California’s renowned Napa Valley is the most prestigious of the state’s many wine regions but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all day in tasting rooms. In addition to wineries, there are several outdoor adventures and culinary experiences to be had in and around Napa. Here are the top ways to enjoy the best of the valley with limited time.
Start your day on a high note with a hot-air balloon ride over Napa for the chance to look down on the vineyard-covered landscape as the sun rises. Afterward, brunch with sparkling wine awaits at Domaine Chandon. In the late morning, hop on either the Napa Valley Wine Train or the Napa Valley Wine Trolley for a fun way to explore wine country. Options for lunch are included on both tours but the activities vary—if you choose the train, you stay on the whole time, passing by towns like Oakville and Rutherford; on the trolley, which is a replica of a San Francisco cable car, you make stops at wineries.
With just one day in Napa, consider booking a private limousine tour so you can make the most of your time. A private tour means you choose when you want to depart and enjoy a personalized experienced tailored to your wine preferences. Those interested in discovering Napa’s food scene can opt for a food and wine tour of Yountville, a town known for acclaimed eateries such as The French Laundry. Alternatively, soak in the fresh air of wine country on a bike tour of the Carneros region, or if you prefer to go wine tasting independently, purchase a Napa wine-tasting pass for discounts and tastings at participating wineries.
If you didn’t take the Napa Valley Wine Train earlier in the day, do so in the early evening to admire the vineyard scenery at twilight. Dinner is served onboard with wine available to taste and to purchase. Alternatively, start your night at the Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa to peruse a variety of food and drinks from various vendors, including oysters, burgers, pizza, wine, coffee, cupcakes, and ice cream, before heading to one of the many gourmet restaurants in Napa or Yountville for dinner.