hot air balloon and wine tours, but since you’re spending a day in the Wine Country, we suggest you book our base package, the Sunrise Balloon Flight & Champagne Brunch.

For only $209 a person, package includes a pre-flight breakfast, a one-hour hot air balloon flight, and a post-flight brunch with champagne or sparkling wine.

Wake up to the delicious breakfast of freshly baked pastries and Starbucks coffee before being led to the launch site. At the launch site, you will get to witness the last steps of inflating the giant balloons before you settle into the spacious wicker baskets.

Once the balloon leaves the ground, you’ll be in for the ride of your life! You’ll rise above the trees and drift away in the crisp morning air. You’ll find yourself floating above the gently rolling hills, the neat rows of lush vineyards, the occasional morning fog — all this for your unobstructed viewing pleasure! Our experienced, licensed pilots will amiably chat about and point out other interesting sights as you gently float along.

After the hot air balloon lands, you and the other guests will be led to a champagne brunch. Raise a toast and celebrate the successful and wonderful flight over a hearty and delicious seasonal brunch. The experience will tantalize your eyes as well as your stomach!

No day is complete in Napa without visiting the wineries. You probably want to make the most of your self-initiated wine tours, so you might as well visit wineries that offer more than just wine.

Castello di Amorosa is one of the popular wineries in Napa. The 170-acre property is like no other because it is a real castle styled in 13th century Tuscan architecture (although it was built in the 20th century). It has a drawbridge, moat, defensive towers, a great hall, knight’s chamber, and even a torture chamber. Castello di Amorosa will truly help you step back into the medieval period.

You likely do not want to miss going to Beringer, one of the oldest existing wineries in the valley. Founded in 1875, it is located in the Napa city of St. Helena; not surprisingly, it is listed in the National Register of Historical Places, making it truly a California historical landmark.

If you love art and wine we have good news for you. There are several wineries that also double as an art haven. Check out Artesia, The Hess Collection, Mumm, Cliff Lede Vineyards, and Peju Province which are some of the wineries that are also geared for art lovers. Some of these wineries, like The Hess Collection, also function as a full art gallery, while the others are dotted with artworks spread throughout the premises.

It doesn’t mean that, with all the wineries mentioned, you will want to pack the rest of the day with visiting wineries. We are offering suggestions on which wineries you may want to visit for your day in the area. Speeding up the visits at too many wineries will make you lose your appreciation on what wine tours are really about, and the scenic drives between them. It’s recommended that you should pick one winery tour and one wine tasting session for a Napa day tour. You can have a picnic lunch or snack at one of the wineries that you plan to visit. The best place to find delicious lunches and other things you need for a picnic is the Oakville Grocery or the Sunshine Foods Market in St. Helena. They offer delicious artisanal treats, delis, salads, sandwiches, and boxed lunches.

So if you’re ever wondering what to do in Napa when you’re here for just a day, you’ll be surprised that there are lots of fun activities in store for you, from wine tours to hot air ballooning.

Napa Valley Tours to Take from Morning to Evening

When you are planning Napa Valley tours, you will want to make the most out of from morning to evening. With its abundance of scenic countryside, wines, food, shopping and other activities, you should put Napa on your list of places to visit when you plan to travel to the Bay Area.

Start the morning on a fine note. A hot air balloon adventure with Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) should jumpstart your day. Of course, you won’t leave for the adventure on an empty stomach. We serve you breakfast of freshly brewed coffee and freshly baked pastries before we take you to the launch site.

At the launch site, you will witness the balloons being inflated into air-filled giants! After you are comfortably in the wicker basket, and you are slowly lifting off the ground, the adventure officially starts! Float gently over the tidy, well-arranged rows of the lush vineyards, verdant rolling hills, deep valleys, and the occasional fog enveloping the fields. But as the sunrise greets the sleeping fields, the day becomes brighter and clearer… and cameras begin taking lots of pictures and videos of the scenic countryside. Whether you take pictures from a smartphone, a point-and-shoot camera, a DSLR, or a GoPro, Napa Valley is gorgeous from every angle.

Unlike flying in a glider, bi-plane, or helicopter, flying in a hot air balloon gives you uninterrupted, unobstructed views of the Napa Valley. You will be in awe of the landscape below you and the sheer beauty of it.

Afterwards, celebrate the successful airborne journey with a delicious buffet-style brunch with sparkling wine. You and the other guests will excitedly tell stories about the details as well as the exhilarating experience of flying a hot air balloon over the gorgeous Napa landscape.

As brunch winds down, you may want to check out some of the wineries. Of course, a visit to Napa will not be complete without it! Since you’re only in Napa for a day, it’s recommended that you should visit one or two wineries and one tasting room to deepen your appreciation toward wine and wine making (as well as enjoy the scenic rides in-between).

Don’t leave Napa without taking something home with you… what we mean is shopping! Napa Valley seems to have it all for the shoppers! Shop for wines, spirits, artisanal goodies, produce, artworks/art supplies/handcrafted artisanal items and souvenirs, clothing, jewelry and lots more! Even the Napa Valley Welcome Center in downtown Napa — the starting point for visitors who look for information about the Wine Country — has its own Mercantile Shop.

If you choose BATV’s “San Francisco Balloon & Wine Tour Package,” you will have the option to do shopping and/or sightseeing. Following the champagne brunch, our chauffeur will drop you off at the Oxbow Public Market or Napa Premium Outlets to shop to your heart’s content.

As the dusk looms and you still have the energy, you may want to do some other fun things in the evening. Hitting the nightclubs and bars in Calistoga or watching plays in downtown Napa are enjoyable, but you may want to do something different. Perhaps you want a dinner with your special someone inside a train! Reserve a private table and enjoy a special dining journey in one of the vintage railcars of the Napa Valley Wine Train. Enjoy a haute cuisine dinner as the train runs through the beautiful Napa fields.

Or if you want to hit a couple more wineries, check out the ones that operate after the sun goes down. While most wineries and tasting rooms close at 5 PM, there are a handful of others that stay open until 7 PM to 10 PM. Among them include John Anthony Vineyards, St. Clair Brown Winery, Romeo Vineyards and Cellars, Girard Winery, Alpha Omega Winery, and Long Meadow Ranch Winery.

Whether you’re enjoying a sunrise hot air balloon flight or a special dinner inside a vintage train, you will never run out of fun and exciting things to do on your Napa Valley tours, from sunup to sundown.