Mention you’re thinking of visiting Napa Valley, California, and watch the office workers break the sound barrier trying to get to you over cubbies and at the water cooler with their opinions on where to go, what to do and what’s best, even worst. Everyone is willing to throw in advice, even people who have never been. First rule is to toss most of it out the window, unless the person visits often or is an avid traveler of trust. There are many facets to Napa Valley, and luckily for you, we’ve made sure planning a trip to Napa for the first time is not nearly as daunting. Best Vacations Ever has done a lot for the work for you with a plethora of information on Napa Valley, Fast Facts and Must-Do activities listed on our jam-packed website, bestvacationsever.com. You can also call one of our 5-star travel representatives at 800-656-2780 for personal and customized attention.
The handful of eclectic towns with their own unique personalities and wineries that make up the Napa regional stretch of California have been luring visiting for years. Napa is year-round and ethereal at many times of the year, with its enchanting, sophisticated and vibrant atmosphere, cultural arts, spectacular year-round weather, sprawling vineyards, Art Deco architecture, numerous festivals held year-round and multiple attractions that make for a grand couple’s, group or family getaway, especially with Best Vacations Ever, provided by Preferred Guest Resorts and premier accommodations located right in the heart of the action—and at hundred of dollars off retail prices to pad your travel budget.
When to Visit Wine Country
Swirl, sniff and sip and savor….Wine in Napa is poetry in a bottle, as they say. Whenever you choose to visit Napa Valley, you’ll be welcomed with a warmth and graciousness in the heart of America’s wine country. It almost seems impossible, but there Napa is home to more than 400 wineries, 95 percent of which are family-owned and operated. Everyone wants to visit in the summer, but it’s the most expensive and crowded time of year. Getting a spot at a tasting table or reservation or visiting an attraction can be like getting in line for a ride at a theme park.
If you can run away soon – which Best Vacations Ever can most likely arrange with complimentary accommodations – fall is one of the best times to visit Napa, when the weather is wonderful, and you see a winery in action. November is still nice with great weather, but the crowds and rates have dropped significantly. The second best time is to visit is spring when the mustard plants are all in bloom and the weather is still pleasant. This is one of those gotta-see-it-to-believe-it types of things. Rolling and sweeping mountain vistas are brilliantly blanketed in bright mustard plants with eye-popping color. There are no grapes on the vines, but you hardly notice, and there are plenty of the harvested varietals to tempt your palette, along with Napa’s exquisite gourmet cuisine. If you have kids, spring break will be here before you know it, so its never too soon to start planning and booking!
Wine Country & Its Wondrous Activities
The arts, music, architecture, atmosphere, culture and history of Napa Valley pair brilliantly with the area’s legendary wine and culinary traditions. Beringer is one of the first wineries to draw celebrities out to Napa with a promotional marketing campaign, establishing its legendary status. California wine country is full of art festivals and events, local galleries featuring works of established and emerging artists, area museums educate, historic theaters entertain, a variety of sculpture gardens that are perfect for strolling, and a wide range of interactive workshops encourage creativity and activities together. With some 400 wineries Napa is the perfect place in the United States for a wine aficionado. Again if you check out our Must-Do Activities page on bestvacationever.com, you’ll find many recommended wineries and surprising activities tucked into the area for all ages and personality types that negate any conjured stereotypes that Napa is just an adult destination—it’s quite family friendly as well, and enthralling when you’re from the mostly-flat-land of the Southwest.
Here’s a taste of a few activities in Napa Valley for everyone in the family:
- Explore the architecture, mansions, trendy dining establishments, attractions and many vineyards and wineries—many that that look like old medieval castles.
- If visiting in spring, enjoy the awe-striking views of sprawling mustard seeds that blanket the sweeping vistas in a bold, bright yellow as they bloom.
- Have a picnic sitting atop a mountain and enjoying a bottle wine, and grape juice for the kids.
- Travel by car (ask about out Alamo® rental cars with a customized package) from one end to the other stopping and visiting the varying and culturally different towns that make up the Napa Valley region.
- Discover the Napa Valley Museum, located between St. Helena and Napa, and provides unique experiences that enrich the cultural fabric of the community through exhibitions and educational programs that allow you to explore the connections between the Valley’s environment, culture, history and creative expression.
- Visit Artesa, a unique building in Napa with sculptures and water features offers beautiful views sitting atop a hill.
- Join thousands of visitors attracted annually for exhibitions, tours, lectures, and family events at Di Rosa, which covers more than half a century of work from many noted and distinguished artists. Situated on 217 beautiful acres in the Carneros Region of the Napa Valley, it’s a place that evokes imagination and artistic spirit the celebration of the arts in the Bay Area.
- Join the festivities of numerous Napa festivals, auctions celebrations of wine, food, culture and the atmospheric spirit shared by Napa residents and visitors alike.
- Spend a day renting bikes (a popular mode of travel in Napa), not just for sightseeing around town, but for some of the best-guided, pedal-based winery tours while getting fit and touring hilltops. But don’t worry, you can also take a wide variety or motorized and automobile tours as well.
- Get a bird’s-eye view with a helicopter tour of the region, which covers more acreage and explores outlying areas. If you’re daring, your pilot just may get into to some nooks and crannies, or do some fancy maneuvers for spectacular views.
- Let any hot air loose on a hot-air balloon ride over the most scenic and awe-inspiring springtime views.
- Tee up at numerous, scenic and world-class golf courses, some pro-designed and many with scenic views and challenging greens.
- See as much of Napa as you can without the exhaustion of extensive walking by renting and scooting around town on a segway (a motorized standing traveler), one of the funnest ways for families to visit hilltops. But don’t think it’s the easy way out; it’s still a fun way to get fit, especially with all the mountain ranges, while having an mazing adventure that allows you to get around and see more of the area much faster. You can rent and explore on your own or take a segway tour.
- Enjoy some serious hands-on family fun with science and creativity at the Scientopia Discovery Center.
- Take the family on a Jeep safari tour, which include walks around wildlife compounds as you try to catch glimpses of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and dozens of other animals roaming the wine-country foothills. You can even go all out with the safari experience, and spend the night in a safari-style tent cabin.
- Take the kids to visit Old Faithful in Calistoga, a geyser that shoots gallons of water straight into the air at several-minute intervals, or ride a tram hundreds of feet up to a hilltop winery that also offers specially made grape juice for the youngins.
- Enjoy some serious hands-on family fun with science and creativity at the Scientopia Discovery Center.
- Paddle board across many rivers and waterways – a great way to get fit while exploring the regions and having fun on vacation.
- Celebrate Napa’s exquisite wine and cuisine but indulging at a chef’s table/wine-tasting experience at many wineries and offering restaurants.
- Visit the Trees of Stone. Harry Potter has nothing on Mother Nature when it comes to these natural wonders. You’ll hike through the woods and discover how water and silica transform wood into rock.
- Ride The Napa Valley Wine Train, which is also kid-friendly on selected Family Fun Nights, and offered twice a month during the school year and on summer Sundays. The best part is one child travels free per paid adult, plus the kids are entertained by a professional care provider in their own separate car with their own meals and activities while the adults have a romantic dinner aboard—all with scenic window views.
Give Into Temptation
Make that dream of a Napa Valley vacation a reality and get started now booking a most memorable couple, group or family vacation with Best Vacations Ever that saves you hundreds of dollars with potentially free accommodations, making you the envy of even your most well-traveled friends. If you’re traveling with kids, you can make any one of the Napa Valley towns a base for family fun. Calistoga is a quiet town at Napa’s north end, where you can walk to many attractions. Traveling from one end of the Napa region to the other is a MUST-DO activity that’s best served by rental car so be sure to ask our travel representative about our preferred-partnership with Alamo® when booking your family, group or couple’s Best Vacations Ever trip to California’s wine country.
Book Your Napa Vacation
Best Vacations Ever offers a variety of accommodations in a the Napa Valley region, so be sure to check out where you want your home base to be. Book well in advance—rule of thumb is at least 8 weeks out if flying in—before vacancies fill up or you plan on traveling during peak season. To find out more about Best Vacations Ever, and how to get serious money-saving complimentary lodging, courtesy of 30-plus year promotional travel leader Preferred Guest Resorts, visit our website at bestvacationsever.com where you’ll be well prepared for your trip with our Napa Valley Fast Facts and Must-Do web pages. You can also download educational videos about our consumer-enhanced and customized promotional travel packages. Then call one of our travel representatives at 800-656-2780 to book your amazing Best Vacations Ever journey to Napa Valley. CHEERS!
What is your favorite hangout or activity in Napa Valley?