Soon you will be experiencing your first wine tour in San Francisco, and you’re making a bucket list of the things you want to see and do. Of course, while you’re there you may want to view the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Alcatraz, ride the cable cars, try driving on zigzag Lombard Street, take a stroll in Union Square and Golden Gate Park, along with taking your first-ever winery tour.

Napa Valley is a world-famous wine region just a 90-minute drive north of downtown San Francisco. Not long after leaving the city you’ll be transported from the urban jungle to beautiful vineyards.

Unless you have planned places to go in the Napa Valley, most likely you won’t have any ideas on where to go, eat, stay and taste wines. Apart from making hotel reservations, the first thing you probably searched for on Google was “best Napa Valley wineries.” It might be a good start but once you’re faced with the number of search results you may be overwhelmed.

We can’t blame you, as there are over 400 wineries in the Napa Valley alone, and it’s not even the biggest wine country in the United States. Here are a few recommendations: Robert Mondavi, Sterling Vineyards, Castello di Amorosa (a modern-day castle but built in the 13th Tuscan architecture), Domaine Carneros, Signorello Estate, V. Sattui and Beringer are among the wineries that are popular with first-time visitors. Some of the wineries (like the Signorello Estate) are perched on the top of a hill, so you can enjoy the awesome vistas of the well-trimmed vineyards.

As for the restaurants, Napa Valley has many that have made the list of the best restaurants in the country. It is quite diverse and exciting. Find the most perfect pizza on earth at Ciccio, tapas at Modern Spanish Tavern, American comfort food at Ad Hoc, excellent Japanese cuisine at Morimoto, as well as topnotch artisanal fare at Oxbow Public Market. If you’re somewhat on a budget though, get the best value for your money by going to casual restaurants and food joints like Alexis Bakery, Ana’s Cantina, Napa Valley Grille, and Gott’s Roadside.

Similar to most tourist destinations, Napa Valley holds a lot of festivals, arts and culture and entertainment. So if you want to experience what diversion is like in the wine country, check out on what’s in store for the Napa Valley in 2016. You’ll find galleries and museums, food and culinary festivals, live music, theater, and health and wellness events. It’s up to you to pick which events you’d like to see, whether you’re an art or food lover.

You may have heard about the hot air balloons floating over the picturesque vineyards and valleys, and you may want to try them. Since it’s your first time, you want one that that is a perfectly safe, hassle-free, and awesome hot air balloon flight. When it comes to balloon flights, there’s no better choice than to take your flight with Balloons Above the Valley (BATV), the pioneer in hot air balloon flights over the Napa Valley.

Held during the sunrise, the gentle and stable winds will help the hot air balloons to rise and float thousands of feet off the ground. It’s understandable that you may feel nervous at first because it’s probably your first time flying in an open-air aircraft. But BATV’s pilots will take good care of you and the other guests. They will also inform and entertain you with some chit-chat about the interesting points of the Napa Valley as you float by. Enjoy viewing the neat rows of vineyards, rolling hills and valleys, and the blue skies that greet the glow of the sunrise.

Your initial fears will soon dissipate and will instead be replaced with thrill, wonder, and sense of adventure! You won’t see anything like this in when riding in other transportation available in the valley.

If you want to take advantage of the BATV’s services, we also have packages that include wine tours, picnic-style lunches, limousine services, optional shopping and so much more. All of our hot air balloon flight packages have pre-flight breakfasts and post-flight brunches with sparkling wine! Simply call 800-464-6824 if you would like more information or to see which one of our offers will appeal most to you.

Make sure to include hot air balloon rides with Balloons Above the Valley for a fun, adventurous, and eventful first time wine tour in San Francisco.

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