The Petaluma Wildlife & Natural Science Museum has a huge collection of taxidermied animals as well as live animals, and is open to the public every Saturday. The property also includes an aviary, dioramas, and a fossil and mineral collection.
Located on a summit, Pride Mountain Vineyards is spread over 235 acres (95 hectares) and is surrounded by mountains, offering a stunning view of the countryside of Sonoma County. The estate blends in well with the natural surroundings. Pride Mountain welcomes you to a tour of their estate and the most popular attraction, the caves. These caves lie about 50 feet (15 meters) below ground and the wine is stored in them. Tours take place in the mornings and tasting sessions during the afternoons. Since county regulations require a prior appointment, it is advisable to reserve and confirm the tour.
The Castello di Amorosa, located in Calistoga, is truly one of the most unique wineries in the Napa Valley. This genuine (albeit fairly new) castle in the Napa Valley took 14 years to build and opened in 2007. The castle has many features that make it truly one of a kind here, including a moat and drawbridge, chapel and even a torture chamber, complete with authentic instruments of torture like the iron maiden (which dates back 300 years!) All of the craftsmanship in the castle was done using original, old-world techniques. The Castello offers several different wine tasting packages, although they do not have a winery on site. Visitors can also take horse-drawn carriage tours of the estate and attend church services in the castle.
This is considered by many to be the most beautiful 18th-century chateau in North America. The chateau also has one of the most prominent vineyards. Domaine Carneros produces award winning sparking and Pinot Noir wines. You'll feel just like a king in the Louis XV-style salon with gracious service to match. Snuggle up to a warm fire during the cold winter months or enjoy the summer air from the terrace. Check out the in-house store, where you can pick up a number of vintages for friends and family. The tasting tours are offered daily.
Robert Mondavi is one of the most renowned vintners in Napa County, producing affordable and complex wines. The Robert Mondavi Winery offers several tasting tours varying in depth and price. The Taste of Wine is a two-hour formal tasting dedicated to training your palate as well as learning about various wine characteristics. Reservations are required all tours and tastings. In addition, the winery hosts countless concerts, art exhibits and community events. Visit the website for details on tours, tastings and events.
Take an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the Napa Valley. A typical adventure includes an hour-long balloon ride with your pilot narrating the sights, followed by a garden champagne-brunch. Launches begin at sunrise. Enjoy incredible aerial views of Napa vineyards. Rates vary, call for details.
A picnic ground and trailhead at the base of the hill lead to steep trails up to the boulder-strewn valley rim. Hikers and horse riders to the Skyline Wilderness Park are greeted with pretty views of the valley and a respite from the wine-soaked tourist crush of the valley floor. Some moderate degree of cardiovascular fitness is advisable before setting off.
Originally a movie palace, downtown Napa's majestic theater was shuttered for a decade before re-opening in 2010 as a concert venue. A local builder, who remembers the Uptown from his youth, expanded the stage and lovingly restored the interior to its art deco origins. Be sure to look up at the murals on the ceiling and take in the small details, like the iron-accented sidelights, that make this theater a distinctive place to catch a national act.
Historic architecture, open-air markets, clothing boutiques, antique stores, gourmet food shops - all surrounded by fabulous vineyards and wineries - this is downtown Napa. Buy quality clothing from the Mustard Seed Clothing Co., hunt for treasures at Antiques On Second, and don't forget to stop into one of the dozens of award-winning cafes and restaurants to refuel. Just a few miles away on Factory Stores Drive you will find the Napa Premium Outlets, the number one spot in the area to find designer brands such as BCBG Max Azria, DKNY, and Coach, at heavily discounted prices.
Napa is the capital of California's wine country and offers a tantalizing culinary experience. Here, visitors pamper their taste buds with gourmet cuisine and passels of full-bodied wines from the valley. The trendy local boutiques and designer stores afford hours of retail therapy, while the many spas that dot the city offer relaxing massages and world-class beauty treatments that rejuvenate and refresh. Cultural experiences abound and the city is home to museums and art galleries showcasing contemporary talent. Festivals and fairs like the Napa Wine & Crafts Fair make for an interesting exposé on the local culture and food preferences and draw crowds looking to savor a gourmet experience matched by few in the world.
Restored in 2003, this magnificent Opera house never knew it would live to see its good old days again. But now, its fate has reversed and restored it stands. Past events have included plays such as I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, as well as performances from acclaimed artists like the Indigo Girls. For those who love their funny bone tickled, do not miss the stand-up comedy competition, or better yet compete in it. Making a fool of yourself could not be more fun!
Hop on this train and experience a first-class meal and fine wines as you tour wine county. The train offers a champagne brunch, casual lunches and fancy dinners. It is ideal for romantic dinners, executive parties and tourist excursions. The train's decor is elegant, though daytime travels are casual. Take in the sights both outdoor and indoor: mahogany, brass and etched glass in the restored 1917 Pullman Dining Car. At the McKinstry Street Station starting point, you will find a handful of charming little shops that specialize in wine (of course), gourmet foods and gifts.