Located just 35 miles from San Francisco, Napa Valley is an ideal destination for a day trip or a relaxing stay of several days. A trip here wouldn't be complete without a stop at least one winery, but there are many attractions in Napa Valley beyond those related to wine. Napa attractions appeal to a range of visitors, from foodies and oenophiles to outdoor enthusiasts and spa connoisseurs. Plan to do your Napa sightseeing at a leisurely pace to best savor the valley's relaxing atmosphere and beautiful scenery.
Napa Valley tourism is in many ways centered on food and wine. One of the best Napa attractions in this category is the Culinary Institute of America. Located in St Helena, the castle-like institute offers academic and professional programs, and it is home to the fine Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant. Take a food or wine class, shop the CIA store, learn the history of California wine in the Vintners Hall of Fame, and dine on local, seasonal, California cuisine at Greystone while watching the chefs in action.
Another of the popular Napa attractions is the Napa Valley Wine Train. The train offers a three-hour, 36-mile roundtrip journey between Napa and St Helena, and some tickets allow guests to hop off midway through the trip to visit the Grgich Hills or Domaine Chandon wineries. On board, guests relax in restored dining and lounge cars dating from 1915 through 1950, and eat freshly prepared lunch or dinner while enjoying splendid scenic views.
Wineries are an obvious mainstay in Napa Valley tourism, where visitors enjoy wine tastings and take tours of the vineyards and wine caves. The Castello di Amorosa is one choice, boasting a church, great hall, overlook, and wine cave. Rubicon also has a cave, as well as a museum. Other popular choices include Trefethen, Maisonry Collective, Frogs Leap, Peju, Quintessa, and Robert Mondavi.
Another destination to add to a Napa sightseeing tour is V Marketplace, located in the village of Yountville on the 23-acre Vintage Estate. V Marketplace is filled with upscale shops, Italian and American restaurants, a wine-tasting cellar, art galleries, and a hot air balloon company. The other downtown areas in Napa Valley—Calistoga, Napa City, and St Helena—also offer a variety of restaurants, shops, and spas.
Another mainstay in Napa Valley tourism are the farmers markets, which sell fresh produce and specialty food products. Visitors can enjoy a Napa farmers market in Napa, Calistoga, or St Helena. Other attractions in Napa Valley include resorts, spas, golf courses, and hiking trails. There's even a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary, Safari West, home to more than 400 mammals and birds.
Napa has a wide of variety of attractions. It's easy to spend an entire trip to Napa taking winery tours, but there are numerous other attractions to enjoy, from shopping, perusing farmers markets and touring a culinary institute, to riding a wine train, taking a balloon ride, or visiting a wildlife sanctuary. Napa sightseeing offers one-of-a-kind opportunities to see a beautiful part of Northern California, one that you're sure to remember.