Thinking of exploring a magical location with your loved ones this year? If your idea of an ideal getaway is to sit back, relax and appreciate the bounties of nature, a trip to Napa Valley and Sonoma County must rank high on your travel bucket list. Both Sonoma County and Napa Valley are blessed with ample natural beauty. There is unlimited fun to be had in these regions! From beautiful vineyards to amazing food, there are a number of reasons to visit Sonoma and Napa. Napa and Sonoma are collectively known as California Wine Country. The two counties are separated by a mountain range known as the Mayacamas Mountain Range.
In Napa, there is a designated American Viticultural Area, known as Napa Valley. The AVA contains 16 sub-AVAs and 400-plus wineries. That’s more than one winery for every day of the year! Napa is heaven for wine lovers. No wonder it is visited by more than 4.5 million tourists every year. Though it covers almost 800 sq. miles, most wineries are located in the 35-mile stretch between Napa and Calistoga.
Sonoma sprawls over 1,600-plus square miles. It has almost the same number of wineries as Napa. However, they are spread over a larger area. It is believed that many areas of Sonoma are yet to be explored.
At the north and south ends of each area, getting from Napa to Sonoma takes a little less than 30 minutes. At other points, the traveling time may go up to a few hours. Here are a some reasons to visit Napa and Sonoma this year.
Both Sonoma and Napa have an abundance of restaurants to choose from. From eateries that treat their guests to traditional wood-fired pizzas to Michelin-starred restaurants, you name it and these counties have it! Sonoma is known for its seasonal farm-fresh fare, chicken and waffles, Detroit-styled sausages, and smoked quail. Restaurants in Napa serve delicacies from different parts of the world. When visiting Napa Valley and Sonoma County, keep an eye out for designated Restaurant Weeks that offer specially-priced dining opportunities.
One of the best things about visiting Napa and Sonoma is that you get to taste different wines no matter the time of the year. Winery tasting rooms in both regions are open year-round. Tourists get the opportunity to interact with tasting room hosts, local winemakers, tour guides and brand ambassadors who share fascinating back stories behind different types of wines. Remember to visit legendary wineries such as Chateau Montelena, Judd’s Hill and Liana Estates that historically have provided the world some of the most famous wines.
If your soul longs for adventure, a visit to Sonoma and Napa must rank high on your priority list. These counties are known for California balloon rides. When you’re looking to book a hot air balloon flight, whether it’s a Sonoma Valley balloon ride or a Napa hot air balloon ride, it’s imperative that you go with a reputable company.
At Up & Away Ballooning, we are committed to ensuring the safety of our customers and are proud to have an impeccable safety record. Sharing the magic of hot air ballooning with our guests is something we truly cherish and you’re sure to have a fun and exciting time with this once in a lifetime experience. Napa Valley Balloons is another reputable ballooning company, known for their legacy of excellence and safety.
In Napa Valley and Sonoma County, there is never a dull moment. Individuals in these regions know how to celebrate life. Some popular events organized in Napa Valley and Sonoma County include the Napa Valley Film Festival and Sonoma International Film Festival. Frequented by celebrities, these events combine the best in food, wine and film. Plus, the Cabernet Season in Napa Valley offers several opportunities to taste at leisure.
Every year, Napa celebrates a nine-day festival known as the Napa Lighted Art Festival by displaying light installations after sunset. Important locations in the city are decorated.
For those looking for Ballooning Festivals, Sonoma County is the place to be! The Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic has been running for 30+ years now. This hot air balloon festival typically falls in the summer, sometime in June. Attendees can take part in a tethered balloon ride, while also enjoying the many creative balloons, food booths and craft booths. This is a family-friendly festival, with a kids play area.
Travelers visit Napa Valley and Sonoma County for a plethora of fun, relaxing and exciting experiences that often times can’t be found anywhere else. If your schedule permits, visiting when it’s not peak season has its perks. Hotels, restaurants and wineries slash their rates to get the attention of tourists. Whether you choose a cozy inn or a downtown hotel for accommodations, you will find a deal that will put a smile on your face. Often times, you will also get special offers at spa retreats and golf resorts.
Located in Santa Rosa, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center celebrates the legacy of the legendary cartoonist and creator of the comic strip Peanuts, Charles M. Schultz. The museum offers a number of activities and events, entertaining programs, and tours. In 2019, a new exhibit that goes by the name of ‘AAUGH! The Language of Peanuts’ was added to the museum. The museum has an ice-skating rink and a hot chocolate stand.
When visiting Sonoma, remember to participate in the three-hour walking and tasting tour in Sebastopol. The Food Crush tours provide unparalleled opportunities to interact with people from the local crafts community. During the tour, you will be tasting wines, brews and foods with local artisans.
Napa Valley and Sonoma County are two of the best places to visit in the country. The sights and sounds of Napa and Sonoma are sure to blow you away. Stop thinking and start doing! Before the crowds start pouring in, take a vacation to fully unwind and relax. When visiting Napa Valley and Sonoma County, do not forget to take a thrilling hot air balloon flight. At Up & Away Ballooning, we offer a premier ballooning experience. To book a balloon flight package, call us at (707) 836-0171.
For those traveling to Napa Valley, a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley is a must!