OK. Let me state the obvious. Napa Valley equals wine. We know this. It is the reason to go. Wine tasting, wine making, wine pairings … But, if (and only if) you want ideas for other activities in the area, this post is for you.
Chances are you will visit a tasting room in Napa Valley before you even check in to your hotel room. We’ve been to Napa three times and this is our MO every. single. time. There are so many wineries and so many wines that you cannot waste any time. Am I right?
While tasting wine never gets old, everyone has a limit and it’s called getting drunk. So, to offset headaches and hangovers, pair your wine with some adventure, culture or relaxation!
While a great glass of cab pairs well with red meat, I also like a morning sunrise with a hot air balloon ride over the valley and vineyards. It is as beautiful as it sounds. Book your tour for the beginning of your trip since weather patterns can cancel or changes your flight; so be prepared.
It goes without saying, do not drink and drive. So, prior to your afternoon wine tastings, head north to St. Helena. A visit to a geyser names “Old Faithful” goes well with an mid-morning drive on the Silverado Trail. No, it’s is not the Old Faithful, but it is still neat to see – and it is a pretty punctual geyser.
It is not surprising that a stroll through a farmer’s market nicely accompanies a bright morning. I do not know about you, but there is something so appealing about fresh and healthy produce and local treats after a (late) night of eating and drinking. Yes, you have to get up, but who wants to waste time inside a dark hotel room in Napa Valley!
It is a bit of a drive, but a visit to Hog Island Oyster’s farm is completely worth it. Technically, you will be leaving Napa Valley for this excursion, but it is one that you will love. A serene and natural setting with deliciously fresh oysters and appetizers – and don’t worry, you can bring your own bottle of Napa’s best and enjoy some with your picnic lunch. Just have a DD to get you back to Napa on the curvy mountains roads.
I will admit that I am not an artsy person. Most of the time I do not “get” art. However, art can pair nicely with wine – any wine. So, after a tasting, get a glass of your favorite and stroll the grounds or tasting room of the vineyard and check out the art. I like Hall Winery for their outdoor gardens and artwork as well as Hess Collection, but you can’t have wine in their gallery, so drink up before you go in.
There are other, move obvious, activities to occupy your time such as shopping, spa treatments and golf in Napa Valley. But let’s face it, you won’t have that much extra time with all of the wine tastings you have scheduled.