Besides being the famous “Wine Country”, Napa Valley actually offers incredible outdoor opportunities to experience a different side, away from the classic wine tours and night-life restaurants. You’re free to slow down the pace of endless parties and events in exchange for nature and fresh air. The exciting spectrum of Napa Valley outdoor activities to tackle are never ending, such as: taking a panoramic hot air balloon ride across the valleys, riding with horses through rows of richly-scented vineyards, and indulging in your inner daredevil by diving into some water sports on Lake Berryessa. There are just few of the examples. Our favorites are listed below!
Hot Air Balloon Rides
You can never say goodbye to Napa without experiencing a hot air balloon ride from Napa Valley ALoft. Wake up with the sunrise to cast off into transparent, cool skies. If you ask a pilot beforehand, you can have a glass of champagne to celebrate the end of your hot air balloon trip. It’s tradition! Who says it’s too early to celebrate the beginning of a new day? You’ll find your perspectives taken to new heights, literally! Maybe, if you’re lucky, you might even touch the clouds.
Give your legs a workout as your journey up and down through swiveling, smooth roads and the scenery of a thousand harvested grapes. Rentals for bicycles exist in every region of Napa to aide you in experiencing the roads of vineyards that line the grassy hills and plains of wineries. It’s refreshing to absorb the fresh air rather than sit in air conditioning more than once in a while. The exercise and scenery will only do you good!
Riding a horse is definitely something to cross off the bucket list. Saddle down and suit up for a day spent with a kind and gentle horse. They act as a guide through the vineyards and gardens. With an animal companion, you might find yourself not only appreciating the beauty of the things surrounding you, but even connecting with the gentle creature who took you on a journey.
Animal and Nature Watching
Fancy some endangered species, birds, or animals in general? Napa Valley is full of historic parks that enable you to admire the wildlife that exists within the mountain ranges and forests. It is home to familiar animals such as raccoons, foxes, and deer, as well as the last native species of bear in California living in an isolated, protected area of the county. You can make the choice to either venture into the forests and really take a crack at some serious bird watching and amphibious discovery, or you can nonchalantly stroll through protected parks and sneak a peek at a bobcat, mountain lion or black bear.
For a romantic Napa Valley getaway – camping out under the stars with a bottle of Pinot Noir sounds like one amazing story to share at every social get-together. Will you be telling it? While Napa Valley offers all kinds of experiences with indoor wine tastings with loved ones, it’s nice to step out of that atmosphere into an environment more in-tune with nature, because nature is always that lovely place to reset and relax. Take a backpack trip down to Skyline Wilderness Park’s camping grounds. It sets you apart at just the right distance from the crowd to shelter away from the noise and liveliness in exchange for peace and quiet.
Motorcycle and Moped Rentals
The open road is one of the best places to cruise, so take a ride with some motorcycles and mopeds through the countryside. In general, it’s amplified fun when traveling in a motorcycle or moped. There’s a freedom in feeling the wind through your body. Therefore, throw on some riding gear and leather jacket for it’s the perfect start to a late afternoon or a trip into the sunset. You can just smell the glass of wine waiting for you at the end of the finish line.
Water Sports: Paddle boarding, Jet Ski, Kayaking – and Fishing!
Cool off with a refreshing jet ski ride or kayak session in Lake Berryesa before lunch. You’ll be splashing in the waves for hours and wonder how on earth time went by so fast. Also, you can opt for a leisure boat trip around the lake as well if you fancy tranquil cruises. Fishing is another activity that could right up your alley as well. Whether you desire an adrenaline rush or a languid moment, anything in the water would be something worth diving into for the day.
A luxurious Napa Valley outdoor activity would be to take a helicopter ride across the valleys of Napa, where you can awe over the regions and vineyards from another beautiful, aerial view (remember, the hot air balloons?). Helicopter rides are especially fun with a group of people or an exciting event. Can you imagine transporting a wedding party through helicopter? That’s a moment to remember! But if you’re traveling with a friend, or another dear person, it’s guaranteed both your breaths will be taken away.
There is so much Napa Valley has to offer that it almost seems impossible to keep up with the things you need to cross off your bucket list. Oh well, we guess you just have to keep on coming back year after year to experience everything to its fullest.