Planning a Napa tour is never that easy, because you will be faced with so many things to do! There’s so much to do in Napa Valley. Start by visiting the vineyards and the wineries. Then be sure to dine on your favorites – first-rate cuisine to roadside burgers. Take time to shop for souvenirs or artisanal food products and organic produce. You can also enjoy visiting museums or live performances, relax at a spa, take in some general sightseeing, and so much more.
But the question is how would you get to and around Napa Valley? Usually, one is quick to assume that going to and around the valley would mean using a car. After all, Napa Valley boasts 45,000 acres of vineyards spread out across 30 miles of mostly rural land. So even tourists who don’t have cars assume that getting to and around Napa by car is the most practical choice, that’s why they think of renting a car or hire guided car tours.
However, you can explore Napa Valley even without the conventional car. Some of the alternatives are even surprisingly affordable, and provide loads of fun as well. Try a different way to travel to Napa — for instance, how about by boat? There are ferries that operate from the San Francisco to Vallejo, which is a city a short distance from Napa. There are one-way tickets, but if you plan to go back to the city via the same route, you may save more by buying a “day pass” which covers the round-trip. The ride will also be scenic. You will definitely do some sightseeing and taking photos of the Bay Area’s famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the San Francisco skyline.
The ride from San Francisco to Vallejo terminal takes about an hour, but you’re not quite to Napa yet. You have to take public transport to actually get there. Fortunately, there is good public transportation in the area. Take one of Napa’s VINE Transit buses and take the Route 10, which will bring you from the Vallejo ferry terminal to downtown Napa in about 40 to 50 minutes for a little over two dollars (rates may be subject to change without prior notice).
When you’re amongst the vineyards, why not go biking instead of just traveling by foot? Pedal your way among the lush vineyards while catching the fresh, cool breeze. There are a lot of bike rentals in Napa, and even some of the lodgings offer them, too. It’s up to you whether you want a guided bike tour or to bike on your own (and discover a hidden gem in “off-the-beaten-path” small wineries!).
If you’d like a faster way to get around Napa, take a motorcycle tour. A lot of operators also offer motorcycle tours through the wine country. Some of these tours are guided and have a fixed itinerary which offers a trip to the less-traveled destinations in and around the Bay Area and the Wine Country.
Experience another different way of traveling around Napa Valley by horseback riding! If you especially love horses and horseback riding, then you might not want to pass up this chance — imagine riding on a horse among vineyards that overlook the idyllic Napa countryside. There are several operators that offer wine tours which also include a horseback riding through the vineyards (often guided by experienced and professional wranglers) and riding lessons.
Riding a train is a good idea, too. But riding a train and having dinner inside these railroad cars is a fantastic idea! You can do that with Napa Valley Wine Train, where its fabulously restored vintage rail cars are also moving restaurants. Enjoy the grand rail cars’ interior architecture, plush furniture, multiple-course gourmet meals, fine dining service, and fantastic view of the vineyards and the hills while inside the rail car.
A hot air balloon is another fantastic way of exploring Napa Valley. Why is it so fantastic? It’s because it allows you to view the Napa Valley from an entirely different. Get to see immaculately planted rows of lush vineyards, rolling hills, deep valleys as you gently float in the sky. Be prepared to see the sun rise to wake the sleeping fields and valleys. Don’t forget to bring your camera along!
Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) should be your first choice when you decide to include hot air balloon rides with your Napa Valley wine tours. For over four decades, we have provided the best hot air balloon experience ever in Napa. We offer amazing packages that not only consist of the hot air balloon rides, but also wine tours in Napa and Sonoma, pre-flight breakfasts and post-flight brunches, and other exciting perks!
As for safety, you do not have to worry because our FAA certified hot air balloon pilots are among the most professional and experienced. They also love the outdoors, meeting people and adventure. You and the other guests will be also entertained by our pilots as they point to other sites of interests as they maneuver the vessel.
We welcome you to have a look around our website for information on hot air balloons, our sunrise hot air balloon and wine tour packages, reservations, and other things that you may want to know about BATV. We also welcome any questions you may have; you may call us at 1-800-464-6824.
If you crave a Napa tour that is like no other, choose Balloons Above the Valley for a whole new adventure!