When preparing what to do in Napa Valley, it’s difficult not to consider a vacation filled with red wine tasting– but there’s far more to this sought-after stretch of Northern California than simply acclaimed wine. From cooking lessons and art to live music and parks that will inspire you to invest more time in the great outdoors, there’s a long list of things to do in Napa Valley that have nothing to do with wine.Ready to go?
Load your sense of adventure and a comfortable pair of shoes, because there’s a ton of ground to cover. From Napa to Calistoga, here are our leading suggestions on what to do in Napa Valley, city by city.
Individuals stroll past the Copia store in Napa, Calif. The Copia retailer is featured inside the Culinary Institute of America.James Tensuan/Special to The
Chronicle Things to do in Napa
Stellar vino tends to attract equally noteworthy food, and though everybody might not fancy wine, we can all value tasty meals. Learn how to create gourmet dining experiences in your home from the pros at The CIA at Copia, The Culinary Institute of America’s wine nation hub in downtown Napa. There’s something for every ability here: Offerings range from multi-day culinary boot camps to hands-on cooking classes and family-friendly experiences. If you ‘d choose to let the pros do the work, you can sit back and take pleasure in a meal at The Grove at Copia, the Institute’s Mediterranean-inspired dining establishment in downtown Napa, or pick up lunch from the Lunch Box at Copia. (And if you do take place to be into red wine, don’t fret: They, of course, have a wine bar.)
After class you can pick up some new kitchen tools at the Market at Copia, or marvel at historic cookwear at the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum. (Williams was the founder of Williams Sonoma.)
Commemorate your cooking prowess with a program at Blue Note Napa, a live music and jazz club situated on the first flooring of the Napa Valley Opera Home. Performers consist of need-to-know regional artists like Kellie Fuller in addition to national stars like Macy Gray and Peabo Bryson. It’s also worth examining the line-up at within-walking-distance Uptown Theatre Napa. Going back to 1937, the brought back art deco place hosts funny and musical performances.
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real”data-component=”image”> An unique flight on a hot air balloon will be a highlight of your time in Napa Valley.DianeBentleyRaymond/ Getty Images/iStockphoto Things to do in Yountville It may have a small-town feel, but Yountville provides big when it comes to red wine nation experiences.
You need to roll out of bed early, but a hot air balloon flight over Napa Valley is among those experiences you’ll be speaking about long after finding your way back home. A lot of early mornings, Napa Valley Aloft balloons launch steps outside of the V Marketplace on Washington Street, Yountville’s primary drag. Depending on the weather, fliers may see the San Francisco skyline along with acres of vineyards. Launches occur just after dawn; gown in layers you can remove as temperature levels increase.
As soon as back on strong ground, extend your legs while admiring an unique collection of outdoor public art. The Yountville Art Walk includes roughly 35 sculptures; some are irreversible while others are for sale. Weekends throughout mustard season (Feb.-March), you can search for signed and numbered glass hearts produced by Napa Valley glass artist Patti Wessman. They will be concealed in plain sight along the Art Stroll for visitors to find and keep.
At some point throughout your walk you’ll pass by The French Laundry’s culinary garden. This immaculate 3.5-acre garden is the primary source of veggies, herbs and flowers for the renowned Michelin-starred restaurant. The garden also supplies chef Thomas Keller’s collection of other dining establishments in Yountville.
Things to do in Oakville
Established in 1881, Oakville Grocery is supposedly the earliest continuously operating grocery store in California, tucked in this sweet little town. As of last count, Oakville itself has just about 100 individuals, so there’s not much to see here beyond the grocery store– unless you enjoy white wine tasting, in which case there are several unbelievable choices nearby. Still, Oakville Grocery is considered such a Napa landmark, with a tasty menu, that it’s well worth the go to. Pick up breakfast, a sandwich or wood-fired pizza, or created a premium picnic. Not starving? A variety of housewares and edible items make for excellent gifts and keepsakes.
The Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, near St. Helena and Calistoga, Calif.Robert _ Ford/Getty Images/iStockphoto Things to do in St. Helena A stroll down St. Helena’s Main Street delivers a myriad of deals with like chocolate caramels from Woodhouse Chocolate and English muffins from The Model Bakery (which have been featured on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list four times). Shopping lovers could quickly invest a few hours enjoying this bustling store- and restaurant-lined stretch.
For an unforeseen taste of white wine nation, make the fast and simple five-or-so-minute drive towards the town of Calistoga to Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, which sits right smack in between the 2 towns. Hidden in plain view along with St. Helena Highway, the mill’s water wheel is one of simply a handful that are still working in the United States. (Bale Grist Mill is noted on both the National Register of Historic Places and secured as a State Historic Landmark.) Integrated in 1846, the park is technically just open on weekends (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day), although trails make it easy to approach the Mill and look from the outside any day of the week. If you can make the journey during the weekend, you can catch historic tours and see the 36-foot water wheel in action, as a miller demonstrates how grains are ground into flour and meals.
The History Trail connects Bale Grist Mill to surrounding Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. The moderate, 2.3 mile roundtrip path passes the Pioneer Cemetery and The White Church, thought to be the very first church in Napa Valley. Read here for a short description of other hikes in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park.
The Old Faithful Geyser of California in Calistoga, Calif.slobo/ Getty Images/iStockphoto Things to do in Calistoga Geothermal warm springs made Calistoga well-known more
than 150 years back. Ever since, a variety of health clubs and hotels have sprung up in the northern most idea of Napa Valley. A variety of resort residential or commercial properties boast geothermal mineral swimming pools, however Indian Springs’primary swimming pool is arguably the most stunning. Built in 1913, the Olympic-sized mineral pool is fed by on-site geysers. The water temperature level varies from approximately 92 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s likewise a smaller sized, more intimate adults-only pool with water about 10 degrees cooler. Indian Springs over night visitors have unrestricted access to the thermal swimming pools. A limited variety of swimming pool passes are frequently available for purchase by day
visitors who have actually reserved a 50-minute treatment. If you genuinely want to go into Calistoga’s special wellness offerings, you have to get dirty. Used by native Wappo Indians, mud baths are now used at day spas throughout town, with husband-and-wife group John”Doc”and Edy Wilkinson credited with introducing the principle to wellness applicants checking out Napa Valley. In 1952, the couple’s warm springs resort began offering restorative mud baths using a recipe of volcanic ash, hot spring water, peat moss and other secret ingredients. Though purposely getting filthy may not appear relaxing, 70 years later on the funky however fabulous treatment is still sought after. The medical spa at Dr. Wilkinson’s Yard Resort & Mineral Springs simply emerged from a substantial remodel, however the mud baths and the zen-inducing state have not altered. Willingly sinking your body into a steamy barrel of thick, wet dirt for a red wine country experience you’ll always remember. This story was modified by Hearst National Editor Kristina Moy; you can contact her at [email protected]