Top Ten Things To Do In Napa Valley
1. TAKE A SAFARI TOUR
Located between Calistoga and Santa Rosa, Safari WestÂ maintains over 400 acres with some 350 species of animals.Â 2 1â„2 hour tours are led by resident naturalists, with half the time being spent in an open-air safari vehicle, and half on foot. The organization offers regular tours, private twilightÂ safaris in the summer with wine and cheese (from 7:00 until the sun is gone), and privateÂ sunset safaris in the spring and fall, also featuring wine and cheese. Various renditions ofÂ these private tours occur on holidays.
2. SOAR IN A HOT AIR BALLOON
In Napa, at least, most hot air balloon rides beginÂ before dawn in order to take advantage of the optimal air currents and atmosphericÂ conditions. There are many companies operating rides, and different options areÂ available. Some, for example, include various types of brunches and/or wines. The hourÂ you are in the air is spectacular. Adventures Aloft: 800-944-4408 Balloons Above theÂ Valley: 800-464-6824 Calistoga Ballooning: 800-359-6272 Napa Valley Balloons,Â Inc.:800-253-2224 Up & Away Ballooning: 707-836-0171.
There are some wonderful shopping opportunities in the Valley, beginning withÂ the revitalized downtown area of Napa, and going all the way north to Calistoga. WeÂ can’t list every specialty shop in wine country, but the following are some of the places toÂ go.Â Downtown NapaÂ The Hatt Market in NapaÂ Southern Yountville, including Vintage 1870 ShopsÂ Napa Valley Grapevine Wreath Company in RutherfordÂ Olive Oil Shop at the corner of Rt. 29 and Rutherford Rd.Â Main St. in St. HelenaÂ Lincoln Ave. in CalistogaÂ Ca’ Toga Galleria in Calistoga, featuring works of resident artist Carlo Marchiori.
4. CYCLE THE CIRCUIT
There are few places in the world better suited to bikingÂ than the Napa Valley. In the morning temperatures are jacket cool (even in the summer)Â and early evenings are very pleasant. Even in the middle of the day, the dry heat lendsÂ itself to cycling. There are tours available that combine biking and wine tasting, or youÂ can plan your own schedule.Â Napa Valley Bike Tours707-251-8687Â St. Helena Cyclery: 707-963-7736 NapaÂ Valley Bike Tours: 707-2453
5. ENJOY MUDBATHS & SPAS
There are some beautiful hotels and country clubs inÂ the Napa Valley offering modern health clubs and spas, but when most people refer to aÂ spa in wine country, they are speaking of Calistoga, a town founded in the 1860’s for itsÂ volcanic ash and peat-moss mud and mineral baths. Calistoga sits near natural mineralÂ and mud springs, as well as near functioning hot water geysers, thus making it the idealÂ spot to luxuriate.Â For more information we suggest you go On Line, or contact the Chamber of Commerce.
6. FLY SILENTLY
Is there anything more peaceful (unless you’re a nervous wreck)Â than riding smoothly and silently through the air in a glider? Crazy Creek GlidersÂ operated out of Calistoga for years, and has moved about 20 – 30 minutes north toÂ Middletown to keep up with their expansion and need to park more planes. You canÂ choose from varying lengths of rides. reservations call 707-987-9112
7. SIX FLAGS MARINE WORLD
Located in Vallejo, about an hour from mid Valley,Â is Six Flags Marine World, America’s only combination wildlife park, oceanarium andÂ theme park. Need one say more? For more information call 707-644-4000
8. GOLF (ALWAYS GOLF)
There are only a few courses in the Napa Valley itself, butÂ at least the golfer won’t have to go cold turkey. You can find one 18 hole public course inÂ Napa, and two 9 hole public courses – one in Yountville and one in Calistoga. PrivateÂ links include 18 holes at both Silverado and Chardonnay Country Clubs, and a 9 hole atÂ Meadowood country club.Â Chardonnay Golf Club: 707-257-1900 Napa MunicipalÂ Course: 707-255-433 Vintner’s Golf Club: 707-944-1992.
9. THERE IS WATER IN NAPA
Napa River Adventures offers a variety of water-craftÂ that allows people of all ages and abilities to experience the beautiful Napa Valley, andÂ the Napa River. Regularly scheduled cruises on an electric, luxury riverboat offer theÂ opportunity to relax in comfort on a guided narrated tour of current river developments,Â local history and ecology. You will enjoy the gorgeous sweeping vistas of the mountains,Â and see and learn about wildlife such as the Great Blue Heron, the osprey, the egret, andÂ the kingfisher. You can also bring wine. Canoes and kayaks are available for thoseÂ looking to get a closer look into the wetlands and surrounding marshes. For moreÂ information and reservations call:707-224-9080.
10. FESTIVALS AND ARTS
Throughout the year there are dozens of festivalsÂ honoring many things that have nothing to do with wine, as well as a number of shows,Â concerts, and arts demonstrations. To name a few, we let you know there is the NapaÂ Valley Dog Show, The Zarzuela Opera Festival, The Napa Chef’s Market, The WineÂ Country Film Festival, The Music Festival for Health, Bluegrass jams, The Micro-BrewÂ Fest, The Mustard Festival, The Memorial Weekend Sprint Car Races, The SilveradoÂ Parade, The Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival, and The Antique Car Show.Â We recommend calling the various Chambers of Commerce for more information.Â Calistoga: 707-942-6333 Napa:707-254-1142 St. Helena: 707-963-4456 Yountville:Â 707-944-0904.
Info compiled by Sallyâ€™s Place! Thanks Sally!