8 Ways to Enjoy Your Time in Napa Valley
When people think of California, the first two cities that probably come to mind are Los Angeles and San Francisco. They might alternatively mention San Diego or Sacramento, but many people tend to overlook some of the other great places California has to offer.
Take, for example, Napa Valley. Now, some people might have heard of Napa Valley, but it often gets overlooked.
Napa Valley packs a lot with plenty of activities to do. Here are eight ways to enjoy your time in Napa Valley.
1. Visit a winery
Let's get the most obvious activity out of the way first. Napa Valley is world-renowned for its wine. There are over 500 wineries, many of which offer tours and tasting rooms.
With so many options, it's not easy to pick just one or two. It helps to know what you are looking for on a trip to a winery. For instance, maybe history plays a vital part in your enjoyment. Longstanding wineries like Beringer Vineyards have a lot to offer in this department. Beringer has been around since 1876 and is the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley.
Looking for a more intimate experience? There are plenty of smaller family-run wineries like Robert Sinskey Vineyards, founded in 1986 and has won multiple awards for its wine.
2. Take a Napa Valley Wine Train tour
Sticking with wine, there's also the option to take a wine train tour. If you can't pick just one winery to visit, then a trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train might be worth it. The Napa Valley Wine Train offers different wine-tasting experiences that range from a few hours to an entire day. The tours are a fantastic way to sample different wines from other wineries without worrying about driving or having to plan your day around visiting one of them.
3. Go on a hike
Okay, let's move beyond the wine-based activities. Napa Valley makes for a great region to go on a hike. There are many trails that offer unique experiences.
For example, the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park has over 10 miles of hiking trails that take you through redwood forests, meadows, and streams. Another option is the Oat Hill Mine Trail, a slightly more challenging hike that takes you to an abandoned 19th-century mine.
4. Go for a hot air balloon ride
Want to see Napa Valley from a different perspective? Consider going on a hot air balloon ride. Many companies offer balloon rides, so you'll have plenty of options.
Hot air balloon rides share an interesting history with Napa Valley. The first hot air balloon ride in Napa Valley dates all the way back to the 1870s, and the first ride was almost a complete disaster. However, in the 1970s, the region saw impressive growth in hot air balloon companies, and hot air balloon rides have become a staple in the region.
5. Go on a bike tour
Napa Valley is a great place to go for a bike ride. There are many trails that wind through the vineyards and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. There are several companies that offer guided bike tours, so you don't have to worry about getting lost. Most of the tours include stops at wineries and restaurants, so you can enjoy the best that Napa Valley has to offer.
6. Visit a museum
If you're not really into the outdoors, you might want to consider visiting one of Napa Valley's museums. There are several to choose from, including the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art and the Napa Valley Museum.
The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is a must-see for art lovers. The museum has over 2,000 works of art from more than 800 artists. The Napa Valley Museum is an excellent option if you want to learn about the history of Napa Valley. The museum has exhibits on the Native Americans who once lived in the region, the early settlers, and the development of the wine industry.
7. Enjoy a resort
Maybe you're in the mood for something a bit more luxurious and relaxing. You might want to consider staying at one of Napa Valley's many resorts. The region is home to several luxurious resorts that offer everything from spa treatments to golf courses.
One of the most popular resorts in Napa Valley is the Auberge du Soleil, which is located in Rutherford. The resort has an on-site spa, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and stunning views of Napa Valley.
8. Take a cooking class
If you're interested in learning to level up your cooking skills, then consider taking a cooking class. There are many cooking classes you can take in Napa Valley that range in various levels of experience.
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone is a great option if you want to learn from some of the best chefs in the world. The school offers classes on everything from knife skills to baking.
Don't skip out on Napa Valley
While it might be small in size, there's plenty to do in Napa Valley. What makes Napa Valley stand out is how much history and things you can do in such a limited area.
It's easy to overlook it, but it offers a unique experience, especially compared to other parts of California. And you don't have to be a wine lover to enjoy the region. There are plenty of activities for anyone to enjoy.
Rachel is a freelance writer and a self-proclaimed "Travelholic". She enjoys traveling to parts unknown, sampling local cuisines, and sharing her experiences with the world. In her free time, you can find her planning her next trip, running with her dogs, or heading to the closest farmers' market.
Take a Hike for World Mental Health Day!
World Mental Health Day is on October 10th. Experience the benefits of nature by getting outdoors. Below you can find some of the most famous trails in the US but you don't have to travel very far to get out on a trail. There are some in your very own backyard. A great tool to find trails near you is the site AllTrails. They also have a free app or you can purchase the pro version which includes the ability to download maps to stay on track without service, off-route notifications, Lifeline which keep friends and family informed and the ability to see air quality, pollen, & weather details on any map.Choose to improve you mental health and get out there and enjoy nature! HIKE APPALACHIAN TRAIL Cutting through 14 states on the Eastern seaboard, the 2,180-mile "A.T." is one of the longest continuously marked trails in the world, taking in a greater variety of scenery than any other path on the continent. The route starts in Georgia's rugged green Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, winds up through the vast valleys and peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Park, then crawls through bucolic New England towns before ending in Maine's incredibly isolated Hundred-Mile Wilderness, one of the most likely spots in the country for moose sightings. HIKE ZION NARROWS, UTAH Wall street in the Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah - Istock/kanonsky This dramatic gorge cutting through Zion National Park claims a close second place behind the Grand Canyon for sheer, jaw-dropping canyon beauty, yet draws just over half of the more famous park's annual crowds. The path through the gorge—home to some of the world's deepest slot canyons—alternates between gaping, quarter-mile-wide stretches and narrow, 20-foot passageways, and runs directly through the Virgin River's bed—which means hikers who want to go the distance will have to ford waist-deep water from time to time. Still, Zion's fans believe it's worth the wade to stare up between the 2,000-foot-high sandstone walls, lined with lush hanging gardens, streaming with flutes of water, and bouncing with beams of red-orange light. CYCLE HIAWATHA BIKE TRAIL, IDAHO AND MONTANA The pine-forested Bitterroot Mountains (part of the Northern Rockies) supply the deep-green backdrop for one of the country's most exhilarating rails-to-trails bike-path conversions (completed in 2001). This former stretch of mountain railroad straddling the Idaho-Montana border incorporates 10 covered tunnels (including one, the Taft Tunnel, that's more than a mile and a half long), seven dizzying, canyon-spanning trestles (some as high as 230 feet), and panoramic views across both states. Bonus: The 15-mile gravel trail is mostly flat or slightly downhill, so the smooth ride is doable for most kids and families. (Just be sure that your bike has a headlight for those dark tunnels! It's not only recommended—it's required.) HIKE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL Pacific Crest Trail - Istock/RobertCrum Consider it the other great American backpacking path: The 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail spans the entire West Coast, from the Mexico border to British Columbia. Along the way, hikers pass through 25 national forests and seven national parks, taking in everything from the vivid red Vasquez Rocks near Los Angeles to the deep blue waters and snowcapped peaks of Crater Lake in Oregon. Not to mention Yosemite, Sequoia National Park and the Sierra Nevadas in between. The parallel Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route provides a path for two-wheelers.
Wyoming is the last bastion of the West, where bold, independent and curious spirits are encouraged to forge their own way to adventure both big and small. Wyoming is home to many firsts, including the country’s first national park (Yellowstone), first national monument (Devils Tower) and first national forest (Shoshone). In addition, Wyoming was the first government in the world to guarantee women their inherent right to vote and hold office. These special places, along with other natural wonders like Grand Teton National Park and the Bighorn Mountains as well as Wyoming’s heartfelt cowboy hospitality, welcome millions of visitors annually. As the weather cools down and blankets of snow begin to cover pristine landscapes, Wyoming becomes a winter wonderland for all types of travelers. With fewer crowds, award-winning ski-resorts, new direct flights and winter events, the Cowboy State offers endless winter experiences. Here is a selection of new and notable this season: Winter EventsSkijoring at the Sheridan Winter Rodeo - Photo Credit: @sprouseandneuhoffSkijoring Rodeo may be Wyoming’s official sport, but skijoring is the state’s unofficial winter sport. It is a uniquely Western athletic and cultural phenomenon combining two of Wyoming’s favorite pastimes: skiing and horseback riding. Travelers can spectate competitive Skijoring at the Sheridan WYO Winter Rodeo, Sundance Winter Festival, Saratoga Skijoring Races, Skijor Wars (Buffalo) or Pinedale Winter Carnival. Most Skijoring competitions are held in February with 2023 to be announced.Pinedale Winter Carnival Join Pinedale in February as they host their annual winter carnival. Enjoying skijoring, a blizzard bash and more. Enter the Cardboard Classic, where you can create your own sled out of cardboard, duct tape, glue and paint. See if you can build a sled worthy of the course and snag a prize in the process.Sundance Winter Festival For a fun twist on skijoring, join Sundance for their Wild Horse and Tube Race every February. While you can still catch traditional skijoring at the winter festival, you can now register for the tube experience. On this take of the sport, the horse and rider pull you in a tube instead of on skis. For more information on Wyoming’s annual winter events, click here.Ski DestinationsJackson Hole Mountain Resort- Courtesy of jacksonhole.com Jackson Hole Mountain Resort New Lift (Jackson, WY) - Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) will replace its Thunder quad chairlift with a faster and more powerful detachable quad chairlift ahead of the 2022-23 winter season. The speed of the new lift is 1,000 feet net per minute, twice the velocity of the original Thunder, and will cut riders’ time down from just over 7 minutes to 3.6 minutes. Grand Targhee Resort's New Terrain (Alta, WY) - For the first time in over 20 years, Grand Targhee Resort is opening new terrain with the construction of the Colter Lift on Peaked Mountain. Construction is underway and the opening is slated for the start of the 2022/23 winter season. The Colter Lift will transport up to 2,000 people per hour and gain 1,815 vertical feet in just five minutes. The brand-new six-pack will give skiers and riders access to over 600 skiable acres of fall line skiing, open glades, world-class side-country, and extraordinary views of the Grand Tetons. Snow King Mountain Expansion & Improvements (Jackson, WY) - Located in the heart of Jackson, Snow King Mountain unveiled a new, 8-passenger Leitner-Poma gondola and zipline, the steepest in North America (available in the summer months). The new gondola offers spectacular views of the Grand Tetons, the National Elk Refuge and the town of Jackson. In addition, Snow King will expand its operations with a new summit restaurant, observatory, planetarium and 100 acres of ski terrain. Outdoor AdventureSandsurfing at Killpecker Sand Dunes - Courtesy of tourwyoming.com Sandboarding on 2nd Largest Sand Dunes in the World (Rock Springs, WY) - With sand dunes reaching up to 100 feet high, the landscapes of Killpecker Sand Dunes are punctuated by towering rock formations in the form of buttes and spires, like the famous Boars Tusk spire, making it a can't miss experience. Visitors can visit the new attraction located in Southwest Wyoming on their very own sandboard or sled. The boards are like snowboards, with two-foot holds and curved edges, while the sleds are like winter downhill sleds. While surfing the dunes, keep an eye out for the desert elk. The area is home to one of the largest desert elk herds in the world.Lodging & CampingReid Creek Lodge - Courtesy of wagonhound.com/reidcreeklodge Luxury Property, Reid Creek Lodge, Opens in Central WY (Douglas, WY) - Reid Creek Lodge, a luxury property, opened in the summer of 2022. Reid Creek Lodge features an 8,000 square foot lodge with seven beautifully appointed bedrooms accommodating up to 22 guests and one group at a time. The exclusive experience includes a personal chef, curated programming, cozy gathering spaces and rustic mountain design. Little America Hotel Unveils New RV Park (Green River, WY) - Featuring 42 spacious sites, including back-in and pull-through spots, Little America RV park provides a variety of hotel-like amenities, including marble showers, a heated outdoor pool, a kid’s playground, a fitness center, a fuel center and a 24-hour convenience store. Rates start at $55 per night. Snow King Resort to Open New Spa (Jackson, WY) - Snow King Resort is close to unveiling its new Grand View Spa in December 2022. The resort’s new addition will feature six treatment rooms including a couple’s suite, locker rooms with experiential showers, hot tubs and eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, men’s and women’s private lounges, an infrared sauna, a boutique retail shop and scenic outdoor deck with a large hot tub. 2023 Milestone Anniversaries: Carissa Mine at South Pass City - Courtesy of southpasscity.com 30th Anniversary of the National Bighorn Sheep Center (Dubois, WY) - July 3, 2023 - The National Bighorn Sheep Center operates in Dubois, Wyoming. The Center features dioramas with full-scale taxidermy mounts that recreate bighorn habitats, interactive exhibits about wildlife management and special adaptations of wild sheep, and wildlife films the whole family will enjoy. 30th Anniversary of International Climbers’ Festival (Lander, WY) - July 13-16, 2023 - The 30th Anniversary of the International Climbers’ Festival (ICF) is the longest-running climbers’ festival in the world and has stayed true to its grassroots origins 110th Annual Fremont County Fair (Riverton, WY) - July 29 to Aug 5, 2023 - A celebration for those near and far that showcases all that Wind River Country has to offer. Plenty of things to do and see for all ages, such as children’s activities, entertainment, food and merchandise vendors, livestock and agriculture competitions, midway rides and much more. 10th Anniversary of the Grand Opening of the Carissa Mine for Tours at South Pass City (South Pass City, WY) - May/June TBD- The Carissa Mine was the largest gold mine in the Sweetwater Mining District. The history of the Carissa Mine is tied to the hopes and dreams of many men starting in 1867, but it never truly took off. What remains today is one of the best-preserved historic mining operations in the world. Tours include a walk-through of the historic structures, a live demonstration of milling equipment, and a great story of life in a gold town.
Looking for Some Fun Things to do this Fall?
Looking for some fun things to do this fall? Check out these events happening in New Orleans, Vermont and the Adirondacks. Unique ways to enjoy fall foliage. If fall colors are your thing, Stowe, Vt. and the Adirondacks, NY can’t be beat. Take leaf-peeping to new heights on a scenic flight with Adirondack Aviation Academy, traverse a path above the trees on swinging bridges and platforms at The Wild Center, or check out suggested activities and routes with the Adirondack Wayfinder. Khyber on Owls Head Mountain by Brendan-Wiltse Courtesy of grandadirondack.com The Adirondack Fall Foliage Report provides real time updates on the leaves turning. High Peaks Resort on the shores of Mirror Lake in Lake Placid is the perfect homebase for exploring the ADKs this fall. Or check out the Grand Adirondack Hotel, which reopened on Aug. 31 following a major renovation and rebranding. Over in Stowe, Vt., Topnotch Resort provides front-and-center viewing of Mount Mansfield’s stunning fall colors.Bayou Bacchanal - Courtesy of neworleans.com Quirky and fun fall festivals. Festival season is far from over in New Orleans, with lots of delicious food, local live music and cool weather. Upcoming favorites include the Fried Chicken Festival (Oct. 1), NOLAxNOLA (through Oct. 9), Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival (Oct. 14), Reggae Fest (Oct. 14-16), Krewe of Boo (Oct. 22), Tremé Fall Fest (Oct. 22), Top Taco (Oct. 27), Bayou Bacchanal (Nov. 5), Oak Street Po-Boy Festival (Nov. 6) and Hell Yes Fest (Nov. 8-14). The Great Adirondack Moose Festival (Sept. 24-25) in the Adirondacks includes moose calling and “count the moose scat” contests. Berger Residence by Paul Broussard - Courtesy of neworleans.com Haunted and spooky destinations. New Orleans goes all out for Halloween, with parades and parties, ghost tours, haunted pub crawl, haunted houses, festivals such as Krewe of Boo!, and fun events like Boo at the Zoo, the Zombie Run, Ghosts in the Oaks. The Adirondacks have their fair share of ghost stories, haunted locations and abandoned towns – check them out on the Haunted Adirondack Trail.
5 Unique Things to Do in Boston
Boston may be known for its famous clam chowder, the Boston Marathon, the bar from Cheers, baseball (the Red Sox), Fenway Park, its rich history, and that it was the birthplace of the American Revolution. But take some time to go beyond what you know about Boston and discover these 5 unique Boston experiences. 1. Italian Dinner with Tiramisu Finale Cooking Class Italian Cooking Class - Courtesy of Fever Now – January 2023 Thurs - Sun at 19 Kingston StreetDuration: 3 hours Cost: $100 Everyone loves to eat Italian food, but learning how to cook it from scratch is just as much fun! Few are better to teach you and your friends the ins and outs of pasta than Chef Rudy Donalson, who has over 15 years of restaurant experience in the North End, Boston’s Italian district. In this fun-filled cooking class in the heart of downtown Boston, you’ll make a multicourse meal featuring Italian favorites. Saving the best for last, the classic Italian tiramisu will end an unforgettable night filled with laughter, smiles, and good food. Get Tickets for the Italian Dinner Experience 2. Boston Whale Watching Whale watching Boston - Courtesy of Fever NOW – October 13, 2022 at Long Wharf, BostonDuration: 3 hours and 30 minutesCost: $48 - $72 - all ages welcome Boston's ONLY Whale Watch on a high-speed catamaran. They will get you to and from the whales in half the time, which allows you more time to watch the whales! Set sail for the whale watch experience of a lifetime. Destination: Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, a rich feeding ground for whales, dolphins, sea birds and other marine creatures. You’ll have a good chance to view several different species of large whales, including humpbacks, finbacks, minkes, pilot whales and the critically endangered right whales. Get Tickets for the Boston Whale Watching Experience 3. North End Pizza Tour Pizza Tour - Courtesy of Fever NOW – End of November, 2022 at Boston Pizza Tours Meeting PointDuration: 2 hours and 30 minutesCost: $49 Easily digestible Boston history and award-winning food? You'll wanna make sure you get a slice of the action. The crew at North End Pizza Tours know that education is worst-served to those with empty stomachs. Enjoy a pizza-powered guided tour around Boston's oldest neighborhood. Visit five history-laden Freedom Trail sites including the oldest home and church in Boston and watch old-world chocolatiers work their tasty magic inside a 300-year-old home. Get Tickets for the North End Pizza Tour Experience 4. Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyoncé Candlelight - Courtesy of Fever November 18, 2022 at Old South ChurchDuration: 60 minutes (doors open 45 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted)Cost: $30 - $60 - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Boston. Get your tickets now to discover the music from Beyoncé by Listeso String Quartet at Old South Church under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for the Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyoncé 5. Wicked Wine & Seltzer Fest Wicked Wine & Seltzer Fest - Courtesy of Fever November 12, 2022 at Revere Hotel Boston CommonDuration: depends what time you purchase your ticket for Cost: $35 - $59 - 21+ with valid ID Celebrate the best season in the best city with Boston's Wicked Wine and Seltzer Fest! Ring in the Fall with delicious wines and tasty seltzers. Enjoy music from a live DJ, take part in corn hole and other games, and even enter a tasting contest! There will also be a silent auction to benefit Project Smile! All guests will be entered to win a door prize giveaway with items valued at over $1,000! What better way to spend a Saturday? Get Tickets for the Wicked Wine & Seltzer Fest Note: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission from our partners - thank you!