California Wine Country

Napa Valley is a great destination from anywhere world wide. San Francisco Airport (SFO) is just a few hours away from your holiday in wine country. Transportation can be arranged from a stretch limo, to a SUV for the adventurous.

Many travel internationally to SFO, for business southbound in Silicon Valley, the hi-tech valley with uncountable leading Hi Tech companies, so why not mix your travels, land on a Friday night, and enjoy wine country over the weekend as you catch up with the time zone change.

Why do I sound a bit thrilled with the opportunity to write this article, and share some highlights. Very simple, I grew up in California, and know these areas like the back of my hand. I work in the hi tech industry, and travel internationally to many countries quiet often.

Well, actually, I have many business associates, and true international friends, and a long time ago, I picked up a few travelers I knew very well, and did in fact what I just recommended, spent the weekend in Napa Valley, and did every highlight Im going to touch on.

Now this started back in the 1980s , but once the word got out, a jam packed weekend to be remembered, then onward to business on Monday, guess I should have changed careers, travel guide, limo driver, Spa or Resort operator, because I still to this day, have not seen it all, and enjoy every time I get the chance to visit, and show people a super adventure.

So, in a nutshell, here are some real life things to do if you ever get the chance to visit Napa Valley. Note, this is not an advertisement, but a real short cut adventure, and can save you lots of wasted time in your travels, and even save you some money.

Winery Tours
Simply there are so many, you cannot see them all in two days. I recommend, do some research online, find the ones you would enjoy visiting over the weekend, or longer if time allows. Now, caution, nowadays many do charge a fee, approx. $10 for tasting typically, so unless you are visiting smaller wineries, allow an hour plus for planning. Second caution, make it fun, but use common sense, someone needs to be a designated driver, since we are talking about wine tasting. Think this through for safety, and fun. Hire a limo, go as a group.

Ballooning The Valley
Now, I fly a lot, however I did have one Doctor friend who really wanted to do this in a bad way, and I am not really crazy about heights like many.

However, I did set it up, with very experienced people, and what a rush this adventure was. Early morning, very clear, and calm, no wind at all, so time of year for this adventure needs to be considered.

I might add, there is always a risk, but I saw everything from this adventure alone, and took the most pictures of the vineyards possible which I still have today, enlarged, and framed. So this one is a special reward different from all others.

Next to this there are flight excursions around the valley, but the Balloon, allowed a peaceful, noise free natural adventure, moving very slow, pictures were very clear. I recommend this for the real brave adventurer, you will never forget this one.

Tour Packages
I thought I would mention this again, a bit different, but to be considered. Limos, Stretch SUVs, Buses, can all be arranged in advance, whether you fly in, need a Resort to stay, and tailor your visit in any manor, can be setup in advance.

This works very well for small groups, and surprisingly wine tasting, by Limo is reasonably priced as a group. Drivers know where your destinations are. Yes, the Valley is big, you could get lost, so lots of good considerations when planning your trip.

Resorts Spas, BBs
Thought I would also touch on any overnight planning. Some of these resorts are up to 5 star, based on your budget and plans, resorts can sometimes be at a winery, with restaurants on site, which makes for a relaxing setting on a real working vineyard. Just the scent of wine, and the oak barrels alone is a great experience.

BBs are quiet common all around the valley area. Its difficult to recommend anyone specific, simply because there are so many, and I have enjoyed many different ones, so no complaints, people are very friendly and kind. I can recommend search online, pictures, package specials off season, etc. will get you started.

Travel the Valley By Train
Yes in fact they have a very old refurbished train package available. I did this once, many years ago. It all depends on your style, if you do not like driving this is an option to consider.

The train not only takes you sight seeing around the valley, but also serves gourmet meals to anyones liking. That was a treat I remember well.

I do not usually make specific recommendations, but I rated this adventure right between a 4 and 5 star level, and was really impressed how well everything went. So, in this case, go check them out, at their website address at winetrain. Great to kick back, and relax for the entire day adventure, and no traffic problems Im aware of.

Head South
Well, my home city is actually south of Napa Valley in Santa Barbara, truly a resort city on the ocean backed by mountains and island views. Santa Barbara is about a 6 hour drive from Napa Valley, but well worth it,
simply Napa Valley has its history and many vineyards, however is not the largest wine producer in California, did you know that ?

I will tell you, it is somewhere in between, which I will cover in my next article heading south to Santa Barbara.

I hope you enjoyed these highlights of Napa Valley, things to do, places to go. Sometimes there is so much information it is overwhelming, and I wanted to help sort things out for anyone planning a trip there.

Now, there are certainly many more great things and places to go, but these I have experienced, so feel free to consider my adventures in your trip, and hopefully save some time, costs, and help plan a memorable adventure.

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About The Author, Reed Langdon
Reed Langdon grew up in California. He publishes many articles with great memories of adventures and places to go throughout California, and shares his experiences. If you would like more information and details on Wine Country be sure to visit his site at