Because there are so many fun things to do in Napa Valley, you really have to plan ahead and list down the enjoyable activities that you’d really like to do while you’re in the area.
- Doing wine tours
If you’re a wine lover, Napa Valley is your ultimate paradise! There are over 400 wineries spread across the region although the number of wineries in Napa Valley is smaller compared to other wine regions in the United States and the world. However, Napa’s wineries are all about the quality, not quantity, so it is a guarantee that you’ll have great quality wines and service, whether you want to go to the more established names or smaller, boutique wineries.
Most wineries in Napa require reservations, although a few of them do not need a prior appointment and otherwise accept walk-ins from visitors. Not all wineries conduct tastings, though; so if you want to include a tasting in your Napa wine tours, find out first if the winery of your choice offers this type of activity.
A lot of Napa wineries are fun to visit and discover, even if you don’t drink wine. Many of them feature elaborate architecture and landscape, such as Castelo di Amorosa and its authentically-built 13th-century Tuscan castle and Domaine Carneros’ gorgeous French villa. Some wineries are also a haven for art lovers, as they feature galleries and curated artwork and photographs such as the Artesa Winery, the Hess Collection Winery, and Mumm Napa. Other wineries offer different attractions such as the cable car ride at Sterling Vineyards.
- Go on a food trip
Napa Valley is not only a world-class wine region but also a world-class location especially for discriminating foodies. Napa has over a hundred restaurants which have received more Michelin stars than other establishments outside the region. Yep, there’s no end to eating out in Napa, whether it’s fine-dining, burgers, or some grub at the open-air markets and groceries. The quality of food is incredible no matter the cost.
If you want to go to the “essential eats” in Napa Valley (that is, if you’ve got cash to spare), go to such restaurants as the French Laundry, Bistro Jeanty, The Restaurant at Meadowood, Morimoto, and Goose and Gander.
What do you do if you don’t have a lot to spend at high-end restaurants? Although Napa is somewhat notorious for being expensive, you can still find comparatively cheap but still great eats (especially if you’re a smart and resourceful tourist backpacking in Napa). For dining in Napa on a budget, the best place to visit is Oxbow Public Market or Oakville Grocery Store for affordable artisanal food items. Then go and have a picnic-style lunch at one of the wineries. In this way, you can also enjoy the fresh air and Napa’s countryside beauty around you.
- Seek adventure
With Napa’s scenic landscape, it also has become an ideal place for outdoorsy people and adventure-seekers. Have you become tired of just walking around or driving the car? Why not bike around the vineyards? Take a hike at several of Napa’s most popular hiking trails with rugged treks that lead you to the top of the mountain, lakes, and other historical sites. Enjoy the luxury of a chauffeured limo as you visit wineries. Board the Napa Valley Wine Train for a taste of history and elegant cuisine (it is also a moving restaurant) as you travel to your wine tours.
It is possible to enjoy views of the Napa Valley from way up in the sky. You can do wine tours in a helicopter or a hot air balloon.
Yes, a hot air balloon — it is quite a popular activity in Napa. In fact, there are several hot air balloon operators in the area, including the famous Balloons Above the Valley (BATV)!
Since the 1970s BATV has served pleasurable flights to tourists; that’s over 40 years of experience. Its scenic hot air balloon rides allow the visitors to see the Napa Valley from a different perspective! Guests will enjoy 360-degree, unobstructed views of the beautiful Napa Valley and its neat and lush vineyards, and valleys cradled by the mountains and rolling hills.
Enjoy BATV’s pre-flight breakfast and post-flight champagne brunch, as well as conventional wine tours that will perfectly cater to your thirst for adventure and discovery in Napa Valley.
The fun things to do in Napa Valley seem to never end. It is not just about the wines — the region offers so many more enjoyable activities than one could ever imagine. So what are you waiting for? Get started making your plan for a fun, exciting, and memorable Napa trip now!