California’s wine country is a favorite destination for those seeking cabernets and chardonnay, but there are plenty of things to do in Napa besides wine. If you prefer more hops in your drinks, you’ll find local breweries like Fieldwork Brewing and Napa Smith Brewery. The Napa Valley is also a foodie paradise home to Michelin Star restaurants like The French Laundry and Auberge du Soleil.
Looking for a more active vacation? Hiking, biking, paddleboarding, and kayaking are just some of the outdoor activities you can do on the Napa River and in the surrounding hills.
Ready to start planning your Napa adventure beyond the vineyards? Head over to Troupe where you can let your travel buddies vote on their preferred travel dates and share their ideas for activities.
And here are some more tips if you’re heading to Napa for a bachelorette party that are fun for any group trip to wine country.
The best things to do in Napa (besides wine tasting):
- Enjoy the incredible food
- Have a beer from local breweries
- Paddleboard or kayak the Napa River
- Go hiking in the hills
- Go golfing on world-class courses
- Soar above the valley in a hot air balloon
- Stay at the Cambria Hotel Napa Valley
Best things to do in Napa besides wine
Enjoy the incredible food
Whether you’re craving a giant burrito from a local taqueria or you managed to get a reservation at the French Laundry, the Napa Valley is overflowing with delicious food options. Morimoto’s, with river-view seating in downtown Napa, is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Villa Corona and La Hacienda Taqueria are great for authentic California-Mexican cuisine, located well off the tourist track.
A few other restaurants to try while you’re in Napa include:
- Norman Rose
- Mustards Grill
- Bistro Don Giovanni
- Grace’s Table
- La Taberna
- Rutherford Grill
Soar in a hot air balloon
Just after sunrise, the skies of the Napa Valley are dotted with colorful hot air balloons. One of the best things to do in Napa besides wine taste, a flight in a hot air balloon above the vineyards is a one-of-a-kind adventure. Napa Valley Balloons is one of the top-rated companies for guest experience and high safety standards in the state of California.
Have a beer or seltzer cocktail instead
Brewed in nearby Berkeley, California, Fieldwork Brewing has a taproom inside the popular Oxbow Public Market. While you’re at Oxbow, grab a locally-made Monkey Wrench seltzer cocktail from Hudson Goods and Greens for another great wine alternative.
Just across the street, you’ll also find Trade Brewing, a local brewery with unique beers, board games, and daily specials.
Spend time on the river
The Napa River winds through downtown Napa. While there are plenty of bars and restaurants lining the riverwalk, those who want to spend some time on the water can do so by renting kayaks or paddleboards. Napa Valley Paddle offers hourly rentals and is located in the heart of Old Town Napa.
Take a hike
Napa is surrounded by hills, creating the valley full of vineyards that the region is known for. Hiking in these hills is one of the best things to do in Napa besides wine tasting.
Skyline Wilderness Park is a local favorite for all types of outdoor activities including horseback riding, mountain biking, and disc golf. In addition, this park has plenty of moderate-difficulty hiking trails with scenic views. Skyline Trail is three miles long and it circles a nearby lake while climbing 1,000 feet. Westwood Hills is another great place within the city of Napa for easy to moderate hikes leading to jaw-dropping views over the valley.
Silverado Resort and Country Club plays host to the opening event of the PGA Tour season, the Safeway Open. Book a stay at Silverado and you’ll have access to their beautiful 18-hole course. Napa Golf Course at Kennedy Park and Eagle Vines Golf Club are other challenging courses with incredible scenery that are open to the public.
The quaint town of Yountville is 15 minutes up valley from the city of Napa. Here, Vintner’s Golf Club offers a 9-hole resort course that anyone can pay to play. Enjoy some time in Yountville either before or after you hit the links and be sure to try some of the valley’s best restaurants like Bottega and Bistro Jeanty which are located here.
Where to stay in Napa
Cambria Hotel Napa Valley
The Cambria Hotel Napa Valley, which opened in 2021, is perfectly located for all the best things to do in Napa besides wine. Located along the Silverado Trail, you’re smack dab in the middle of the three golf courses mentioned above. You’re also right in between Skyline Wilderness Park and Westwood Hills, both great for hiking and other outdoor activities.
Best of all? You’re walking distance to downtown Napa and its world-class restaurants or activities on the river. Just over a mile away, you can pay a visit to the Culinary Institute of America at COPIA.
In addition to the above, the Cambria Hotel Napa Valley is a short walk from plenty of different casual and fast-food restaurants like In N’ Out, Chipotle, MOD Pizza, Black Bear Diner, and The Habit Burger Grill. Just two minutes on foot, you’ll reach La Cheve Bakery and Brews where you can dine in or grab delicious, Mexican-inspired pastries to bring back to your room.
Pro Tip: The hotel offers great happy hour specials from 4-6, including draft beers from some of Napa’s local breweries. (Be sure to try the truffle fries!). In addition, their full-service restaurant, Mary Elizabeth, serves breakfast and dinner. A hot tub located off the outdoor dining patio is available to guests.
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