You think Napa and wine instantly pops into your head. After all, it has hundreds of hillside vineyards and is home to award-winning wines. But there are many activities outside the wine world that the picturesque destination has to offer. In fact, you could plan a jam-packed itinerary and never once sip a glass of vino.
Here are five things to do besides drink wine when visiting Napa Valley, California.
Blend Your Own Coffee
It’s not just about varietal blends for wine in Napa; the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company takes just as much pride in their coffee blends. And they host tastings just like you’d find at a vineyard. You’ll learn the differences between roasts, blends and single varietal coffees, and have a chance to taste five French pressed coffees. Lastly, you get to create your own blend and walk away with a 12 oz. bag of your one-of-a-kind combo.
Go to an Olive Oil Tasting
Wine country has another famous harvest: olive oil. Several spots throughout the area let you pop by for a tasting and get a behind-the-scenes look at the pressing process. Round Pond Estate will take you on a private guided tour of the olive grove while Darioush Winery’s Sensory Sessions: An Olive Oil Experience guides you through several styles of extra virgin olive oil. Make sure you stop at Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company, which is the spot locals claim to have the best olive oil.
Take an Aerial Tour
Arguably, one of the best ways to see the stunning Napa Valley landscape is from up in the air. For those seeking a little adventure, book a hot air balloon ride with Napa Valley Aloft. They will take you soaring above the vineyards, and you might even catch a glimpse of the San Francisco skyline. Then, after your flight, you can enjoy a brunch at celebrity chef Michael Chiarello’s Ottimo restaurant.
Indulge in a Spa Day
The volcanic soil is part of the reason Napa Valley became such a hot spot for wine growth. But it also makes for a luxurious spa day. The northern part of the valley is home to geothermal hot springs creating relaxing and therapeutic mud and mineral baths. The town of Calistoga has a ton of spas with mud-based services in addition to traditional treatments like massages and facials. Indian Springs Resort even has its own geysers.
Check Out the Art Scene
With so much creativity happening in the food and wine scene, the area was bound to draw artists too. Today, Napa Valley is filled with museums, public and private galleries, open studios, and winery art installations. The towns of Napa and Yountville (which is home to 25 sculptures) host art walks to visit some of the most popular art spots. Plus, the Rail Arts District in downtown Napa is a two-mile path that you can bike or walk and see stunning murals from artists around the world.