Most Popular Things to Do in Napa Valley, California

Traveling to Northern California for the first time? Don’t miss out on exploring all the fun things to do in Napa Valley! Located north of San Francisco, Napa Valley is one of the world’s most famous wine-growing regions and a favorite West Coast escape for luxury travelers.

While many of the top tourist attractions in Napa Valley cater to wine lovers, there’s more to see & do here than touring wineries. Napa County is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in California, set upon rolling green hills. Whether you’re looking to enjoy delectable food with a brilliant wine pairing or partake in outdoor activities, there’s something for every traveler in California’s wine country.

Want to discover what to do in Napa Valley? Plan your trip with this complete guide to the best places to visit in Napa Valley, CA.

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Castello di Amorosa

Napa Valley is home to dozens of world-class wineries. And a visit to the region wouldn’t be complete without touring at least one of them. If you’re looking for something a little different for your wine tour, fill up your glasses at the Castello di Amorosa. With its eye-popping archiecture, it’s one of the most impeccable Napa Valley attractions.

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa is modeled after a 13th-century Tuscan castle, and is one of the unique places to see in Napa Valley. The castle offers tours, wine tastings, and events throughout the year, set on its historical property.

Even if you’re not a wine lover, Castello di Amorosa is worth visiting for its delightful architecture and scenery.

Napa Valley Wine Train

Want to experience Napa Valley in style? Hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. This vintage train whisks you away on a three-hour journey through the valleys and vineyards of Napa Valley.

Napa Valley Wine Train

On a Napa Valley Wine Train day trip, you’ll also enjoy a gourmet meal and unlimited wine from some of the area’s finest wineries.

A unique and romantic experience, the Napa Valley Wine Train will be a bonus ride if you’re on vacation with your significant other.

Be sure to bring along your camera to capture the colors of the setting sun amidst the vineyards.

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Are you an outdoors enthusiast? You’ll love Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. Located in the epicenter of Napa Valley, the state park has plenty to offer visitors. The park’s creekside trails are filled with redwood trees and other mature stands. If you’re longing for a Napa Valley attraction that’s off the beaten path, Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is worth a visit.

As you hike the popular trails, spend time admiring beautiful understories, comprising ferns and wildflowers like purple needlegrass. Along the paths, there’ll even be an opportunity for some poolside lounging in nature.

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

Located on the Sonoma Highway southwest of Napa, the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art has long been known for its beautiful scenery and rich history. If you’re looking for low-key Napa activities, you can enjoy this picturesque area while experiencing new artwork by regional artists in its gallery.

This art museum is located on a 200-acre property, and features a variety of contemporary art. The diRosa Center includes three galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden. Located one mile outside downtown, it’s perfect for a stroll to break up the usual Napa Valley sightseeing activities.

Loking for a place to grab a bite to eat? The di Rosa Center also has a cafe on-site with lip-smacking food.

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park is a Northern California treasure trove for hiking and exploring. With 5,272 acres of rugged terrain, it offers something unique to travelers. The state park includes sections in Sonoma County’s vineyards and Lake Country near San Francisco Bay.

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

The narrow trails of Robert Louis Stevenson State Park wind through dense groves of Douglas fir, oak, and manzanita trees. The green hillsides provide relief on hot days or when you want some peace from nature’s sounds.

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park also features several rocky cliffs, giving way to pristine views that’ll make your heart soar. All without even stepping foot off the beaten path.

Skyline Wilderness Park

Looking for a spot with fewer people? Napa Valley has many gems where you can experience the highlights of this region without crowds. One example is Skyline Wilderness Park, providing a great view and outdoor activities like hiking or biking.

Skyline Wilderness Park

The trails of Skyline Wilderness Park wind around mountain peaks that offer incredible views of California’s wine country. Spreading across scenic roads wound through bucolic fields, it provides a picturesque view of Napa Valley from a height.

If you want less action in your Napa itinerary, you can even spend your day peacefully by the lake located at the park’s center.

Blue Note Napa

In the mood for a little local nightlife? Head to Blue Note Napa for live music and expertly curated cocktails. You’ll find this amazing spot on the first floor of a historic opera house. One of the coolest places to go in Napa Valley at night, it’s a must-visit on your itinerary.

Blue Note Napa has a capacity of over 700 people, and it features a state-of-the-art sound system. Besides live music, the venue whips up unique monthly dishes for locals who celebrate special events here.

Make sure you reserve ahead; Blue Note is always packed with people looking forward to experiencing great food or combinations of drinks.

Westwood Hills Park

A heavily-wooded Napa City park, Westwood Hills Park centers around three miles of trails through beautiful groves and grassy meadows. One of the most impressive places to see in Napa Valley, the park delivers stunning views over the town and countryside.

The Westwood Hill Park Loop Trail leaves on an old, dusty road from a small parking lot. Along the loop, lined with lush greenery, you’ll soak up North California nature at its finest. It provides a welcome natural respite from the bustle of the wineries and downtown Napa.

Calistoga

Looking for a relaxing day trip from Napa? Venture northward to Calistoga. This quaint town, just 40 minutes north of Napa, is famed for its hot springs and mud baths.

Calistoga

The most popular attractions in Calistoga include world-class wineries, delicious restaurants, and boutique clothing stores.

For a classic itinerary, spend your day in Calistoga on one of its many wine-tasting tours. If you want a little more relaxation, you could also enjoy innovative wellness programs like aromatherapy sessions at one of its local spas.

Domaine Carneros

Craving a majestic winery experience? Set your sights on Domaine Carneros. Sitting on Highway 121 between Napa and Sonoma, this grand winery centers upon a French-style château sits, ruling over sprawling vineyards.

Domaine Carneros

For more than three decades, Domaine Carneros has been known as one of the top traditional sparkling wine producers in the United States. The vineyards at Domaine Carneros are planted on gentle slopes to take advantage of the cool breezes and morning fog. The result is wines that are delicate and complex, with beautiful acidity.

Oxbow Public Market

Located in the historic Napa Mill, Oxbow Public Market is a food lover’s paradise. The market features over 40 vendors selling everything from local produce to artisan cheese and handmade pasta.

With an array of unique culinary products and local ingredients, Oxbow Public Market offers something for all tastes—whether you’re longing for a quick bite or a leisurely meal.

Many of the amazing restaurants in Napa use high-quality ingredients from Oxbox Market on their plates. Stop by after dinner with friends when it’s time to share stories over drinks, enjoying the breathtaking views from the rooftop lounge space.

Alston Park

Want a picturesque view? You’d love meandering around Alston Park. This 157-acre open space sits upon the rolling hills of northwest Napa. For exploring nature and outdoor photography, it’s one of the top points of interest in Napa Valley.

Alston Park features three miles worth of trails, well-suited to equestrians, mountain bikers, hikers, and dog walkers. The park also an excellent spot for picnics, BBQs, or relaxing in the sun. With plenty of space to spread out, it’s perfect for large groups, too.

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park

Interesting in digging up history on your Napa trip? Save time in your travel plans for the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park. The park center around a grist mill built in 1846 and is one of the only remaining water-powered mills in California.

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park

The grist mill was once used to grind wheat and corn into flour, then used to make bread, pasta, and other staples of the early California diet. Take a stroll and come home with your heart and stomach filled.

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park also features a picnic area, hiking trails, and a blacksmith shop. A water wheel—with the Napa River flowing through it—powers the mill.

When you visit Bale Grist Mill State Historical Park, you can step back in time and learn about the early days of California. It’s an excellent place for history buffs and anyone eagar to learn more about the state’s past.

The Petrified Forest

Looking to escape into the greenery? The Petrified Forest is a natural history preserve located in Napa Valley and one of the region’s most impressive places to see.

The nature preserve is home to a variety of plants and animals and a petrified forest. The forest itself is made up of trees turned to stone by the mineral-rich waters of the Napa River. The petrified trees are a fascinating sight and a must-see for any visitor to the area.

The Petrified Forest is also home to various animals, including deer, coyotes, and bobcats. Several hiking trails wind through the forest—explore at your own pace.

Del Dotto Historic Winery & Caves

Del Dotto Historic Winery & Caves features many unique wines and a historic cave used for storage and aging. It’s one of the only remaining caves in Napa Valley still used for wine storage. The cave is cool and dark and provides the perfect environment for aging wine.

Del Dotto Historic Winery & Caves

The winery offers a variety of tours, tastings, and events. You can tour the caves, taste the wines, and learn about the winery’s history. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking to learn more about wine-making, Del Dotto Historic Winter & Caves is a must-visit.

Napa Valley Balloons

Want to take to the skies? Book yourself on a hot-air balloon ride over Napa Valley with Napa Valley Balloons. You can choose to ride in a hot air balloon solo or with a group. The company also provides private tours for couples or small groups.

Napa Valley Balloons

If you want a great way to see the city from a unique perspective, Napa Valley Balloons is your go-to spot. You’ll float over the vineyards, forests, and mountains of the region and get a bird’s eye view of everything that makes the place unique.

Napa County Historical Society

A non-profit organization, the Napa County Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the rich history of the Napa Valley. The society operates a museum, library, and research center in the center of Napa.

The Napa County Historical Society museum features a variety of exhibits on the history of the area. You can learn about the early days of Napa Valley and the people who have shaped its history.

The library is a great place to research your family history or learn more about the area’s past. As of now, the research center is open to the public and features a variety of resources on the area’s history.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about the area’s past or want to browse the exhibits, the Napa County Historical Society is worth visiting.

Treksplorer

Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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