Visiting Napa Valley by Van

Things to Do Besides Wine Tasting

Looking for things to do between wine tastings?

Napa Valley is much more than just a world-class wine destination.

From cooking to watercolor classes, scenic hikes to walking tours, and live music to art displays, here's a list of under-the-radar experiences beyond the grape in Napa Valley.

Connect With the Great Outdoors

What are the top things to do outdoors in Napa Valley?

  1. Play a game of outdoor bocce ball on one of Solage Calistoga’s 90-foot regulation size courts, Carneros Resort & Spa or the Westin Verasa.

  2. Connect with nature at Connolly Ranch, which celebrates 25+ years of offering hands-on, farm-based educational programs.

  3. Fly above the valley floor in a hot air balloon. Witness panoramic views of the Napa Valley wine growing region: to the north the majestic Mt. St. Helena, to the west the Mayacamas Mt. Range, and the east the sculptured terrain of the Vaca Range.

  4. Rent a bicycle at Napa Valley Bike Tours and ride along the completed 12.5 miles of the Napa Valley Vine Trail.

  5. Stand Up Paddleboard down the Napa River with Napa Valley Paddle.

  6. Indulge in Calistoga’s signature mud bath treatment. The region offers more than 15 spas each with their own take on the experience.

  7. Pack golf clubs for a round at one of Napa Valley’s five public courses, including the 150-acre Chardonnay Golf Club.

  8. Boat, waterski, or kayak in Lake Berryessa, one of the largest bodies of water in California.

  9. Participate in a full moon hike or wildlife tracking workshop organized by the Napa Land Trust.

  10. Step back in time and discover how wheat and corn flour were milled in the 1800’s at Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park in St. Helena.

Napa Valley Bike Tours

Connolly Ranch in Napa Valley

Connolly Ranch

A Multitude of Tastings & Activities

What are other tastings and activities in Napa Valley?

  1. Dine by rail on the Napa Valley Wine Train. The six-hour rail journey includes a four-course meal and tours and tastings at three well-known wineries. Alternatively, enjoy a 3-hour trip with all the delights of a traditional afternoon tea service with a wine country twist!

  2. Try a beer crawl in Napa, where several breweries are located within walking distance of each other.

  3. Enjoy an olive oil tasting at Grove 45, a family-owned extra virgin olive oil boutique located in Calistoga, or Round Pond Estate, where you can take a tour of their working mill and sample freshly pressed estate olive oils.

  4. Experience the Farm Elixir Mocktail Flight at Clif Family Winery – a non-alcoholic tasting of farm preserves, honey, and fresh produce paired with mocktail combinations such as Pluot Lavender Limonda.

  5. Try a walking tour in downtown Napa with Active Wine Adventures for bites and drinks at some of the favorite local spots. Or history buffs can marvel in the late 19th and early 20th century architecture by taking a self-guided tour of downtown St. Helena presented by the St. Helena Historical Society.

  6. Take a cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia, the brainchild of Julia Child, as well as Robert and Margrit Mondavi. The food center is home to the first culinary arts museum featuring the 2,000-piece personal cookware collection of Williams-Sonoma’s founder, Chuck Williams.

  7. Source local, artisanal fare at the Oxbow Public Market and enjoy a "picnic" on the market's front patio.

  8. Stop by the Napa Valley Welcome Center in downtown Napa for complimentary guidebooks, maps, and wining/dining suggestions from the expert team.

  9. Prove your problem-solving skills in Napa Valley's only escape room, The Grape Escape.

  10. Enjoy "crush" season in September and October in Napa Valley – the time when vineyard workers pick the grapes, wineries host harvest parties, and the scent of wine permeates the air.

Tea Service on the Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

CIA at Copia Cooking Class

CIA at Copia

Soak up some art and culture

Where can you find art in the Napa Valley?

  1. Explore di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, a catalyst for transformative experiences with contemporary art of Northern California. The nonprofit art center presents dynamic exhibitions and educational programs for all ages and houses the foremost collection of contemporary Bay Area art in the world. di Rosa features three galleries, a sculpture park, a 35-acre lake, and a wildlife preserve, all located on 217 scenic acres in Napa Valley’s famed Carneros region.

  2. Visit one of Napa Valley’s museums, including the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville, the Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum in St. Helena, the Sharpsteen Museum in Calistoga, or the Carolyn Parr Nature Museum in Napa.

  3. Stop by HALL Wines in St. Helena, which is known for its world-class sculptures, including a 35-foot Bunny Foo Foo leaping over the vineyard.

  4. Find the Rail Arts District Napa (RAD Napa) Art Walk, which follows the Napa Valley Vine Trail, a walking and biking trail. For two miles along the trail, explore free outdoor contemporary art murals.

  5. Listen to live music at Blue Note Napa, downtown Napa’s first jazz club located in the historic 19th century Napa Valley Opera House.

  6. View dozens of heroic-sized sculptures along Yountville’s Art Walk, featuring artists across the world.

  7. Participate in a watercolor or sketching class at Jessel Gallery, housed in a former Whiskey Distillery.

  8. Meet local celebrity glass sculpture artist Gordon Huether at his open studio in downtown Napa.

  9. Check out Napa Valley’s annual festivals, including Napa Lighted Art Festival, Napa Valley Film Festival, BottleRock, and Festival Napa Valley.

  10. Book a guided photography experience with Art & Clarity, run by a third-generation photographer, which offers three-hour guided adventures to capture Napa’s rolling terrain. Tip: Visit January through March to snap the yellow mustard that blooms on the dormant vines and washes the valley in color.

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

di Rosa

Blue Note Napa

Blue Note Napa