Let’s be real, when you plan a trip to Napa Valley, you aren’t booking it with the intention of going shopping, watching a movie and calling it early with an 8pm bedtime. If you’re visiting Napa, chances are you’re planning on tasting the magical nectar of grapes all day long, until your teeth are stained red and you’re happy as a clam. While there are over 400 wineries to visit in the area, and plenty of wine to go around, eventually you might need a break between tastings. If that’s the case, here are some of our favorite unique things to do that you might not have known about.
1. Try Oprah’s Favorite English Muffins
If you’re a fan of baked goods and trust anything and everything that Oprah recommends, then you HAVE to go to Model Bakery. With its flagship location in St. Helena, Model Bakery has been serving hungry locals for almost ninety years. Now with a second location at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, and a smaller location in Yountville, you can find Model Bakery’s incredible goods almost anywhere you go in the area.
Model Bakery serves up a delicious assortment of breads, pastries, pies, cakes, and cookies to name a few, but we can’t get enough of their homemade buttery English Muffins
(Photo credit: Model Bakery)
2. Stand Up Paddle on the Napa River
For obvious reasons, we recommend doing this activity BEFORE you go out wine tasting for the day. If you’re looking for something fun to do in the spring or summer, rent a kayak or paddle board and get a little exercise in on the Napa River. You can choose to rent for a few hours, or take a guided tour if you’re feeling adventurous from Napa Valley Paddle.
(Photo credit: Napa Valley Paddle)
3. Feel Like a Queen or King for the Day at a Napa Castle
Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of it, maybe it’s the first time you’re even hearing about it, but either way, Castello di Amorosa is a truly incredible experience that you must do the next time you’re in Napa. Who would have thought that right in Calistoga off St. Helena Highway, you’d find a majestic castle that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a kingdom straight out of Game of Thrones. You can visit just for the photos, or put on your crown and do a guided tour and tasting if you really want the royal treatment.
(Photo credit: Castello di Amorosa)
4. Get Your Mud on at Calistoga’s Hot Springs
Want to unwind after a long weekend of drinking? Visit some of the natural hot springs that Calistoga has to offer! You can choose from mud baths, wraps, masks, or just a dip in the hot spring water. Indian Springs and Calistoga Ranch Spa are both great options for visiting!
(Photo credit: Indian Springs)
5. Explore Art & Nature in One Magnificent Venue
With over 200 acres of indoor and outdoor gallery space, the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is a site to behold! Walk the beautiful grounds and discover some of Northern California’s beautiful art in a unique setting. With multiple galleries, an outdoor sculpture park, and a 35-acre lake, there is plenty to make you feel artsy and sophisticated!
(Photo credit: di Rosa Center)
6. Do a Different Kind of Tasting
If you need a break from wine tasting, there are plenty of other things you can taste in Napa Valley, specifically of the green variety. Olives are plentiful in Napa, and attending an olive oil tasting is a super fun way to enjoy something savory that you can take home and pair with your vino later on. Some places to consider include The Olive Press, and Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company.
(Photo credit: William Sonoma)
7. Experience Views Like No Other
You started from the bottom, now you’re here… in the skies of Napa Valley that is. If you want breathtaking views of rolling vineyards, sunrises, and the serenity of Napa, take a hot air balloon ride for a truly memorable experience. There are a number of websites to book from, so do some research on the best reviewed, with the best prices, and book up up & away!
(Photo credit: Visit Napa Valley)
8. Eat Your Heart Out at Oxbow Market
There are so many incredible restaurants to visit in Napa, it’s honestly hard to narrow them down to a few for lunches and dinners. Lucky enough, you can get a little bit of everything in Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa! Filled with fresh produce, baked goods, incredible tacos, fresh oysters and more, you can eat til you’re stomach’s content at Oxbow.
(Photo credit: Savvy Lifestyle)
9. See a Show Where There’s No Bad Seats
Want to see some live music or comedy while in Napa? Check out the historic Uptown Theater in the West End district! This restored theater from 1937 is beautiful, cozy, and very intimate. In fact, the last row of the theater is less than 100 feet from the stage! From large well-known musical acts to up-and-coming comedians, the Uptown Theater provides a great opportunity to see some of your favorite entertainers up close and personal.
(Photo credit: Trip Advisor)
10. Go Horseback Riding Through the Vineyards
It’s not very often that you get the chance to ride a horse in wine country, let alone through the vines themselves. Take a tour with the Napa Valley Horse Company and make all your friends jealous with the amazing photos you’re sure to take.
(Photo credit: Napa Valley Horse Company)
Bring Napa to Your Doorstep
Dying to go to Napa but can’t make the trip this year? Have the best Napa Valley wines delivered to your door by shopping here. Better yet, if you want the Napa tasting experience without the flight and expenses, invite your friends over for a one-of-a-kind wine tasting at home! Pick your wine, send out invites, and one of our Cause Entrepreneurs will walk you and your guests through a delicious wine tasting in an intimate setting!
The ONEHOPE Wine Team