Napa Valley tours take on many forms and styles, but they will surely end with the same thing: you will be greeted to an otherworldly paradise laced with neat rows of vineyards that produce the world-class wines.
Since Napa Valley is such a world-class wine destination, possesses a scenic charm and has pretty much a slow-paced lifestyle, you just don’t want to arrive and go around by driving, although that would be the fastest and the most convenient thing to do. A holiday in Napa Valley should be enjoyed in slow, leisurely moments, just like a good wine should be enjoyed in smaller sips instead of big, quick gulps. So don’t be in a hurry, take your sweet time and savor the small moments while you’re in the Wine Country.
There are better and more enjoyable ways to get around Napa other than driving your own vehicle. Cycling around Napa allows you to enjoy the scenery and catch the fresh breeze as you stop by a winery or two. There are a lot of operators that host biking tours. They can provide the itineraries, guide maps and tour guides. Or you can hit the biking trails by yourself and expect to meet adventure (and other friendly bikers) along the way!
The Napa Valley Wine Train is another popular way to explore the heart of Napa. With its fantastically-restored vintage Pullman railcars that also function as a moving fine-dining restaurant, the train will take you to several legendary wineries like Robert Mondavi, Charles Krug, and V. Sattui as well as other popular tourist attractions. Excursions typically last from 3 to 6 hours of scenic train rides. The in-house kitchen — or let’s say the “in-train kitchen” — prepares a special lunch or dinner for every guest as they’re cruising towards the next stop of their train journey.
Another great way to explore Napa is to try out the Napa Valley Wine Trolley, which operates hand-made wood-and-brass replicas of the California Street Cable Car. They also offer winery tours which also include a catered picnic lunch and a stop to the 13th-century Tuscan-inspired castle/winery Castello di Amorosa.
You have seen pictures of hot air balloons hovering over Napa’s famous vineyards. It goes without saying that hot air ballooning is also one of the most popular activities in Napa. No doubt about it — many people who have tried it have been charmed by the spectacular bird’s-eye views of the well-arranged rows of grapevines that dot the rolling hills and the Napa’s famous valleys. Do this at any time and season you wish — summer and spring with the vibrant hues of green, in autumn with the golden color of the grapevines and the fields, and in the wintertime where you’ll be greeted by the bright yellow wild mustard blooms that dominate the sleeping vineyards. Don’t forget to take pictures and videos of the wonderful scenery and raise a toast, as your pilot gently but deftly maneuvers the hot air balloon in the sky.
As you descend from your wonderful airborne journey, enjoy the seasonal brunch capped with a sparkling wine and cheerful conversation with your new-found friends, recalling that successful and unforgettable flight. You would like to spend the rest of the day with more wine tours and shopping. You may call a cab to get you to the wineries, to the farmers market or to a premium outlet shopping mall… OR you can arrive at any of these places with style, via chauffeured limo bus.
A lot of hot air balloon operators, like Balloons Above the Valley (BATV), offer packages that include a luxury limo bus transportation that takes you to the wineries, to the hot air balloon launch site, and to other places of interest. And of course, the hot air balloons remain the star in BATV’s packages as they provide a unique chance for guests to view the beauty of the Napa Valley from the sky. A champagne brunch at the Michelin-starred C Casa in Oxbow Public Market will end your day on a sweet note.
With its superlative countryside beauty and the finest of the world’s wines, you’ll never run out of options and activities to choose from when you’re in the Wine Country. With several fun ways to get around and explore, Napa Valley tours are guaranteed to be anything but boring.