There are two coveted food & wine valleys in California that also offer fantastic outdoor activities – and we’ll enjoy them both. World renowned Napa Valley includes Napa along with the small towns of Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, and Calistoga. These towns are referred to by locals as the “UpValley.” Similarly to Napa, Sonoma is the name of a town, name of the region, and it’s an AVA (American Viticultural Area). Sonoma County welcomes all with a relaxed and genuine vibe found in delightful small towns, intimate tasting rooms, and in every interaction with locals. Come see how life opens up by exploring the wineries and cuisine, art and shopping, natural springs and more. We’ll enjoy hot air ballooning in Napa, hiking, and of course, wine tastings, exploring small towns and shopping. People often say Sonoma is “less commercialized” than Napa. This trip offers a more relaxed pace with more comfort built in and with all the fun filled activities that make this a great ‘soft’ adventure vacation!
Arrive in San Francisco (airport code SFO) by 1pm and be met by your Canyon Calling Trip Leader. We’ll depart for Napa, about 47 miles north, and get acquainted during the drive. We’ll walk around the town of Napa and get the vibe that is ever present in this fun destination. After checking into our hotel you have the option to pick up some local wines! We’ll enjoy a tasty welcome dinner at one of the many fabulous Napa restaurants. Overnight Napa.
It’s an early start today with an adventure aloft as we soar above the magnificent Napa Valley in a hot air balloon ride! The altitude will vary during the flight and depends on the wind conditions that day. The average altitudes in this area are between 1,000 and 3,000 feet above the valley floor. Flights typically last about one hour as we enjoy beautiful agricultural surroundings from a bird’s eye view. Our expert hot air balloon pilot will act as our guide, pointing out sights along the way, and answer any questions you and your fellow adventurers throw their way. We’ll pick up brunch at the local gourmet market and explore Napa Valley. We’ll enjoy the town of Yountville, which has earned the unofficial title of ‘Culinary Capital of the Napa Valley’. As we stroll the streets of Yountville we’ll see some of the over 40 works of outdoor sculpture that dot the town and make up the Yountville Art Walk. Now it’s off to St. Helena to enjoy a wine tasting (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!) and maybe a stop by Gott’s Roadside, a Napa Valley landmark. We continue north to Calistoga to check into our Inn with hot springs! Enjoy the hot springs before and/or after another delicious dinner. Such a treat! Overnight Calistoga.
After breakfast we’ll head over to a local farmer’s market to wander through the bright colors, sweet, fresh smells and enjoy some live music or entertainment. With our lunch secured, it’s time to get moving! We’ll head to one of the county’s 11 state parks and more than 50 regional parks to hike in the beauty of Sonoma Valley. Surrounded by ancient redwoods in the heart of Sonoma County and just a few miles inland from the spectacular Sonoma Coast, the Russian River area invites us to explore, play, and relax. In addition to other grape varietals, Sonoma produces world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. This region has embraced travelers since the railroads linked it to San Francisco in 1877. We’ll check into our accommodations for two nights then discover the small town of Guerneville with options for another delectable dinner. Overnight Guerneville.
Breakfast first of course! This morning it’s off to the coast to explore Bodega Bay. Nestled into a particularly beautiful stretch of Sonoma County’s 55-mile Pacific Coastline, Bodega Bay is a favorite destination for travelers and local residents alike. We’ll hike on the coast, and see the location where Hitchcock’s famous thriller “The Birds” was filmed. Then we’ll explore this small, friendly town with quirky oceanside shops, art galleries and excellent seafood restaurants – one of which we will enjoy for our lunch. A wine tasting with the region’s notable grape varietals is in store along with some shopping. We’ll head back to have time to relax in our riverside cabins and/or hot tub before our Farm to Table Farewell dinner. Overnight Guerneville.
We’ll enjoy a wonderful breakfast before heading south to San Francisco and flights home (please book flights home later than 2pm) or choose to extend on your own and enjoy the Bay City.