Just over an hour away from San Francisco lies one of the world’s wine capitals. Between Napa and Sonoma valleys, there are 600+ wineries to choose from, giving the wine drinker more than enough to do, see and taste during any given visit. But, you might be surprised to learn that wine country has much more to offer than just wine. Here’s how to enjoy the area without the risk of a hangover.
Enjoy Live Music
In addition to hosting annual music festivals like Bottlerock at the end of May, wine country is home to quite a few live music venues. At Uptown Theatre in Napa, you can see acts like Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers, Switchfoot, Matt Kearney and more. Blue Note Napa is welcoming Dennis Quaid & Jamie James, Kenny G and more this fall. You can enjoy everything from jazz to country and beyond throughout the year at many of the area’s restaurants and wineries—among other dedicated music venues.
Eat Your Way Through the Valley
Napa Valley boasts two 3-Michelin starred restaurants, four 1-Michelin starred restaurants and 26 other Michelin-rated restaurants. Only 15 restaurants in the U.S. have earned the honor of three Michelin stars, and two of them are in Napa Valley—including The Restaurant at Meadowood and The French Laundry. That, alone, should make a trip to wine country worth it.
If you have your heart set on scoring a reservation at The French Laundry, make sure to plan a few months in advance. It’s considered among the best restaurants in the world and serves a prix fixe chef’s choice menu by Thomas Keller. The famous chef and proprietor is behind four other Napa Valley eateries that are a little easier to get tables at: Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc + Addendum and La Calenda.
Have a Spa Day
What better way to enjoy a getaway sans alcohol than with a weekend filled with detoxifying self-care activities? If massages, mud baths and dips in natural hot springs are your idea of a good time, we recommend visiting Calistoga. Enjoy this beautiful town via one of its wellness resorts like Calistoga Ranch, which is made up of 50 freestanding guest lodges that let you truly embrace the natural surroundings.
Get Your Adrenaline Going
Wine country is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise—no matter what level of excitement gets your blood pumping. You can rent a kayak or jet ski to take out on Lake Berryessa, ride through the rolling hills of vineyards on horseback, slide down a zipline through the redwoods in Sonoma or see the valley from way up above on a hot air balloon.