With a spectacular setting, delightful year-round weather, and diverse topography, Napa Valley offers more exciting and engaging outdoor adventures than just about any other location.
Couples, families, and groups from nearby or far away can enjoy a wide variety of fun things to do in Napa Valley, more than enough to fill an exciting weekend getaway or a week-long action-filled vacation loaded with fun and excitement.
And with each action-packed outing, Napa Valley businesses and communities offer plenty of opportunities to slow down, relax, take in the magnificent scenery, enjoy plenty of live entertainment, and perhaps even learn a few new skills.
While wine and handcrafted beer tastings are integral elements of Napa Valley’s culture, family-focused outdoor activities abound throughout Napa Valley all year.
Napa Valley’s outdoor adventure options are available throughout many locations along the 30-mile stretch between the City of Napa at the southern end to Calistoga in the north. In addition to those world-class wines, delicious foods, sparkling entertainment, and the multitude of cultural activities offered by Napa Valley’s communities and businesses, adventure seekers will have plenty of outdoor options to experience.
Here is a list of fun things to do in Napa Valley during the year for outdoor-oriented guests.
Best Balloon Rides in Napa Valley
There is no better way to greet any morning than from a hot air balloon floating gracefully above the Napa Valley floor, passing quietly above the estates and communities between the mountainous backdrop that frames the Valley.
Besides world-class wines and incomparable hospitality, Napa Valley is famous for the battalion of hot air balloons that float above the valley floor daily. The conditions are almost always perfect for a safe and comfortable hot air balloon Napa Valley-style, and the scenery from above is breathtaking.
Balloons Above the Valley, a premier hot air balloon napa company, offers the safest and best balloon rides in Napa Valley. Families can reserve their space for a join-in or private flight.
Participants meet early in the morning for coffee and pastries, then are transported to the launch site where the balloon is being prepared, and safety instructions are given. Before beginning the flight, a photographer will take your groups photo while in the basket before lift off, which will be available for purchase after your flight.
At the end of the flight, guests can opt for their traditional Champagne Toast to celebrate their incredible journey over spectacular Napa Valley.
Winery Tours and Tastings
Since the region is known universally for its world-class wines, some memorable and fun things to do in Napa Valley involve winery tours. And the best and safest way to tour the wineries, enjoy expert wine tastings, and learn about the process of winemaking is with one of Napa Valley’s professional Wine Tour companies.
Leaving the driving to a professional as you and your partner or group travel from one winery estate to the next allows participants to relax and savor the stress-free experience while soaking up the scenery.
Tour hosts for the winery tours are well-versed in the history of the Valley and will usually offer insights into some lesser-known lore of the region.
Hiking in Napa Valley
Napa Valley boasts 53,000 acres of protected open space to hike and explore. The topography is highly diverse, plus a wide variety of parks and trails of varying degrees of difficulty for both avid and weekend hikers.
With rugged mountainous slopes, valleys, streams, and beautiful lakes, some popular hiking locations include Skyline Wilderness Park, Westwood Hills, Moore Creek Park, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, and Oat Mill Mine Trail.
If your furry “best friend” is with you on your hike, specific trails are notably dog-friendly, including Alston and Moore Creek Parks.
Town Concert Series
While Napa Valley offers world-class entertainment at various times throughout the year, several communities also provide “music-in-the-park” entertainment for free. Families and groups are invited to visit their community parks, spread a blanket, picnic, and enjoy a delightful musical performance by talented local and regional performers.
During the summer season, the towns of Calistoga, Yountville, St. Helena, and Napa each offer concerts in their central city parks for all to enjoy. Each concert is held on different nights so visitors to the area can enjoy as many as they like.
Music in the Vineyards Program
Add more music to your outdoor family experience with the annual Music in the Vineyards program in Napa. This event has been hailed as “one of the top seven chamber music festivals in the United States.” The event features 40 world-class instrumentalists from the United States, Canada, and Europe who perform classical music among the Napa Valley vineyards. The 2022 MITV program ran through most of August, recurring weekly on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
For casual joggers, the parks and trails that wind through Napa Valley offer delightful options for runners to get a decent workout in the ultra-fresh air and scenic environment. Early morning joggers will undoubtedly note the appearance of the stunning hot air balloons Napa drifting quietly and majestically above.
A fun yet challenging annual event for athletes and joggers, the WineShine Half-Marathon begins and ends at the Silverado Resort. The 13+ mile run routes runners past a collection of impressive vineyards and spectacular scenery of Napa Valley.
What is unique is that participants and guests can enjoy post-race wine tastings from some of the world’s elite wineries.
In addition to the fun things to do in Napa at this running event, participants will be supporting the Napa Farmworker Foundation and Napa Firewise, an organization created to help minimize the danger and destruction of wildfires that can threaten the wine-growing region.
Biking in Napa Valley
Whether you bring your bikes or rent them from one of the many bike rental shops in the area, Napa Valley is a delightful place to enjoy a short family ride or a long biking adventure.
Visitors can sign up for a fully guided tour or enjoy the glorious scenery of bike-friendly Napa Valley on their own.
The most popular and family-friendly bike route is the Napa Valley Vine Trail, which will eventually run 47 miles from Napa to Calistoga. Currently, the Trail is open for bikers and hikers from South Napa to Yountville, about 12.5 miles. Bikers and walkers can travel the route, stopping along the way for food, drinks, and exploration.
One of the best family fun things to do in Napa Valley is enjoying a casual, relaxing horseback ride. Trail rides are available at several Equestrian centers in the region.
Some Napa Valley companies even offer a combination horseback ride and winetasting adventure for a well-rounded experience.
Picnics in Napa Valley
From Calistoga in the north to Napa and American Canyon in the south, Napa Valley extends about thirty miles between the Vaca Mountains and the Mayacamas. Dotted with numerous parks, hiking trails, streams, and lakes, visitors can find hundreds of scenic locations for a picnic along the way.
The weather in Napa Valley is excellent, and the views are unbeatable, so remember to pack a lunch to enjoy the fresh air and phenomenal environment of beautiful Napa Valley.
Golfers have a variety of top-level golf courses to choose from, which are beautifully maintained, and available for play while visiting Napa Valley. Tee times can be arranged in advance, and the courses range from moderate to challenging.
The Open Studios Art Walk is a self-guided tour through Napa Valley’s creative art community. During the last two weekends of September, visitors can tour and enjoy artistic works created by local and regional artists. On September 3 and 4, visitors can catch a preview of the upcoming Art Walk presentations by visiting the Jessel Studio at 1019 Atlas Peak Road in Napa.
Booking Your Napa Hot Air Balloon Adventure
A truly memorable outdoor experience, one of the Balloons Above the Valley best balloon rides in Napa Valley is a can’t miss experience. With the hundreds of entertaining outdoor activities and fun things to do in Napa Valley, few will evoke the joyful emotion, memories, and awe that a hot air balloon Napa Valley does.
To reserve your place for your upcoming best balloon ride in Napa Valley, visit the Balloons Above the Valley website. While there, you will learn about the safety measures, preparations, and options available for groups.
Drifting safely and quietly above the valley floor during a hot air balloon Napa Valley experience is a memory you and your group will cherish long.
If you have questions or wish to discuss your upcoming daily flight directly, phone the Balloons Above the Valley reservationists at 1-800-464-6824.