On a lovely Sunday morning we decided to escape the city and head out to the gorgeous countryside in Napa, Ca. First on our agenda was kayaking down the Napa River. If you’ve seen my earlier posts you know that we are big fans of kayaking. It is such a relaxing (and dry!) way to enjoy the water. After a guided historical tour through downtown Napa, we spent an hour kayaking solo and enjoying the scenery. If you’re new to Napa and in the market for some great historical anecdotes and sightseeing recommendations from a local, I highly recommend booking a kayaking tour through Viator. Our guide Justin was very friendly, informative and knows a ton about Napa.
After all that exercise kayaking down the Napa River it was time for lunch! Wine Country is by far one of the best places for a picnic lunch because the views of rolling valley hillsides filled with vineyards just can’t be beat. Keep reading to see our best recommendations for Napa and Sonoma picnic spots.
Best Picnic Locations and Tours in California Wine Country:
1. Alston Park - During the course of our kayak tour, I asked Justin for a great location to take scenic photos and enjoying a picnic. He recommended Alston Park which was right on the money. The park lies right in the middle of sprawling hillsides full of vineyards. The trails lead you up to the top of the rolling hills giving you a panoramic view of the Napa Valley.
The park is dog friendly and will certainly give your pooch (and you!) a good workout. One thing to note, I highly recommend staying on the trails. During our visit I decided to be adventurous and walk through the brush. As I was frolicking without a care I nearly stepped on a very big SNAKE! Ah! And I don’t mean a little gardener snake, I mean a several feet long snake. My free-natured attitude nearly bit me in the ass (literally! lol). But all snakes aside, it was a gorgeous scene and definitely worth a visit.
2. Picnic Tour Catered by the Girl & the Fig Restaurant - Explore Sonoma County’s celebrated wineries on a fun, all-inclusive “picnic tour.” After a convenient hotel pickup, travel with a guide and small group of wine-lovers through Northern California’s scenic wine country. Enjoy a boxed lunch catered by the Girl & the Fig restaurant, with all tasting fees included in your outing.
3. Napa Wine Country Tour by Open-Air Trolley - Make your day in wine country memorable on a fun tour aboard the Napa Valley Wine Trolley. The open-air cable car is a replica of the historic trolleys seen in San Francisco and offers gorgeous views of the vineyards as you travel to four wineries to sample the local blends. Midday, stop for a catered picnic lunch. Savor a gourmet spread of sandwiches, side salads, and desserts, served family style so you can pick and choose among the tasty offerings.
4. Napa Valley Bike Tour and Wine Picnic - Go on a Napa Valley wine adventure by bike on this 7-hour tour. During this tour, visit three different wineries, and hear about their individual wine-making processes. Bike about 3-6 miles in between each winery, and then enjoy tastings when you arrive. Along the way stop for a picnic lunch of artisan sandwiches, green salad, and fresh fruit.
5. Hot-Air-Balloon Ride with Sparkling Wine Brunch - Experience Nappy Valley's world-famous wine country from the air on a sunrise hot-air-balloon ride. Start the day off right with coffee and pastries at the renowned Domaine Chandon Winery, and then climb into a comfortable basket to take to the skies as day breaks across the valley. Enjoy a bird’s-eye perspective of Napa’s rolling hills, expansive vineyards, and elegant estates during this 1-hour flight. Once back on solid ground, indulge in a hot breakfast buffet with sparkling wine back at Domaine Chandon.
6. Napa Valley Wine Train with Gourmet Lunch - Roll through Northern California’s famous wine country on the renowned Napa Valley Wine Train. Pass charming towns like Rutherford and St. Helena, and soak up the scenery of rolling hills, vineyards, and estates through large picture windows on the trip. Explore the restored vintage train cars, and then take a seat for a gourmet lunch or dinner freshly prepared by the train’s acclaimed on-board restaurant.
7. Vineyard Picnic at the Benziger Family Winery - Visit an organic winery in Sonoma County and a second winery in Napa County on this day trip from San Francisco. Take an open-air tour of Benziger Family Winery to taste award-winning wine, learn about its biodynamic winemaking operation, and have a picnic lunch. Then enjoy another wine tasting in Napa Valley before returning the city.
8. Rail Arts District Napa Tour - Spend the afternoon exploring a hidden gem of Napa Valley on this walking tour of the Rail Arts District. Get to know this up-and-coming neighborhood in a small group, with your guide on hand to give you recommendations for places to go and things to see. Stop at a series of local wineries and eateries and sample the tastes of the Rail Arts District, too: locally-sourced wine, beer and produce, all provided free of charge.
9. Sonoma County Wine Segway Tour and Picnic - Visit the wineries of Sonoma on a half-day Segway tour, departing from the Sonoma Plaza. Once you’re comfortable on your 2-wheeled electric vehicle, motor along quiet country roads leading you to some of California’s oldest wineries; tasting fees not included. Stop for a provided picnic lunch of local goods.
10. Humboldt Cannabis Farm Picnic - From May through the end of September cannabis farm tours are available. Visit two cannabis farms and learn about what is going on at that time of the year. Then have a picnic lunch in the Redwoods. On the farm you’ll speak with growers, smell and touch the plants and get your hands in he soil! The final stop is at a dispensary where guests receive a 10% discount and learn about products available.
Top Stylish Napa Valley Hotels:
See more tours filled with wine and adventure in Napa Valley:
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