Napa Valley Vacations
Rolling mountains harbor Napa Valley's legendary terroir, which bursts with wildflowers in spring and golden vineyards in fall. Farming towns boast endless outdoor fun and natural hot springs with alleged curative powers. Napa town - the valley's financial, if not cultural, center - is a great base for exploring the area's intoxicating attractions.
Many shops in Napa rent bikes, if you'd like to pedal between vineyards (no riding under the influence, now!), or you could take a tour on the Napa Valley Wine Train, with its vintage Pullman dining cars. The heart of California's 'Wine Country', Napa Valley offers nearly 400 opportunities to savor superb wine.
Napa Valley & Sonoma
Featured Napa Valley Hotel
What To Do
Many wineries offer amenities such as winery tours, museums, art galleries and lush gardens; you can often walk or hike through the grounds. Cycling is an excellent way to see the region, but if you want the best view, try hang-gliding or hot-air ballooning.
Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
An 1889 stone chateau houses a gadget-filled culinary shop, fine restaurant, and weekend cooking demonstrations and wine-tasting classes.
Ascend Mt Veeder for drop-dead vistas at Napa's oh-so-swank, first-ever LEED gold-certified winery, which crafts Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon. Hawks ride thermals at eye level. Reservations required.
What To See
di Rosa Art + Nature Preserve
When you notice scrap-metal sheep grazing Carneros vineyards, you've spotted di Rosa Art + Nature Preserve, one of the best-anywhere collections of Northern California art. Reservations are highly recommended for tours.
Summer and fall mean a flurry of activity throughout Napa Valley and Sonoma. Since 1969, the Summer Music Festival at Robert Mondavi Winery has hosted concerts featuring the world's most recognized jazz, R&B and pop artists. Ubiquitous weekend farmers' markets boast the best of Californian produce, and excellent deals on wine and cheese. Annual events include the Heart of the Valley Barrel Tasting in March, an indulgent weekend of wine and food tastings, art and entertainment, in which 21 Sonoma Valley wineries join forces to showcase their wares. In June, tickets sell out early for the premier annual food and wine event - the Napa Valley Wine Auction.
In July and August, experience movies in the vineyards during the Wine Country Film Festival or, for something a tad more Mediterranean, there's always the Annual Catalan Festival at Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves in Sonoma - like you needed another excuse to eat, drink, dance and be merry! There are also dozens of winery-sponsored events during the fall crush. In October, you can celebrate the harvest with grape stomps and concerts like the Napa Valley Blues Festival in Calistoga, or the BR Cohn Charity Fall Music Festival and Celebrity Golf Classic in Glen Ellen, a huge weekend that sells out without fail. Come November, Yountville gets well-lit for the holidays during the Festival of Lights. And Carols in the Caves takes advantage of natural acoustics in all those underground wine cellars just before Christmas.