Bon Voyage

Wined and Dined: The 10 Best Things to Do in Napa Valley, CA

napa hot air balloons
Image courtesy of TripAdvisor
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* You’ll find more than great wine in Napa, like award-winning food and the great outdoors
* The perfect day trip or weekend getaway if you live in or are visiting the San Francisco Bay Area
* Like you really need an excuse to visit Wine Country

Just north of San Francisco lies the Napa Valley wine region, and while it’s best-known for its many award-winning wines, Napa County has so much more to offer. You’re in California after all and there’s never any shortage of fun and memorable things to do in The Golden State.

We’ve culled TripAdvisor for some of the top attractions, restaurants and, of course, wineries in Napa County for you to visit whether you live there or you’re just visiting. Each pick has hundreds, if not thousands, of reviews from unbiased reviewers hailing from all over the world. Enjoy.

1. Napa’s Riverfront Promenade

Take a stroll along the riverfront promenade in downtown Napa for great cafes and local merchants selling their handmade wares. Don’t be surprised to see street performers, live music and activities for the whole family, especially during the many festivals that take place along the water throughout the year.

napa riverfront Image courtesy NapasRiverfront.com

Napa's Riverfront Promenade

  

2. Balloons Above the Valley

See everything the Napa Valley has to offer from a couple of thousand feet in the air. You can either opt to just go for an hour ride or pair the sights with either a wine tour and brunch or just brunch at the Michelin recognized C Casa.

Image courtesy Balloonrides.com

Balloons Above the Valley

  

3. O’Brien Estate Winery

All you really need to know is that the O’Brien Estate Winery is that it is the top-rated winery on TripAdvisor. Well, it’s also an incredibly beautiful and picturesque venue. O’Brien’s current 90+ scoring varietals on the Wine Spectator list include a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux blend and Bordeaux style blend.

Image courtesy O’Brien Estate Winery

O'Brien Estate Winery

  

4. Napa Valley Wine Trolley and Castle Tour

Jump on a hand-built replica of a San Francisco cable car and tour three of Napa Valley’s finest northern wineries, including a tour of Castello di Amorosa’s medieval-style Italian castle, as well as a picnic style lunch on the grounds of one of the wineries.

Image courtesy Napa Valley Wine Trolley

Napa Valley Wine Trolley and Castle Tour

  

5. Viator VIP: Napa by Helicopter With Wine Tasting and Food Pairing

If the hot air balloon and retro trolley car weren’t cutting it for you, then maybe you’d prefer a roundtrip helicopter ride from San Francisco to Napa Valley and back instead, because you can do that.

Image courtesy Viator

Viator VIP: Napa by Helicopter with Wine Tasting and Food Pairing

  

6. Skyline Park

Take a break from civilization and get away from it all with a hike through Skyline Wilderness Park. With great views of the Napa Valley and a variety of trails for all levels of hikers, you couldn’t ask for a better alternative to a relaxing weekend in Napa.

Image courtesy SkylinePark.org

Skyline Park

  

7. C Casa

Grass-fed beef, free range poultry and sustainable seafood and produce from local farmers are just a few of the fresh and organic ingredients you’ll find in the tacos at the Michelin recognized taqueria stand in the Oxbox Market. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it.

Image courtesy Trip Advisor

C Casa

  

8. Hog Island Oyster Company

Hog Island Oyster Company is rated the number one restaurant in Napa for its seasonally harvested shellfish that includes Manila clams and Mediterranean mussels. But you can find the namesake Hog Island Sweetwater, a Pacific varietal, all year round, as well as the Hog Island Atlantics, Kumamotos, and French Hogs.

Image courtesy Hog Island Oyster Company

Hog Island Oyster Company

  

9. Cole’s Chop House

Not only is Cole’s Chop House in downtown Napa ranked the number three restaurant by TripAdvisor members, it was also included in OpenTable’s 100 Best Steakhouses in America for 2016 by its diners.

Image courtesy Open Table

Cole's Chop House

  

10. The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum

First opened to the public in 1989, the Hess Collection Winery and Art Museum offers guests the internationally recognized Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines, as well as a peek into founder Donald Hess’ extensive private collection of contemporary art. You really don’t want to miss this one.

Image courtesy The Hess Collection

The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum

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