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The United States' Wine Country, Napa Valley is synonymous with world-class viniculture. Its chateau-style vineyards produce some of the world's best wines; their elegant Cabernet Sauvignons and winemakers like V. Sattui Winery, Beaulieu Vineyard and Beringer have especially earned fame globally. Wild grapes always thrived in the region, but it wasn't until the mid-1800s when George Calvert Yount started growing wine grapes that people realized the land's true potential. Soon, the world discovered Napa Valley when a local winery won several gold medals for a Bordeaux-style wine at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. Since then, Napa has evolved into a superlative food, wine and spa destination, boasting Michelin-starred restaurants, annual wine festivals, and natural parks complete with famed mud baths.
Outdoor and nature enthusiasts will relish a trip to this expansive state park whose landscape alternates between sandy stretches of land and marshy areas teeming with diverse wildlife. Benicia State Recreation Area offers a comprehensive experience of nature's bounties by way of numerous biking, hiking, camping and picnicking opportunities owing to its environs. Notable attractions within the park include the Dillon Point and the Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden.
The brainchild of Forrest Deaner, this garden is a treasure trove of botanical wonders. Known for its lush greenery, sheer size, and of course, the wonderful indigenous plants that dot the landscape, the garden is a beautiful oasis for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. As its name suggests, Forrest Deaner Native Plant Botanic Garden is home to a plethora of plants native to the Bay Area. During spring, the garden comes to life with vibrant blooms of golden poppies, magenta redbuds, blue lupines, and beautiful currants. A treat to all the senses, this little slice of paradise is an unmissable attraction at the park.
Situated near Glen Ellen, Quarryhill Botanical Garden is a 25-acre (10.12 hectare) haven of Asian plants. The botanical garden is home to some rare species, among which the Acer pentaphyllum and Liriodendron chinense are just two. No visit to Quarryhill is complete without visiting the beautiful Asian Woodland Garden, with its lush green foliage, water-lily pond and trails. Quarryhill Botanical Garden is open throughout the year, with self-guided, docent-led and school tours offered.
Dillon Point is a part of a particularly marshy region located within the Benicia State Recreation Area. The site features a scenic beach, which can be reached via a short, gentle trail. While the point itself offers panoramic views of the verdant landscape, it is also famous among anglers, who love to try their luck here, hoping for a great catch. Dillon Point is also a popular spot for birdwatchers to spot occasional water birds that frequent the area.