There are a lot of fun things to do in Napa Valley. But what if one day, you are just tagging along with your wine-loving friends to have a holiday in Napa but you can’t join them in wine-tastings? Or what if you kids who are with you during your visit? You can still find a number of activities where wine is not included.
This must be a challenge, if you’re a non-drinker (or have kids in tow) will not be a big issue because the wine country also offers lots of other things that do not involve wine or any other alcoholic drink.
When you’re in the Napa Valley, you are surrounded by vineyards and hundreds of wineries, and they look quite tempting. But you choose not to drink wine or are prohibited from drinking, even if you have wondered about taking a sip just for the sake of experience while vacationing in Napa. Luckily, there are some wineries in the region that also sell non-alcoholic drinks. The castle winery Castelo di Amorosa, for instance, also sells sweet, refreshing non-alcoholic grape juices (Muscat Canelli and Syrah & Valdiguie sparkling grape juice). This winery is perfect for non-wine drinkers who would prefer to spend their time exploring the castle/winery. At least they may have something to toast!
Yes, you can take your kids to a winery or two in Napa. Again, we mention Castelo di Amorosa, which is a modern-day castle inspired by the 13th-century Tuscan style. It has plenty of things that kids would only see in fairy tales — dungeons, moats, towers, courtyard, and many others. Another Napa winery, Frog’s Leap, offers soda tasting and other activities for the kids (lawn games and playing with farm animals). Child-friendly Tres Sabores also has docile farm animals to keep the kids amused while the adults go about their wine tours.
You may find yourself touring with a large group of people, and the majority of them drink wine and you don’t, even if you are of adult age. Maybe you have health restrictions, strictly follow religion rules, or voluntarily practice abstinence. It is possible to visit wineries without tasting or buying wines, so visit wineries that offer a little something extra apart from their wines. Aside from Castelo di Amorosa, there are other wineries that you may like to drop by. Ride the aerial tram to score fantastic panoramic views at Sterling Vineyards. If you are a fan of art, there are several wineries that also function as an art gallery: The Hess Collection, Artesa, Ma(i)sonry, Mumm Napa Valley, and Clos Pegase.
Do you want to see nature up close? Napa Valley offers great hiking and camping spots. One of the more popular ones is the Skyline Wilderness Park where you can also picnic, barbecue, and spot some wild animals. They also have 25 miles of walking trails. Catch the “Old Faithful of California” geyser, a man-made geyser in Calistoga, or visit the Petrified Forest just near the city if ancient forests are your thing.
View Napa Valley from the sky! While you can do that by riding a rented chopper, or flying with a glider, riding a hot air balloon seems to be the best idea, not to mention the most relaxing and convenient way of exploring the gorgeous Napa Valley landscape during sunrise. Whether it would be your first time, or your nth time, riding a hot air balloon floating in the morning sky will always be a fun and novel experience.
Please take note that a hot air balloon flight’s success depends on the weather. All hot air balloon operators in Napa rely on good, stable weather to provide flights for tourists. Weather unsuitable for hot air balloon flights will lead to possible cancellations and re-scheduling for another date.
If the weather is otherwise nice, then the flight should push through! You can also take your children on hot air balloon flights, but they must meet certain requirements, such as age and height. And most of all, they must have a thing for adventure and are not afraid of heights.
See the gorgeous, well-arranged vineyards and the rolling hills below you. The lovely fields are greeted by the warm rays of the sunrise — everything in Napa is picture-perfect especially when you are quietly floating several thousands of feet from the ground! This is also a good opportunity to take great pictures and videos, so have your smart phone, camera or video camera ready to capture the panoramic views of the lovely Napa fields.
If you don’t plan on drinking wine in a wine country, it’s not a problem! You’ll be happy to discover places to visit and fun things to do in Napa Valley that offer something beyond wine and wine-tasting. It only proves that Napa Valley has something for everyone!