For sure, you’ll have your hands full when it comes to finding fun things to do in San Francisco. There are many sights and famous landmarks to see and appreciate their history — the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Alcatraz prison, Golden Gate Park, Palace of Fine Arts, Chinatown, and lots more.
Of course, you cannot have the quintessential San Francisco touring experience if you don’t pose a picture or selfie with the Golden Gate Bridge behind your back, hitch a ride in the cable car, visit the Painted Ladies (the famous line of Victorian-era houses), have a fun and vibrant nightlife, or experience its diverse culture and cuisine.
When you do have time left (as well as funds), you may want to look around and beyond the hustle and bustle of the city. Perhaps look for something rural, and comparatively relaxing and peaceful. Fortunately, the Wine Country is just in the outskirts of San Francisco.
Napa and Sonoma counties are both wine-growing regions near San Francisco. Napa Valley, which is the more notable of the two, became internationally famous in the 1970s after the Judgment of Paris elevated Napa wines after a series of blind tastings. This outcome caused a bit of surprise (and upset) as French wines were usually expected to win. And the rest, as we say, is history.
Since that event, Napa Valley has transformed itself from a backdoor wine region into one of the world-class wine destinations that it is today.
Napa Valley boasts picturesque rural scenery, the kind you see in the movies and in artworks. Even though this wine region is about a 90-minute drive away from San Francisco, it seems it’s like a world away from the city! And that’s a good thing when you need a drastic change of environment. Once you’re in Napa, step outside your car and appreciate the gorgeous scenery of endless rows of grapevines that dot the valley. Breathe in some fresh air. Get to know its friendly, accommodating locals. Check out the possible places to stay if you plan to have a short vacation for a day or two. Drive to downtown Napa and discover places to eat, have fun, and relax.
Of course, your visit to Napa would not be complete without going to the wineries and sampling their varietals. Or even if you don’t drink wine, you will still be able to enjoy your holiday there, as Napa is more than just wines.
You may choose the more established wineries, or the off-the-beaten-track smaller ones for a more intimate wine tour experience. If you love art, you can’t miss finding it in Napa, as the region seems to combine wine and art so seamlessly. Some wineries in Napa Valley (such as the Hess Collection and Mumm Napa) feature either art or photography galleries — even the wineries themselves are purposefully built to look like a work of art!
If seeing spectacular views is of particular concern, select wineries and restaurants that offer the best vistas of the Napa landscape. These include the Domaine Carneros, Sterling Vineyards (you have to ride its cable car before entering the premises), Silverado Vineyards, Ovid, and a lot more.
But you’ll get more than just an eyeful of those scenic Napa vistas when you ride a hot air balloon! And what better way to make your dreams come true than to choose Balloons Above the Valley (BATV), the leading hot air balloon touring company that’s existed for over 40 years?
With our experienced and licensed crew, spacious baskets, and also our on-ground accommodations and perks as well, you don’t have to worry about safety or anything else. What you should think about is having fun and enjoying spectacular views of Napa’s neat row of grapevines, and the rolling hills and mountains that flank Napa’s famed valleys. The experience of flying alone makes for an unforgettable moment! There is a heady combination of thrill and peacefulness, as you are flying away from the hubbub on the ground and experience a piece of otherworldly serenity.
Celebrate your just-concluded flight with sparkling wine and a buffet-style brunch that can only be likened to a feast of the gods! Raise a toast, eat, and entertain yourselves with chats about how wonderful the flight was!
Looking for fun things to do in San Francisco and around the city is not so hard to do. Beyond the hustle and bustle of the city lies a bucolic gem in the form of the Wine Country. It only awaits you to discover its natural beauty and the fun activities that it offers!