Napa Valley attractions

Geography plays a major role in the success of the Napa Valley. According to Napa Valley Vintners (2016), the region is one of the few places in the world with a Mediterranean climate, experiencing warm dry days and cool nights that create an environment conducive to growing grapes to produce wine. Though Napa Valley is known internationally, its growing area is small with strict environmental regulations (Napa Valley Vintners, 2016).

Napa Valley is home to more than 400 wineries, 95% of which are family- owned and operated (Visit Napa Valley, n.d.a). Of these 400-plus wineries, 250 are open to visitors, offering more than just wine tastings. Several have wine and food pairings or culinary classes where visitors can participate in culinary demonstrations (Visit Napa Valley, n.d.b.). Many wineries hold special events, like concerts, themed parties and special tastings.

Many of the attractions separate from non-winery entities are centred around wineries, including outdoor recreation (Napa Valley, 2016). For example, visitors can take bike tours around the wineries. Hot air balloons provide visitors with a different perspective on the wineries and vineyards. Horseback riding tours take visitors around the countryside. Many golf clubs have their own restaurants which serve local wine, as do spas and resorts (Napa Valley, 2016). If visitors prefer to see the area on a guided tour, the Napa Valley Wine Train offers several wine tours through the valley while serving gourmet meals on-board.

There are also attractions that complement/support the wineries. Visitors can swim, boat or fish in the Napa River. Parks have trails, picnic areas and natural history; some permit visitors to bring their dogs (Napa Valley, 2016). Shopping, arts and culture, and a vibrant nightlife are available in the towns and cities located near wineries. Boutiques and outlets offer a wide variety of items, from cigars to artwork. Several galleries showcase local artists, while museums present the history of Napa Valley. During the evening, there are many options for live music and theatre. Those who are interested in culinary experiences can try any of the several restaurants and/or non-winery based culinary classes, most of which serve local wine. Moreover, breweries, distilleries and olive oil producers also have tastings.

Another support for winery visits is the great number of hotels, inns, resorts, and bed and breakfasts. Napa Valley (2016) lists nearly 160 establishments in six towns. Lodging varies from RV compounds to luxury spa resorts.

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