Despite its reputation as one of the finest wine destinations in the world, there are lots of awesome things to do in Napa that doesn’t involve a glass of wine. If you’ve crossed off drinking for the rest of your life or traveling as a family with kids, you can still find a lot of great wine-free activities to enjoy Napa Valley.
1. See a breathtaking top view of Napa Valley.
Get a different perspective of the region onboard a colorful air balloon ride. Take a one-hour sunrise flight when the winds are calm and the temperatures are still cool. Your altitude can go between 1,000 to 3,000 feet and you’ll be soaring above the beautiful green mountains, valleys, and vineyards.
2. Kick off the salmon fishing season at the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival.
An annual event held in the fishing village of Bodega Bay, the festival gives you a chance to experience the 42-year tradition and dine on appetizing local food. Gather along the shoreline for the ceremonial Blessing of the Fleet, where the local clergy blesses the decorated fishing boats lined up on the harbor. Find out more about the Fisherman’s Festival on this page.
3. Ride on a restored antique train car.
Your Napa Valley sightseeing experience won’t be complete without the popular Napa Valley Wine Train. Besides the winery tours they offer, there’s also other fun themes you can enjoy such as the Murder Mystery, Murder on the Wine Train Express. Dinner is included in the ticket, plus you get to dress up in early 1900s fashion and mix and mingle with other passengers.
4. Join an educational factory tour.
Take yourself and the kids over to the Jelly Belly factory for a first-hand tour of its candy-making facilities in the city of Fairfield. The 40-minute walking tour shows how they cook more than 150 different sweet treats and their secret recipes in making their jelly beans. Lots of free tastings are included in the tour so join in the fun!
5. Stay at a historic bed and breakfast.
Bed and breakfasts are better than hotels because you get to experience how it’s like to live like the locals. Try the historic Churchill Manor in Napa or the Wine Country Inn in St. Helena. Both Napa Valley towns are equally charming with beautiful downtowns and chic boutiques and cafes in redbrick buildings.