Villagio Inn & Spa
Napa Valley and wine are practically synonymous. Down every road and around every corner, it seems, you’ll find award-winning wines from wonderful wineries.
But beyond the vines, there is so much to see and do in Napa Valley. From hiking and biking to spas and dining, here are eight cool activities to enjoy on your next vacation:
Go to the spa: Spa Villagio at Villagio Inn & Spa in Yountville has luxurious private suites, indoor and outdoor infinity tubs, and 16 treatment rooms. At Spa Terra at The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, you’re 40 feet underground in a wine cellar-like atmosphere for your treatments. And Spa Solage in Calistoga has a bathhouse that lets spa-goers indulge in a mineral-rich mud bath followed by a dip in geo-thermal pools.
Try a hot-air balloon ride: Pretend you’re a hawk and check out wine country from up high, with Balloons Above the Valley. Various tours are available including a Sunrise Balloon Flight and Champagne Brunch.
Go golfing: There are myriad courses to choose from in the area. We like Napa Golf Course, which offers an 18-hole championship course and facilities for every skill level.
Explore some art: Di Rosa is a 217-acre estate offering three galleries, a sculpture park and even a wildlife preserve. You’ll find work by renowned Bay Area artists, including Robert Arneson, Enrique Chagoya and more.
Drink beer: There are more craft breweries in nearby Sonoma County, but Napa Valley still has fun options. Check out the taproom at Napa Smith Brewery where you can take a tour for US$10 and then try a flight of up to 10 beers. Try the Grateful Dog, a rich barleywine made with late-harvest grapes or the Bonfire Imperial Porter, a popular limited-edition winter offering.
Go fishing: You can fish at Lake Hennessey in the city of Napa; a permit will set you back a buck a day. Check out the City of Napa website for details. Or stop by Sweeney’s Sports for suggestions on where to find impressive bass fishing and maybe some stripers, too.
Take a cooking class: The Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena is the place to go if you want to become a chef. But there are classes for keen home cooks, too. Just a few of the school’s Saturday classes: Italian Cooking at Home, Everyday Grilling, Global Street Foods and Frying Fearlessly.
Join a bicycle tour: One of the easiest ways to see this area is on two wheels. Lifecycle Adventures, Napa Valley Bike Tours and Backroads are just a few of the companies offering full-service bike tours around Napa Valley and beyond.
Embracing the Unconventional in Oakland
Over the past 10 years, Oakland has emerged from San Francisco’s shadow. Artists, foodies, even nature-lovers now gravitate here, forming a vibrant collaborative aesthetic that is much more than the sum of its parts. Visit an art gallery, get authentic cheap eats from around the world and spend time on Lake Merritt downtown.