Located north of San Francisco and Oakland, Napa Valley is known worldwide for its amazing wines. While the over 500 wineries define the region, Napa Valley has lots of activities and things to do making it an amazing place to visit. Downtown Napa is a lively area filled with cute shops, appealing restaurants, bars and music venues that offers a little something for everyone. Other cities in the valley like Calistoga, St. Helena, Oakville and Rutherford each have their own unique feel and quaint downtown areas that are worth a visit.
If you like the outdoor, Napa Valley offers a great selection of outdoor activities like paddle-boarding on the Napa River, bike rides along the Napa Valley Vine Trail, golfing at 5 amazing golf courses, outdoor yoga and some amazing hiking trails. Foodies can enjoy a variety of great restaurants, food and wine pairings and food festivals or bring your own gourmet meal for a picnic in the park. If you want to soak up some local culture, Napa Valley has a variety of museums, music venues, festivals, art galleries and more.
The heart of Napa Valley is the wine industry and the huge number of wineries located in the valley. However, the area isn’t just a popular wine area because there are a lot of wineries, it is because of the unique natural topography of the area, which creates the perfect conditions for growing grapes. Napa Valley is located in between the Mayacamas Mountains and the Vaca Range, which help to create the conditions that create some of the best wine in the world. The Vaca Range helps to shield the valley from the heat from the Central Valley and the Mayacamas Mountains block the cooler temperatures from the coast, allowing the region to maintain optimal temperatures for the growing seasons. Early vintners began to take notice of these conditions and in 1861, winemakers began to set up shop. The first commercial winery in Napa Valley was opened by Charles Krug and the region became so popular that there were over 140 wineries operating in Napa Valley by 1889. Despite a small setback due to prohibition, Napa Valley Wineries have been going strong ever since.
There is a surprising number of activities that you can enjoy when you visit Napa Valley, so trying to figure out the area and make a plan for your trip can be difficult. The CrawlSF Team has put together the Napa Valley Guide filled with great information about the area, transportation options and recommendations about the best wineries, restaurants, spas, hotels and more.
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