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5 Great Ways To Discover The Napa Valley

51279877 - napa valley view

So you’ve left your heart in San Francisco after jumping in a car rental and wondering which direction to head? The answer is obvious, especially for those who don’t mind a tipple or two – head for Napa Valley and park your wheels at these five hotspots to continue some serious Californian dreaming. And it’s not all about the wine, as you’ll discover.

One … Napa Valley Wine Train

It’s time to journey back in time as you discover the Napa Valley in the comfort of a train with all the trimmings. The Napa Valley Wine Train, echoing the days of yesteryear when train travel was the luxurious way to experience a journey, is not only a charming mode of transport but also a restaurant on the tracks. With 100-year-old railcars and a 150-year-old rail corridor, the Wine Train retains railroading traditions that are disappearing on the American landscape, all within the stunning setting of Napa Valley and its treasured wineries. More: winetrain.com

Two … Lavender Inn

Lavender, a Four Sisters Inn, is a touch of Provence in the Napa Valley and is renowned for its cosy, homely accommodation offering in a setting that blends a little bit of the old with a little bit of the new. Gorgeous guestrooms features a fireplace, a king-sized bed heaped with pillows and many feature large brilliantly painted bathrooms with double sinks and contemporary benchtops. The good news? You can leave your Napa Valley car rental at home as there are superb wineries within walking distance including Hope & Grace, Somerston, Hestan Vineyards and Cornerstone Cellars. More: lavendernapa.com

Three … The Hess Collection Winery

Not just a mere winery, this one’s a museum as well, so you get the wine-art combo treatment located on the volcanic slopes of Mt Veeder. Hess Wines are legendary in these parts, the Cab Sav a favourite for many, and while there’s opportunities to do the cheese and wine pairing experience or straight up tastings, it’s essential you visit the contemporary art museum featuring works from the private collection of proprietor Donald Hess. It’s open daily and FREE. Self-guided iPod audio tours are available, too. More: hesscollection.com/visit-us

Four … Safari West

There’s plenty of reason to go wild in the Napa Valley, just ask the resident animals at this place, a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary. Safari West offers guided, open-air jeep tours daily. It’s an attraction with a real point of difference and a great place to take the family or wander through and talk to the animals. More: safariwest.com

Five … Napa Valley Bike Tours

Leave your car behind and spin your wheels on a bike tour of the Napa Valley. Join one of the company’s Guided Bike Tours, hosted by someone in the know, or go Self-Guided or Rent Bikes with the assistance of customised route maps and expert advice from the locals. This month (September 2016) is a chance to experience the new 12km stretch of the Napa Valley Vine Trail, connecting Napa to Yountville, offering a beautiful and relaxing bike ride with all the sights. More: napavalleybiketours.com

SCOTT PODMORE

 

 

Award-winning writer, editor, photographer, videographer and owner of October Grey Media. Specialising in travel, music and lifestyle content. Content strategist and bestselling author of books including Icons of Australian Music: Jimmy Barnes, 101 Great Websites To Save You $$$, and global smash Conversations With Mediums. Follow on Twitter & instragram #scottpodmore

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