Napa is well known as a vacation destination for its vineyards and its outdoors. What many people do not realize, is that there is much more to do in Napa than just sipping on glasses of white or red deliciousness. When you plan your trip to Napa, take in account of all the activities you can choose from. Plan your most perfect and wholesome getaway with these 20 things to do in Napa.
1. Go on a Wine Tour
Since Napa is so famous for its wine and vineyards, you cannot pass up on a wine tour. It is highly recommended you go on an organized tour where you will not be the one driving, for safety reasons and to be able to enjoy the wine to its maximum potential. Choose from daily tours where you will be chauffeured around, be able to enjoy the scenery, and even meet and connect with others who are doing exactly the same as you. Platypus Tours comes with some of the best options for you to choose from for your preference and group size. You will even get picked up from your hotel!
- Name: Platypus Tours
- Address: 101 S Coombs St Napa, CA 94559
- Price: $110 per person for a day tour.
- Access: Pick up from nearby Napa hotel or meet at pre-arranged public space for shuttle.
- Website: http://www.platypustours.com/
2. Ride the Wine Train
If you are one for more elevation and space, then catch the Wine Train for a ride that you will never forget. This train is a museum-like rail with historic appeal. Not only will you experience the scenic lands of Napa from the tall windows, but you will be able to dine in style. Choose from multiple courses or combine the ride with a winery tour. The train runs throughout the day and sunset is one of the best times to be on it.
- Name: Napa Valley Wine Train
- Address: 1275 McKinstry Street, Napa, California 94559.
- Price: $129 and up
- Access: 5 minutes from downtown Napa walking.
- Opening hour: 7am
- Closing hour: 7pm
- Website: http://winetrain.com/
3. Dip into Calistoga Hot Springs
Calistoga is a popular city within Napa Valley where you will find the opportunity to dip into hot springs and geothermal pools. Head to Calistoga Spa Hot Springs and do not forget your bathing suit. The temperature in the springs gets high – up to about 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The minerals within these waters are rejuvenating and relaxing. Combine your visit with a hotel stay and a spa session beforehand to make it a full day experience.
- Name: Calistoga Spa Hot Springs
- Address: 1006 Washington Street
- Price: $15 and up
- Access: In downtown Napa, at the foot of Mt. Saint Helena mountain. Within 5 miles of majority of vineyards.
- Opening hour: 24/7
- Website: http://www.calistogaspa.com/
4. Visit the Castle of Castello di Amorosa
Experience a castle at no other than, a real castle. Castello di Amorosa has only been open since 2007 to the public and since then, has become one of the best things to add to one’s itinerary while in Napa. Not only does this castle sit on 30 acres and has 107 rooms, but it is a winery as well. Take a tour of the castle and wine taste while you’re there. Highlights include the Grand Barrel Room, the Chapel, and the Courtyard. Fun fact – there is a real torture chamber inside this castle.
- Name: Castello di Amorosa
- Address: 4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515
- Price: $25 and up
- Access: 5 minutes from downtown Napa by car.
- Opening hour: March-October 9:30am to 6pm
November-February 9:30am to 5pm
- Holiday: Christmas Day only. – December 25th.
- Website: http://www.castellodiamorosa.com
5. Walk Downtown St. Helena
If you are not one to spend every minute of your day out in the field and hills, choose to spend some time in the main city of Napa – St. Helena. The town is small, less than 15 blocks long on the main road, but is full of businesses to walk into and restaurants to dine at. Spend your time on foot as getting around is easy or opt to bike at your own leisure. You can find cellars where wine is sold, visit the historic cinema, go to a casino, or spend your time walking the streets gazing out over the rolling hills in the distance.
- Name: St. Helena
- Address: St. Helena, California
- Access: 8 minutes from Deer Park, California by car.
- Website: http://www.sthelena.com/
6. Go on a Balloon Ride
What is better than seeing Napa on the ground? Seeing Napa from 1,000 feet up in the sky! Get an early start on your day with a hot air balloon ride with Napa Valley Aloft. The balloons fly out early, right after dawn to catch the calmest winds. Depending on the weather, you can fly from 1 hour to almost two hours! Stay for brunch on the site once your balloon rides is complete.
- Name: Napa Valley Aloft
- Address: 6525 Washington Street,
- Price: $200 and up
- Access: Free shuttle from Yountville area. 20 minutes from St. Helena by car. Shuttle is available for $15 in surrounding neighborhoods.
- Opening hour: Dawn
- Website: http://nvaloft.com/
7. Camp at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Camping is an overlooked activity when one comes to Napa. The luxurious spas make one want to be pampered, but getting into the actual dirt of Napa is even more fun. Make a camping reservation when you come to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park to secure your spot. There is plenty of space for groups who want to stay together or individuals who want seclusion. At this park, you will find terrain perfect for hiking, a swimming pool, different species of animals, and picnic areas. The land is mostly volcanic and the park is full of forests and canyons within.
- Name: Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
- Address: 3801 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515
- Price: $35 per night for camping.
- Access: 8 minutes by car from St. Helena
- Opening hour: 24/7
- Website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=477
8. Visit Lake Berryessa
The largest lake within the Napa region is Lake Berryessa. It is located in the Vaca Mountains. It is highly used for recreational purposes and also serves as a reservoir. There is an entire list of activities you can enjoy while at the lake. Jet skiing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and motorcycling are only a few to name.
- Name: Berryesse Lake
- Address: 5520 Knoxville Road, Napa
- Price: Free
- Access: 45 minutes from Rutherford by car
- Website: http://www.visitnapavalley.com/lake_berryessa.htm
9. Take a Mud Bath
Getting the experience of a mud bath is a historical thing to do in Napa and it still has all the “wow” today. Head to Golden Haven Hot Springs Resort & Spa where you can get your mud bath. The mud helps to detoxify the body and paired with the hot mineral jacuzzi, your body will be feeling better in no time. Feel free to bring a guest or two to share in the experience with you in the same room.
- Name: Golden Haven
- Address: 1713 Lake Street, Calistoga, Napa Valley
- Price: $85 and up
- Access: 15 minutes from St. Helena by car
- Opening hour: 8am
- Closing hour: 11pm
- Website: http://www.goldenhaven.com/
10. Ride to Eat
If you are fond of cycling and going for long bike rides, then sign up for an event through Bottega Gran Fondo. There are different events each month with different rides ranging from a 35 mile bike to an 85 mile bike ride. What is different about these cycling events is that there are rest stops where you are met by chefs and sommeliers with some goodies to munch on. Bike, eat, and have fun.
- Name: Bottega Gran Fondo
- Address: Surrounding Yountville and Napa areas for events
- Price: $25 and up
- Access: 20 minutes from St. Helena by car
- Opening hour: 10am or designated time of special event.
- Website: http://bottegagranfondo.com/
11. Catch the sunset at Skyline Wilderness Park
One of the best sunsets you can catch is at Skyline Wilderness Park. Begin your day a few hours earlier. No one is admitted into the park within the last 30 minutes of closing. Get some hiking or biking in and head to an open hilly area where you can catch the sun go down in the west. The park also has a golf course and horseback riding.
- Name: Skyline Wilderness Park
- Address: 2201 Imola Ave., Napa
- Price: Free
- Access: 5 minutes from Imola by car
- Opening hour: 8am
- Closing hour: 5pm in winter; 7pm in summer.
- Website: http://www.skylinepark.org/
12. Attend BottleRock Festival
Check if you are visiting Napa during the BottleRock Napa Valley Festival. This year, it is being held the weekend of May 27th-May 29th. Watch live performances from musicians, such as Stevie Wonder. Enjoy local food and brews, see the different sculptures and artwork by up and coming artists, and opt for the VIP treatment if you choose to do so. It is a three day festival if you opt to stay for the entire event.
- Name: BottleRock Napa Valley Festival
- Address: 575 3rd Street, Napa
- Price: $139 and up
- Access: 10 minutes from downtown Napa by car
- Website: http://www.bottlerocknapavalley.com/
13. Dine at Oxbow Public Market
One of the best local spots to socialize and meet others is at Oxbow Public Market. The market holds about 20 different food vendors along with tasting rooms for wines and other beverages. Check for local night specials and happy hours which sometimes occur more than once per day. Whatever your taste buds desire, you can find here.
- Name: Oxbow Public Market
- Address: 610 and 644 First Street, Napa
- Access: 10 minutes from Imola by car.
- Opening hour: 7:30am
- Closing hour: 9:30am
- Holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
- Website: http://oxbowpublicmarket.com/
14. Try Some Olive Oil Tastings
Besides wine, Napa has some of the most phenomenal olive oils in the United States. There are some olive oil tastings offered at the Oxbow Market, but why not visit an actual tasting room? Round Pond Estate is a family owned where you can taste up their home made olive oils and other artisan specialties. There is an actual oil mill on the site too. Add in the vinegar tastings for extra spice.
- Name: Round Pond Estate
- Address: 886 Rutherford Road, Rutherford
- Price: $20
- Access: 20 minutes from downtown Napa by car.
- Opening hour: 9am
- Closing hour: 5pm
- Holiday: Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
- Website: www.roundpond.com/olive-mill.
15. See a Waterfall
Hike to Linda Falls to view the waterfall that will blow your mind. Linda Falls is on a reserve, therefore you will need to contact the Land Trust of Napa Valley in order to be guided there. The trail is just short of 3 kilometers. Hikes are scheduled monthly and are not necessarily at the same time year-round. Bird watching is a must here.
- Name: Land Trust of Napa Valley
- Address: 1040 Main St., Suite 203, Napa
- Access: In downtown Napa; Linda Falls is 35 minutes north of Napa in Angwin.
- Website: http://www.napalandtrust.org/
16. Attend a Yoga Class Outdoors
If you are in Napa on a Saturday morning, be sure to join in the outdoor yoga session at Sullivan Vineyards. This yoga class is held outdoors by the vineyard area. After you work out for one hour, another hour will be added to your enjoyment – full of three wine tastings. Then you can choose to stay the rest of the day until the sun goes down.
- Name: Sullivan Vineyards
- Address: 1090 Galleron, Rutherford
- Price: $35
- Access: 10 minutes from Deer Park by car
- Opening hour: 9:30am
- Website: http://www.visitnapavalley.com/wineries-sullivan_vineyards_563.htm
17. Visit the Art Gallery
When you are in downtown Napa, be sure to head into the Napa Valley Art Gallery. The showroom holds artwork of regional artists. Works include that of photography, jewelry, and fused glass. If you arrive on a Friday or Saturday night, live music is held and the hours are extended into the night.
- Name: Napa Valley Art Gallery
- Address: 1520 Behrens Street, Napa
- Price: Free
- Access: 10 minutes from Salvador by car
- Opening hour: 10am
- Holiday: Closed major holidays.
- Website: http://www.nvart.org/gallery
18. Bike the Silverado Trail
The Silverado Trail is one not to be missed for the outdoorsy tourist. For 29 miles, it runs along the eastern side of the valley. There is a designated bike lane, so do not fear biking into any other vehicles that may be on the road. Make it a spontaneous ride or plan your route out. There are over 40 attractions along the route that you can stop at which include vineyards, restaurants, and historical sites. Bike rental shops are abundant everywhere nearby.
- Name: Silverado Trail
- Address: Highway 29 between Napa and Calistoga
- Website: http://silveradotrail.com/
19. Visit the Distillery
Did you know that Napa has a distillery? Wine may be the main focus for many, but spirits are becoming quite the buzz in this Californian destination. At Napa Distillery, you will find over 300 cocktail and culinary ingredients to sample. Tastings include 6 maximum spirit tastings per person per day. Special gift sets are sold if you fall in love with a brew and you can also join the Bar Club if you’d like become a regular visitor. Remember to make reservations for the weekend at the Salon or walk in for a tasting at the pop up shop at Oxbow Public Market.
- Name: Napa Distillery
- Address: 2485 Stockton St., Napa
- Price: $15
- Access: 5 minutes from Redwood Creek by car
- Opening hour: 9am
- Website: http://www.napadistillery.com/
20. Animal Watch at San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
To make your visit to Napa complete, add in some time with the lovely animals at Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. There is a variety of animals to view from birds to mammals to amphibians. Check the bird watcher on the refuge’s website for tracking information. Silence will give you the best chance at catching the animals in their natural habitat. Be sure to stay on the designated trails once you are inside.
- Name: Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
- Address: 2100 CA-37, Petaluma
- Price: Free
- Access: 40 minutes from Napa by car
- Opening hour: Dawn
- Website: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/San_Pablo_Bay/directions.html
These twenty things are not the only ones to do in Napa. There are many more that would make our list endless. Next time you are in Napa, be sure to venture out beyond the vineyards. Explore from our suggestions above and let your Napa adventure be the fullest it could be!
Have a good trip and travel!