Known for its wineries, unique geography and climate, Napa Valley is the perfect destination for a day trip from San Francisco. An itinerary in Napa Valley practically fills itself out, so you’re sure to enjoy your time there. Whether you’re looking for traditional Napa Valley activities, like wine tasting, or looking for something off the beaten path, you’ll find plenty resources below.
With so many things to do in Napa Valley, you won’t get bored during your stay. This mountainous region is located north of San Pablo Bay in the northern portion of the state of California and offers beautiful views of rolling foothills and wineries.
Tour the Valley
Wine Tasting Tours
As the most famous wine region in the United States, it’s crucial that you embark on a wine tasting tour during your time in Napa Valley. Tours are found all over the Valley, so plan to embark on an informative luxury adventure where you’ll be exposed to the best wine of the region. There is a variety of private tours as well as group tours, so choose what will be the best fit for you. Since wine tasting is one of the best things to do in Napa Valley, make sure you look at the different types of wines offered by each winery before deciding on which tour you’ll go.
Wine and Dine on a Train
If you’re looking for a more unique adventure, you could experience Napa Valley’s most premiere wineries by train. The Napa Valley Wine Train tours include dinner at one of the most distinctive Napa restaurants and an authentic experience of complete relaxation. The Wine Train runs on 25 miles of track through the heart of Napa Valley, taking passengers on a luxurious and memory-making journey.
Balloons Above the Valley
One unique way to do some sightseeing in this beautiful region is by a hot air balloon. Napa Valley Balloons provides an experience unlike any other. For $215 a person, you could tour the skies of Napa Valley accompanied by a post-flight breakfast and mimosas at Domaine Chandon Winery in Yountville. The unrivaled beauty that you’ll witness is well worth it.
The American Canyon
At the southern tip of Napa Valley lies the American Canyon, the ideal spot for adventures. The rolling hills offer unlimited opportunities for outdoor fun by foot or by bike. If you’re someone who enjoys hiking, you should take a stroll on the Napa River and Bay Trail. This winding 1.4-mile flat path takes you past the groves and wetlands with some photo-worthy views.
There is a variety of shops and restaurants surrounding the Canyon without the Napa crowds or prices. If you’re visiting during the early morning, you might want to begin your day with breakfast at Canyon Cafe. With its old-school diner atmosphere, fantastic service and relaxed vibe, Canyon Cafe is very popular among the locals and frequent visitors. The food is a prime example of home-cooked food done right and they even smoke their own bacon!
Many people make a pit stop and play a round of golf while at American Canyon. Where else can you find a golf course that intertwines with a vineyard? At the Chardonnay Golf Club, they even serve glasses of local wine for after the game with an exquisite view of the entire property.
If you’re all wine-d out, maybe a scoop of ice cream will do the trick. End your trip to American Canyon at Country Creamery, an ice cream shop that serves giant bowls and cones of delicious ice cream. Try some of their unique flavors such as Ube (Taro) and Buko Pandan while you’re there!
Experience Napa Art, Culture, and History
Experience Napa’s ARTwalk, an outdoor walk featuring giant sculptures from selected artists throughout the western part of the States. The walk is designed to enhance the public environment and showcase the work of regional artists on a temporary basis. The walk is redesigned each year and artwork is chosen from a pool of submissions. When looking for things to do in Napa Valley, don’t forget to check out local artists throughout the region.
The Uptown Theatre is not only Napa’s home for comedy, music and dance, but it’s also a local landmark. Built in 1937, the building’s art deco architecture still remains intact and so does its popularity. The headliners are constantly changing, so check out the Uptown Theatre website to see what’s happening during your stay in Napa Valley.
Experience Napa History
Stop by the Napa County Historical Society and take a tour to learn more about the history of the region and its people. There’s always something to learn about in Napa, whether you’re touring the Ackerman Heritage House or Calistoga and the Sharpsteen Museum.
Have a Bite to Eat
Who says sandwiches need to be served on bread? Melted in Napa Valley serves all of their sandwiches on a savory white bread waffle with a tomato basil soup for dipping. Along with their fruit smoothies, they also serve gluten-free options instead of your typical waffle sandwich. The creative menu at Melted will fix all of your cravings for breakfast or lunch.
Napa Valley Bistro
If you’re looking for somewhere delicious that incorporates the tastes of Napa, Napa Valley Bistro is an ideal choice. This destination offers innovative, seasonal American cuisine along with unique wines and a great selection of craft beer. The prices are also affordable, which is a plus.
Tacos are always a good choice, especially gourmet tacos made at Heritage Eats. This jewel in the town of Napa is perfect for a quick and healthy meal. The globally-inspired wraps and other menu options are crafted by the owner himself!
Enjoy Napa Nightlife
Calistoga Inn, Restaurant & Brewery
The Calistoga Brewery is a 65-seat English-style pub, which tends to be a popular gathering place for locals. This pub offers a full bar and live music every night on the patio. Enjoy some live jazz from 6:00-9:00 p.m. nightly, open mic night on Wednesdays or dance to some reggae or old-school music on the weekends.
Silo’s Music Room
Visit Silo’s Music Room, a premier music room and wine bar featuring the best in live Rock, Motown, Reggae and Jazz. Enjoy some of Napa’s finest wines, draft beers and some exceptional live music. This entertainment venue also serves small plates if you’re still hungry at a late hour.
Crush Ultra Lounge
If you’re looking for something more versatile, Crush Ultra Lounge offers one of the most unique places to eat and drink in Napa Valley. Enjoy a night of bowling, drinks and food while catching up on the game on one of the 12 big HD screens. The signature cocktails and culinary delights are just what you need for a fun and relaxing night out.
Take a break from all of the wine tasting and enjoy one of Napa Valley’s most adored little dive bars. Have a drink with the locals without paying the price of your usual drink in Napa. The Green Door does not accept credit cards, so if you venture into this joint, don’t forget to bring cash.
On Wanderu, you’ll find cheap tickets from San Francisco to Napa Valley, so you can spend your weekend exploring the beautiful wine-filled region!