Your Napa Valley vacation will not be just another vacation at a wine region. You will get to experience a lot more in your Napa holiday than just the wines, the vineyards, and the wineries. Of course, these are the things that brought the region to people’s attention in the first place, but here is so much more to the area than you may expect.
Like many other areas known for wine in the world, the Californian Wine Country has unique things to offer to tourists, especially those who both love wines and adventure. You may choose to go and explore the region on your own terms, or have a personally-guided tour. You may also decide to have a small intimate experience or go along with a large group of other tourists. Either way, you will get to see the best of what Napa Valley has to offer!
Wine tours are an adventure on their own. For instance, try going to Castello di Amorosa and step back in time. Although the winery was built pretty recently, it evokes the feel of a medieval castle, sans of course the costumes. The massive castle is faithfully constructed in the 13th-century Tuscan architecture, and everything you see is authentic — defensive towers, moats, even a torture chamber!
Want to have a luxurious, exclusive feel during your wine tours? In Francis Ford Coppola’s Inglenook Winery experience the “Salon Tasting” where you and your friends enjoy a lush and private dining and wining experience without the stiffness of a seated tasting. It will be an experience you won’t soon forget.
Besides drinking wine and dining in the finest restaurants, celebrate life by also celebrating nature in Napa Valley. The most recommended spot for nature tripping is the Land Trust of Napa, a 55,000-acre protected area perfect for hiking, biking, and kayaking. It also offers magnificent views of the Calistoga and St. Helena areas.
Immerse yourself in Napa Valley art! The region is not only known for wines and vineyards, but it is also home to art, film, music, and architecture. You can find astounding galleries that feature equally astounding pieces of art. Some of the wineries, like the Hess Collection, also serve as an art gallery. Visit special annual art exhibitions, local arts attractions, film festivals, and cultural festivals in and around Napa.
For a more interesting experience in Napa, visit during the autumn and the winter, particularly if you’re somewhat allergic to the crowds and overbooked hotels during the summer. Fall exposes Napa Valley in its most striking colors everywhere you look; plus, you may be able to participate in the grape-stomping festival which brings loads of fun. These things alone make it worth a visit especially in November. Winter is another season that brings Napa into its most quiet, most serene, and why not — most beautiful. While the vineyards are barren, they are being upstaged by the sea of brilliant yellow wild mustard blooms and the emerald green hills. Enjoy hassle-free traveling and even discounted hotel rates, an opportunity to snuggle up with your loved one near the fireplace with a warm glass of Cabernet.
Autumn and spring in particular are also perfect for hot air ballooning, although it can be done in any other season. Hot air balloons favor cool and stable winds, that’s why hot air ballooning is usually done during sunrise or sunset.
Riding a hot air balloon will take you to views of Napa Valley that you won’t be able to see even when you’re sitting on top of a hilltop winery. Vineyards make for neat and lovely natural patches (the colors depend on the season), lush rolling hills and valleys. You may encounter an occasional fog but you will see the sun rise as you glide along in the hot air balloon.
The experience is exhilarating already! What’s more, you will be feted with a traditional after-flight sparkling wine to celebrate a successful airborne journey. Here in Napa Valley though, a sparkling wine is not enough — often, a fresh and delicious seasonal buffet lunch is also served to you and the other guests who deserve nothing but the best as they enjoy their holiday.
There’s something more than just wines, vineyards, and wineries in your Napa Valley vacation, for the Wine Country is also a place for exploration as well as new and unforgettable experience.