Uncover Napa Valley’s Charm: 7 Exciting Activities
Napa Valley is a picturesque region in California’s wine country, known for its rolling vineyards, world-class wineries, and luxurious resorts. However, there’s more to Napa Valley than just wine. Whether you’re a teetotaler or just looking for a break from the vineyards, plenty of other things to do in Napa Valley will make your trip memorable. Here are seven things to do while visiting Napa Valley:
Explore Downtown Napa
Downtown Napa has recently transformed, with new shops, restaurants, and hotels everywhere. Stroll down Main Street and browse the boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops. You’ll find everything from handmade jewelry to gourmet chocolates to vintage clothing. If you’re a foodie, stop by the Oxbow Public Market, a culinary marketplace featuring local artisans and purveyors.
Hike or Bike the Napa Valley Vine Trail
If you want to explore the beauty of Napa Valley without the wine, the Napa Valley Vine Trail is a great option. This 47-mile trail runs from Vallejo to Calistoga and is perfect for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. The trail passes through some of the most scenic areas of the valley, including vineyards, parks, and nature preserves.
Visit the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone is a world-renowned culinary school in St. Helena. Even if you’re not a foodie, the historic building and grounds are worth a visit. Take a tour of the facility and sample some student-made delights at the on-site restaurant. There’s also a gift shop where you can pick up some culinary souvenirs.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Take a hot air balloon ride for a unique perspective on Napa Valley. As you soar over the valley, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the vineyards, rolling hills, and quaint towns. Many companies offer hot air balloon rides, including a champagne brunch after the flight.
Visit the Petrified Forest
Believe it or not, Napa Valley is home to a 3-million-year-old petrified forest. Located in Calistoga, the Petrified Forest is a natural wonder that is both fascinating and beautiful. Take a self-guided tour of the forest and see the ancient redwood trees that have become stone over time. It’s a great way to experience the natural history of the area.
Indulge in a Spa Treatment
Napa Valley is known for its luxurious spas and good reason. After a day of hiking, biking, or exploring, there’s nothing better than a relaxing spa treatment. Many of the resorts and hotels in the area have their spas, but standalone spas offer a wide range of treatments. You’ll find it in Napa Valley whether you want a massage, facial, or body wrap.
Visit Castello di Amorosa
Okay, so this one is technically about wine, but hear me out. Castello di Amorosa is a medieval-style castle and winery located in Calistoga. Even if you’re not a wine drinker, the castle is worth a visit. Tour the castle and marvel at the authentic details, like the hand-painted frescoes and the drawbridge. You can even visit the castle’s torture chamber (don’t worry, it’s not used for torture anymore). And if you do enjoy wine, Castello di Amorosa has some excellent offerings.
Napa Valley is a destination that has something for everyone. Whether you’re a wine lover or not, there are plenty of things to do and see in the area. From exploring downtown Napa to hiking the vine trail to visiting a medieval-style castle, Napa Valley is a place that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.
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