April 18, 2021
As California mitigates health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, some travel restrictions may remain in certain communities. Call the local and regional tourism offices to learn more about the restrictions in your intended destination. Thank you for reading, and stay safe.
When it comes to vineyards, all eyes are on Napa. With over 350 wineries in Napa Valley alone, it’s no surprise that the state is home to some of the best wines in the nation. But there are so many things to do in Napa that don’t involve alcohol. Unique cultural sites and mind-blowing landscapes are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to activities in Wine Country.
Regardless of how many times you’ve visited Napa Valley, you’ll always be amazed by these Napa attractions that are flying under the radar.
Things to Do in Napa That Are Off-the-Beaten-Path
Go olive oil tasting at The Olive Press
Wondering why your food is scrumptious? The answer is simple. The best olive oils in the state are found in Napa Valley and the Bay Area. Head over to The Olive Press for the perfect introduction to the world of premium-quality California-grown olive oils. While you’re at it, sample balsamic vinegar, tapenades, and more at this olive oil company.
Discover wildlife in Wine Country with Safari West
Exploring wildlife while on an open-air jeep is one of the best things to do in Napa with kids. The 400-acre Safari West is home to more than 900 animals from over 90 unique species. Go on a safari to get up close and personal with fascinating creatures—antelopes, zebras, cheetahs, and giraffes wave at you as you drive by. Have a taste of Africa right in the heart of Wine Country.
Soak in Indian Springs’ Mineral Waters
Looking to relax and unwind? What better place to do exactly that than Indian Springs Resort and Spa? This Napa Valley hotel features mineral pools that rejuvenate your body and soothe your soul. Detoxify your skin, relieve muscle soreness, and pamper yourself to the max at Indian Springs Resort and Spa. Next time you plan on a rejuvenating day trip from Sacramento, you know where to go.
Can't-Miss Museums in Napa
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art
If you’re looking to enjoy art, nature, and museums in Napa simultaneously, you’ve come to the right place. The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art encompasses 217 acres in Napa Valley’s Carneros region. This cool place in California invites you to discover NorCal’s contemporary art scene—it features multiple galleries, a sculpture park, and a 35-acre lake.
The galleries consist of a few famous modern art pieces, including artwork by Robert Arneson, Joan Brown, and Judy Dater. The exhibits here are creative and reflect founder Rene di Rosa’s character. Whether you're a museum lover or not, this unique Napa experience will undoubtedly leave an impression.
Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum
Ever thought about how practical modern-day kitchens are? The Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum (open under normal circumstances) will tell you all about it. Cookbook author and editor Chuck Williams had almost a 4,000-piece collection of cookware, all of which were donated to create this unique museum. Here, you’ll find the most fascinating pieces of tableware and cooking appliances.
The whimsical cookware and animal-shaped culinary tools spark your curiosity as you tour this museum in Napa. Tureens shaped like boar’s heads and curiosities like a duck press remind you of how creative chefs were back in the day. Feast your eyes on the impressive exhibits as you explore this one-of-a-kind Napa attraction.
Places to Visit in Napa
Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa is a Napa tourist attraction that stands out most. With a rich history and legacy, the medieval-style Tuscan castle winery is built from antique bricks and hand-chiseled local stone. The castle consists of 107 rooms. These include five towers, a small chapel, and even a torture chamber.
Stroll around the castle to discover the charming courtyards and luxurious dining halls. Take your time to admire the magnificent architecture. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of non-alcoholic wine on your way out—it’ll become your after-work favorite.
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
What makes Bothe-Napa Valley State Park one of the best places to visit in Napa? Is it the lush coastal redwood forests or meandering trails that lead you to adventures? Visit this underrated state park and decide for yourself.
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is the ultimate destination for outdoor enthusiasts—the state park offers visitors camping, picnicking, swimming, and hiking opportunities. Miles of trails take you through coastal redwoods, Douglas firs, tanoaks, and madrones. Pack a few snacks and enjoy a picnic under the towering trees. If you’re visiting in the summer, bring your swimsuit to take a dip in the pool.
Where to Go on a Napa Sightseeing Tour
Napa Valley Gondola
Take your Napa sightseeing experience to a whole new level with Napa Valley Gondola. Hop aboard an authentic Venetian gondola to explore the abundance of Napa. The gondola rides are perfect for spending quality time with your family or planning a romantic evening—each can hold up to six passengers. Lose yourself in the sweeping views of Napa Valley and sprinkle your day with a little bit of Venetian charm.
Napa Valley Wine Train
Want to go on the best tour in Wine Country? The Napa Valley Wine Train takes you to the most scenic places in the area. This three-hour round-trip ride offers a glimpse into Napa’s famous agricultural preserve and its old industrial area. Guests travel through Oak Knoll, Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, and back to Napa.
While all these Napa attractions enhance your experience, sit back and enjoy a one-of-a-kind culinary experience aboard the train. Pan-seared Pacific halibut and roasted beef tenderloin will entice your taste buds.
Oak Shores Day Area Use
If you want to see the best of Napa’s nature while engaging in outdoor activities, then Oak Shores Day Area Use is the place for you. This park’s main feature is Lake Berryessa, one of the weirdest places to visit in California due to its inverted fountain. Swimming, jet skiing, wakeboarding, canoeing, fly fishing, and sailing are all available at the lake. With ample recreation opportunities, you’ll find yourself making the best memories at this wonderful outdoor destination.
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