If you are going to be visiting Napa Valley soon, you are probably really looking forward to spending time in some of the area's world-renowned tasting rooms. However, even if you don't care for wine, there are plenty of things to do in Napa Valley. For instance, restaurants in the area feature some of the best freshly prepared cuisine in the country, because of the access they have to abundant amounts of delicious local produce.…
Top 23 Things to do in Napa Valley, California
After pickup from your hotel, cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge and admire views of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island, and the city skyline. Continue to Muir Woods National Monument—one of the last old-growth coastal redwood forests in the world and the only one in the Bay Area—and take in the sounds, smells, and sights as you wander among the giant trees.
Travel to Sonoma, a famous wine region of Northern California, as you pass by charming valleys and take in sweeping views of rolling hills with rows of grapevines. Taste a variety of white, red, and dessert wines at wineries such as Homewood, Larson, and Robledo. Then spend the evening at your leisure in downtown Sonoma before resting at your hotel.
Have free time in the morning to explore Mission De Solano and Sonoma Square before visiting Napa Valley. At Benziger Family Winery, a biodynamic vineyard, walk through barrel caves, take a tram tour for a closer look at the vineyards, and sip award-winning wines. In Napa County, enjoy afternoon tastings in Oakville, Yountville, or the town of Napa. As you reach San Francisco that evening, gaze at the Golden Gate Bridge with the city illuminated in the background.
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Get up close and personal with giraffes, gazelles, and zebras—just a few of the 800 animals at the preserve. Led by an experienced guide, this journey transports you to an environment much like the exotic and untamed lands of Africa with herds roaming virtually undisturbed over hundreds of acres. All around you, the bush comes alive as you listen to the rich noises of Serengeti.
While riding in the open-air vehicle, enjoy the unique chance to get close to animals with origins spanning the entire African continent. This diverse species integration as well as the freedom to move throughout a natural environment allows the animals to maintain many of their wild instincts and behaviors.
Have the opportunity to observe highly endangered animals such as the scimitar-horned oryx, Nile lechwe, and addax—rarely seen in the wild. Bring your camera for unique photo opportunities and with a little luck, you might find yourself eye-to-eye with a white rhino or a towering giraffe. Read More close
Your driver picks you up from your hotel and whisks you out of the city, heading across the bay and away from the coast toward the dryer, sunnier landscapes of wine country. Take in the verdant patchwork of grapevines, the lazily winding waters of the Napa River, and the gentle hills and tree-topped knolls that dot the valley floor.
Make your way to 3 different wineries, from boutique operations to more well-known houses, and head to their rustically elegant tasting rooms. A wine expert leads you in engaging tastings, describing the grapes that are grown in Napa and Sonoma, the winemaking techniques that are particular to these AVAs, and the history and heritage of Californian viticulture.
Your outing also includes a stop in one of wine country’s charming townships, where you can enjoy plenty of free time to grab a bite to eat, shop the local boutiques and galleries, or even seek out another tasting room for a final splash before heading back into the city. Read More close
Meet up with your guide at Oxbow Public Market, a food and wine hub packed with specialty vendors peddling everything from kitchen wares to locally distilled spirits. Cross the Napa River to wander among restored Gold Rush-era buildings and Victorian structures from the earliest days of California winemaking. These survivors of Prohibition are now home to boutique enterprises showcasing the best of NorCal food and wine. As you walk, talk, and taste, your guide shares the history of the region along with plenty of recommendations for where to eat and drink throughout wine country.
Kick off your tour with true California-style breakfast tacos, and then move on to wine-friendly fare like a curated cheese platter and house-cured salumi alongside freshly baked, organic bread. Cozy up to the bar in a tasting room in town to sample vintages and varietals from a variety of family-run and larger-scale estates, and savor the peppery perfume of locally pressed olive oil. A hearty plate of Sonoma lamb meatballs and flatbread from a friendly bistro is followed by a visit to a local chocolatier, where caramelized brittle, freshly churned ice cream, and wine-infused chocolates bring your tour to a perfect close. Read More close
Take an opportunity to admire the Muir Woods' gorgeous terrain. With your map in hand, take a short walk through this spectacular redwood forest. Designated as a federally protected area in 1908, Muir Woods is the only surviving area of old-growth forest in the Bay Area, and it is home to some of the world's largest redwoods and sequoias.
Next, head to the famous Sonoma County and listen as your tour guide offers expertise on local wines and wineries. Taste samples of the region's red, white, and dessert wines before being whisked back to the City by the Bay. As your tour returns to San Francisco, appreciate Northern California's scenery as you sit back, relax, and watch an impressive sunset. Be sure to bring your camera for some memorable photos of Muir Woods and Sonoma wine country. Read More close
After being picked up from your hotel in an environmentally friendly biodiesel mini coach, ride over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge into the sun-kissed and leafy valleys of northern California’s world-famous wine country.
Your first stop is at Benziger Winery in Sonoma Valley. Take an open-air tram tour around the fields to soak up the scenery and learn about the climate, terrain, and operations. Discover organic and biodynamic wine making and how the process contributes to quality grapes and sustainable farming. Stop by the bottling plant and temperature-controlled underground storage facilities, then make your way to the tasting room to sample Benziger's award-winning array of varietals and vintages.
Continue on to Benziger’s sister winery, Imagery. In between tastings, check out the interesting collection of artwork from local artists. Stop at a local market where you can grab meats, cheeses, sandwiches, and other picnic fare to enjoy over lunch outdoors at the next winery you visit. Make a few more stops for guided tastings to round out your experience of the region’s wines and wineries before making your way back south toward the city. Read More close
After you're picked up from your hotel, settle into a comfortable seat on a luxurious Mercedes Sprinter limousine. Chat with your tasting companions over a glass of bubbly champagne, and listen as your guide shares facts about the climate, soil, and features of Napa Valley that help shape the characteristics of its renowned wines.
Stop at 4 boutique and family-run estates, heading to the tasting rooms to sip and swirl fine whites and reds. Around midday, your guide sets up a gorgeous farm-to-table lunch spread, either outside or in an atmospheric winery cellar. Indulge in a delicious artisan style rustic lunch catered by Sonoma's celebrated The Girl & The Fig restaurant. Once your tasting excursion concludes, you're dropped right back off at your hotel to continue your evening at your leisure.
Sample lunch menu includes:
Assorted sandwich platters
- House-roasted turkey, cheddar, and apricot-fig chutney on ciabatta
- Salami, pears, red onion confit, and brie cheese on ciabatta
- Niman Ranch ham, comté cheese, and dijon mustard on ciabatta
- Roast beef, blue cheese, and caramelized onions on ciabatta
- Roasted portabella mushroom, goat cheese, and roasted red pepper on ciabatta
- Orzo pasta salad with sundried tomatoes, feta, and olives
- Provençal potato salad
- Decadent chocolate brownie
- Fig crisp with walnut streusel topping
- Artisan chocolate cookie Read More close
In the heart of the Napa Valley wine region, Old Faithful Geyser of California is one of 3 geysers with the designation of “Old Faithful” in the world. In addition to admiring views of the geyser, see native plants at the gardens and stop by the Old Faithful Goat Farm, home to the famous Tennessee fainting goats, 4-horn sheep, and a guard llama.
Visit the gardens and stop by the newly completed Old Faithful Geology Museum for a wealth of learning opportunities including information about how geysers work, volcanoes, earthquakes, and area the history. Bring family and friends, your favorite bottle of wine (or other beverage), and food to enjoy the park-like setting, play bocce ball, or simply sit back and watch the geyser erupt. Read More close
After you're picked up from your hotel, make your way across the Bay Bridge, catching glimpses of San Fran sights like Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island as you make your way toward Berkely and Vallejo in the East Bay. Pull into the Vacaville Premium Outlets and prepare to shop 'til you drop. With a VIP coupon book filled with savings worth up to USD $200 and lower sales tax than in San Francisco, you can stretch your dollar even further on already marked down wares.
The mall's 120 factory outlets and stores feature something for everyone, whether you're shopping for work-ready ensembles or sporting goods. Browse the goods at stores like Calvin Klein, Banana Republic Factory Store, Gucci, J. Crew, Kate Spade New York, Loft Outlet, Nautica Kids, Adidas, Cole Haan, Nine West Outlet, Coach, Sunglass Hut, Restoration Hardware, Le Creuset, and Perfumania.
Once your shopping bags are full, hop back in the coach and make your way into the countryside, approaching Napa Valley and its world-famous vineyards. Stop at a local winery like Domaine Carneros, Madonna Estate, or another family-owned operation to take in the views and relax over a glass or 2 of elegant California white or red. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Located minutes from one hour north of San Francisco in the heart of California's wine country, Napa Premium Outlets boasts over 50 stores including:
- Banana Republic
- Brooks Brothers
- Tommy Hilfiger
Your shopping package includes a $25 gift card redeemable at any store as well as a valuable VIP coupon book with additional savings. The extensive selection of shops offers something for fashionistas, bargain lovers, and die-hard shoppers. The only thing you won't be able to purchase is a bigger vehicle to bring all your newly found selections home. Read More close
From San Francisco's busy streets, head north over the saffron-stained spans of the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Marin Headlands. Hear about the redwoods that reside in massive groves before you arrive at Muir Woods National Monument.
Spend some free time wandering around burbling creeks and aromatic laurel trees. Learn about John Muir, the acclaimed naturalist the park is named after, and then jump back on the highway and continue your journey toward wine country.
Arrive in Sonoma and head inside your first winery of the day. Chat with vintners, enjoy tastes from their extensive collection, and find out how grapes go from vine to bottle. Make your way to 2 more wineries, sampling everything from bold reds and crisp whites to refreshing sparkling varieties from Sonoma and Napa Valley.
In between winery visits, consider grabbing lunch in historic Sonoma Plaza, where fine dining restaurants and casual cafes offer a wide variety of food options. Finish your meal and jump back in your private transportation for the drive back to San Fran, making one last stop for a memorable photo opportunity at the Golden Gate Bridge before crossing over into the city. Read More close
Enjoy private transportation straight from your hotel to Vacaville Premium Outlets. When you arrive, spend a few hours browsing everything from housewares to jewelry, luggage to footwear, and high-end fashion to specialty gifts. Check out incredible prices on goods from sought-after brands like J. Crew, Levi's, Coach, and Restoration Hardware. Or, consider splurging on a handbag from the only Gucci outlet in Northern California. Along the way, match great deals with your coupon book, which offers extra discounts at nearby stores and restaurants, where you can grab a delectable lunch.
Cap off the afternoon with a side trip to the fertile vineyard-filled valleys of Napa. Head to an award-winning winery for the chance to chat with vintners and sample delicious vintages. Consider bold reds, crisp whites, and innovative blends before continue your return trip to San Francisco. End your day with a final stop for a memorable photo underneath the iconic spans of the Golden Gate Bridge. Read More close
After you’re picked up from your hotel, ride through the countryside to your first destination. On the way, your sommelier discusses the principal grapes grown in the region, the way that climate and terroir impact the characteristics of the area’s wines, and how to differentiate the type of grape—both on the vine and in the glass.
At the first estate, the owner leads you on an informative tour of the cellar and winemaking facilities. Learn all about traditional viticultural methods and modern technologies, and then sample an array of the winery’s bottles as your sommelier leads a discussion comparing each glass.
All that sipping and swirling is sure to work up an appetite, so sit down to a gourmet lunch among the vines. As you nibble on fresh and local fare, chat about the art and science of selecting wines to complement various dishes and flavor profiles.
Walk off your meal with a stroll around the property, learning about the care and upkeep of the vines before a fun and thought-provoking blind tasting. Your final stop of the day is at another renowned winery, where you participate in a formal wine and cheese pairing before returning to your hotel. Read More close
Your private tour begins in San Francisco as you board a luxury vehicle and grab a seat in one of the comfortable leather captain's chairs. Head north, riding past the tawny towers of the Golden Gate Bridge and cruising around quiet bends in the Marin Headlands. Watch as the landscapes shift to a green patchwork of fields and vineyards, signaling your arrival in wine country.
With a fully customized itinerary, the 3-5 wineries you visit reflect your personal tastes and interests. Focus on vintners that feature bold reds, look for the valley's most refreshing whites, or consider stopping in at one of the area's more experimental innovators, offering sparkling vintages or rare blends.
Stop for lunch before heading back toward San Fran. If time permits, hit a few more estates on the way and make sure to enjoy a quick photo break before you cross back over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Read More close
After you're picked up from your hotel, ride across the cinnamon-colored span of the Golden Gate Bridge, making your way toward the ancient sequoia groves of the Muir Woods National Monument. Home to 240 acres (97 ha) of old growth Coast Redwoods, this foggy forest is the perfect place to marvel at the magnitude of these majestic, skyward-soaring trees. Explore the trails that meander through this restful wilderness, grab a bite to eat in the café, and scope out the local crafts and redwood inlay jewelry on offer in the park's retail store.
From there, it's on to wine country. Watch the temperate forest give way to rolling brown hills and vineyard rows as you enter the world-renowned wine growing regions of sunny Sonoma and Napa Valley. Stop in historic Sonoma or Healdsburg Plaza and at the tasting rooms of 3 boutique wineries, where you can pull up a chair for guided wine flights showcasing the best of the region's red and white varietals. Nibble on cheeses as you sip, sample, and soak up the views. As the afternoon winds to a close, begin your return drive to San Francisco, stopping for a postcard-worthy view of the Golden Gate before arriving back in the City by the Bay. Read More close
With more than 1,400 wineries in the area, take advantage of your guide’s years of experience in the region to narrow down your list of stops. You and the other tour goers are free to suggest a visit to your favorite winery or just follow the recommendations of your guide and fellow passengers. Get tips and recommendations on the best wines and values in the area, and follow your guide’s lead to the tasting rooms with the best ambiance and most exquisite views.
Throughout the day, visit an assortment of vineyards and tasting rooms to sample California red, white, rose, and sparkling varietals as you desire and enjoy lunch along the way. Read More close
In the comfort of a luxury coach, leave San Francisco and enjoy views of the Bay Area as well as onboard Wi-Fi. Take a break for lunch and shopping in Yountville before you continue your excursion in one of North America's renowned and historic wine regions.
The Napa and Sonoma valleys are famous for their exquisite wines and rolling hills dotted with vineyards. Early Spanish missionaries brought grapevines to the region and forty-niners even served local wine in their saloons. While you visit a mix of boutique and large-scale wineries, taste some of the finest vintages in California and hear how grapes are picked, crushed, blended, and bottled. Read More close
Be picked up in the morning by a shuttle that takes you to the Sausalito helipad. Meet your pilot guide for a safety briefing before jumping aboard your helicopter. After an exhilarating takeoff, take in the scenic views of rolling hills and vineyards as you fly over the gorgeous Napa Valley.
Upon arrival at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, home of Reata Wines, delight in a delicious wine pairing, barrel tasting, and guided tour with your wine expert. Learn techniques of winemaking in this region and sample the delectable produce before having lunch.
On your return journey, enjoy the views as the helicopter takes you high above the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island before a relaxing transfer back to your hotel. Read More close
Categories: Air, Balloon & Helicopter Tours
Set out from downtown San Francisco in a comfortable shuttle and enjoy the scenery during your hour-long drive into wine country, leaving the foggy coastal city behind for the sun-kissed valleys further inland. Depending on the day, your excursion takes you to Napa’s grand estates and elegant tasting rooms, the rolling hills of the Russian River Valley, or the smaller, family-run boutique wineries of Dry Creek.
Arrive at the starting point of your bike tour and stretch your legs with a leisurely pedal to your first stop. The tasting rooms visited vary, but you might have a chance to sip crisp whites, full-bodied reds, or festive flutes of bubbly at wineries like Domaine Chandon, Clos Du Val, Frog’s Leap, Rutherford Grove, Pine Ridge Winery, or Trefethen Family Vineyards. Rides between wineries are about 20 minutes long, and if you get tired, you can always kick back and ride in the shuttle—which is also available to cart any cases or bottles you purchase throughout the day.
Break for lunch in a scenic outdoor spot to nibble on gourmet lunch items, taking in the scenery while you snack on artisanal, local treats. After a full day of winetasting and relaxed biking through this stunning landscape, hop back in the shuttle for an early evening return to San Francisco. Read More close
After being picked up from your hotel, head north toward the leafy, sun-kissed vineyards of the Napa and Sonoma valleys. This world-class wine growing region has helped put California on the map—learn why as your guide recounts the area’s viticultural history and the unique characteristics that help certain grape varietals to thrive in this mild and dry climate.
Stop at the tasting rooms of a variety of wineries, from large producers to boutique, family-owned vineyards as you explore everything the region has to offer.
Take a break from tasting at charming Sonoma Square, where you have some free time to peruse the shops for artisan goods like olive oils and cheeses and stop for lunch at a local restaurant.
Next, make your way into the heart of Napa Valley to savor a guided tasting flight among the vines. Learn about each varietal and vintage and how they pair with certain foods. Savor every last sip before you head back over the bridge into the city. Read More close
Climb aboard a comfortable air-conditioned coach and cruise over the Golden Gate Bridge as you head into fertile hills and valleys brimming with vineyards. Make your first stop of the day at Madonna Estate, where you can sip a refreshing pinot grigio and learn about the efforts of the Bartolucci family, who have been making wine here since 1922.
At Sutter Home, hear how this renowned producer popularized the white zinfandel style while you try a few samples for yourself. Take a short break for shopping and lunch at V Marketplace, taking advantage of its fine dining options and colorful boutiques before concluding your tour at Sebastiani Vineyards. After uncorking a few final samples of robust reds and crisp whites, hop back on your bus and head back to San Francisco Read More close
As the journey starts, snap a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, an architectural masterpiece. Your first stop is a rustic winery offering wines to delight every palate. Sit and discover the art and passion of winemaking in the barn-turned-tasting room at the Larson Family Winery.
Then head to the Nicholson Ranch, an artisan winery featuring a delightfully crisp chardonnay and a velvety smooth pinot noir, and taste these delectable wines in and around the sophisticated and harmonious rows of picture-perfect vineyards. The last stop, Hagafen Cellars, handcrafts a range of vintages including cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah, white riesling, and zinfandel.
Along the way, stop at the gourmet Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa and wander through the marketplace with food vendors selling local produce, artisan cafés, and organic outlets. Then sit back and enjoy your journey home and reflect on the robust, elegant, and quirky wines that made your taste buds dance.
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After being picked up from your San Francisco city hotel or residence, make your way to what’s arguably California’s most famous wine region—Napa Valley. Your first tasting is at Spelletich Family Winery, where you can learn about the wine production process on their 16,000-square-foot (1,486-m) facility. Sip, swirl, and taste their outstanding wines in their new sleek and modern tasting room.
Now that you have some insight in the winemaking process, awaken your senses at Judd’s Hill Winery at the southern end of the Silverado Trail. Tantalize your taste buds with a range of NorCal varietals like rosé, sauvignon blanc, zinfandel, and cabernet sauvignon.
Your next stop is in downtown Napa, at the Oxbow Public Market. Wander through this lively marketplace and enjoy some free time to grab lunch at the local produce vendors, artisan cafés and organic eateries.
The final vineyard is located in the Oak Knoll District AVA (American Viticultural Area). Enjoy the Old World-style blends produced by Andretti Winery. Relax in the stone-tiled plaza near the tasting room and take in the Italianate charm of the space Before sitting back to enjoy your journey back to the city.
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