Many people think that Napa Valley wine country has little to offer other than wine tours and acres of vineyards. However, those who have already been to this picturesque part of northern California know that Napa is full of surprises.
Even if you are not a wine enthusiast, Napa Valley can be a lot fun. Napa boasts gorgeous natural beauty that manifests itself in rolling hills, picturesque trails, and lots of greenery. The region also offers scrumptious local cuisine, without which any trip would be incomplete.
Things to Do in Napa Valley
Napa Valley wine country is unique, and offers a number of options for visitors to make their stays memorable. Below, we have listed nine of the best things to do during your trip to Napa Valley.
1. Enjoy Napa Valley Winery Tours
It’s a well-known fact that Napa produces a large variety of wine, and offers exquisite winery tours. The area includes 45,000 acres of vineyards, which look gorgeous from a distance. And the Napa winemaking region has more than 450 wineries that offer world-class wine tasting tours. Make sure you don’t miss out on this memorable experience when you visit Napa.
2. Hop on the Napa Valley Wine Train
The Napa Valley Wine Train is something you will remember for the rest of your life. It offers glimpses of the most popular spots in the region, including the town centres, the wineries in Napa, and other attractions, like Yountville, Rutherford, and St. Helena.
While you take in the sites, you can enjoy a gourmet lunch or dinner, which is prepared on the train itself. You can also order beer, cocktails, and wine during your trip on the train, which stocks more than 40 boutique wines.
3. Visit Robert Louis Stevenson State Park
You may not be a wine lover, but if you love being close to nature, be sure to visit Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. Named after the celebrated author, the park is characterized by rough terrain and evergreen forests. If you’re feeling daring, you can go on a hike along the 5-mile trail that goes up to the Mount Saint Helena summit.
4. Explore the Other Side of Napa
With more than 53,000 acres of mountains, hills, and forests, Napa offers many opportunities to walk, hike, run, and explore. You can trek the Mayacamas Mountains in the west, or the Vaca Mountains in the east.
To explore the region by bike or on foot, check out the Napa Valley Vine Trail, which currently includes more than 12 miles of paved trails from Yountville to South Napa. Napa has pleasant weather, with a lot of sunshine, all year long, making it great for cyclists, trekkers, and outdoor explorers of all kinds.
5. Try Out the Napa Restaurants
As one of the top wine regions in the world, you may expect Napa Valley to be covered in endless fields of grapes. But in reality, vineyards occupy only 9% of the total land area. The region has a large number of gardens, and working farms with over 125 restaurants, of which 11 are Michelin starred. In fact, of all the wine regions on earth, Napa has the highest concentration of restaurants with Michelin stars.
6. Visit Castello di Amorosa
This 13th-century castle was built in the impression of a Tuscan castle. The owner of this stone castle was deeply influenced by Italian medieval architecture. The castle is built on 8 levels, and contains 171 rooms.
It houses a wine tasting room that offers a unique experience. It also offers a royal wine and food pairing tour that includes a tour of the castle. Castello di Amorosa is one of the more popular tourist attractions of the place. You can purchase a general admission ticket which will let you explore two levels of the castle, and sample 5 types of wines.
7. Take a Stroll Through St. Helena
If you’re in the mood for some shopping, then you might like to take a walk through the main street of St. Helena. It is lined with old buildings that house upscale restaurants, boutiques, and shops. You will love the architecture of the buildings around you.
Also, the National Register of Historic Places listed three blocks of the town as a National Historic District. You might also want to take home some of the delectable handmade sweets from Woodhouse Chocolate. If you are not ready to purchase right away, you can enjoy the eye-catching window displays.
8. Enjoy the Artwork in Napa
Napa Valley has an artistic side to it as well. There are several art galleries, museums, outdoor exhibitions, and studios gracing the region’s different corners. The diRosa art gallery in Napa stands over 217 acres of land, and stores more than 2000 contemporary art pieces, in both indoor and outdoor installations. The artwork, displayed in a range of media, has been accomplished by more than 800 Bay area artists. The public art walk is also a fascinating part of Napa city, and Yountville.
9. Visit the Welcome to Napa Valley Sign
Take a picture beside the iconic, “Welcome to Napa Valley,” sign to preserve the memories of your visit. Route 29 has two such signs, one in Oakville, the other in Calistoga. The designs were revamped some time back, and although they are too wide for a selfie, you can always ask someone to take a picture for you.
10. Napa Valley Film Festival (Nov 8 – 12)
If you are a movie buff make sure you don’t miss the Napa Valley Film Festival. It is the ultimate film, food and wine experience. It brings together the best wineries, chefs and talented filmmakers from the US and other parts of the world. There are over 100 films to view including independent films and sneak previews of upcoming award winning films. The NVFF offers a unique way of relishing the region’s famous wines and scrumptious local dishes while enjoying award winning movies.
Make your Napa Valley trip interesting by including the above mentioned places in your itinerary. You may also have a connection who can provide some inputs. Thorough research of Napa Valley before you set off can help you make the most of your trip.
Tango Tours arranges different types of wine tours in Napa Valley. It can also offer you a fully customized package to suit your requirements. To learn more, contact us now.