Non-wine things to do in Napa / Healdsburg?

We are planning a return trip to Napa, and looking for some recommendations for some fun things to do other than wine / food so we are able to take a day or two break from an otherwise wine-centric trip. I was curious if anyone has any recommendations on fun things to experience or see, that aren’t wine related? I’m also curious if anyone knows of any “unique” tastings in the area that would appeal to guests who aren’t as big into wine as others. The Cabines at Coppola winery are a perfect example of what I’d be looking for, but unfortunately they are fully booked. Thanks in advance!

Do you like to hike? We’ve hiked around Jack London State Park and Lake Sonoma. I know there are lots of other great parks and trails in Napa and Sonoma. Or drive out to the coast- Bodega Bay. It’s beautiful.


For another pool area to lounge around at-
Indian Springs Spa in Calistoga (pre-covid you could book a spa treatment and then use the pool. Not sure of current policy)

Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve
Sonoma Coast / HWY 1 Beaches
Point Reyes National Seashore

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Hardy has some excellent suggestions above. I have copied my post from a similar questionseveral months ago, it contains a lot of information. If you have any questions, let me know.

You have a full schedule but I will throw out a bunch of stuff that I enjoy out here and you can pick and choose. Most are for Sonoma and beyond but some for Napa.

For hiking, Skyline in Napa is good, been there a couple times and it’s a good workout. Bothe in St Helena is also supposed to be good but haven’t been. Mount St Helena is also a possibility but know that much of it is a fire road and pretty boring though the view at the top is great. My favorite hike is Shiloh Regional Park on the Santa Rosa - Windsor border. Great work out beautiful views and trails. Foothill Regional Park in Windsor is also very good hiking.

For golf, Mayacamas is private so you need a connection. Windsor Golf Club won’t make you forget Augusta but it is a solid course in good condition and has been a PGA qualifier.

Your dining list is solid, can vouch for Farmstead and Charter Oak, essentially next to each other. For a quick bite don’t forget Taylors in St Helena.

For wineries, in Napa Valley I would add Frogs Leap. Beautiful wines at sensible prices. Also a lovely property and a great place to taste.
For Sonoma County, I will suggest something totally different. As you will be in Healdsburg area (Single Thread, Farmhouse) instead of the usual Pinot and Chardonnay, go Italian. Visit Idlewild, Ryme and Unti. Virtually all Italian varieties grown in California, beautiful wines and you will get an education on Italian wine varieties. Full disclosure, my son is the Manager at Idlewild but I have enjoyed the wines long before he started there.
Dry Creek Valley, just outside Healdsburg is home to Zinfandel. A producer that flies under the radar but is excellent is Talty. All the wineries I mention above you need reservations, not many walk ins anymore.

For day trips, my first suggestion would be the Sonoma Coast. If you haven’t been it is spectacular. My route would be take River road straight out passing through a few towns all the way to Rt 1 and Goat Rock, explore Goat Rock Park and then drive down the coast stopping at some of the many overlooks, Schoolhouse is our favorite, to Bodega Bay where you can enjoy fried fish, chowder etc at Spuds Point or Fishatarien. Finish at Bodega Head which is pretty spectacular.

My other day trip would be explore Anderson Valley. Pinot is king there but also other varieties. Depending on the day see what is open. If you start at Boonville and use Navarro as your finish there are a lot of winery possibilities, including Navarro. Anderson Valley Brewing is a good diversion from wine and Handy Woods State Park is awesome for Redwoods. Again Reservations at Wineries required.

I could go on forever but most of all enjoy wherever you go and report back.


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Many non-wine things to do in Napa/Healdsburg. If you have never experienced hot air ballooning it is a blast. Was definitely a bucket list experience for me. There are 2-3 companies in the area. Just google it.
Horseback riding is fun. There are stables at Jack London park, along the Sonoma coast and I believe 1-2 wineries may offer on their grounds.
Definitely consider Sonoma Canopy tour for zip lining. Loads of fun.
There are many bicycle companies offering bicycle/wine tours that are fun. There are two bicycle shops in Healdsburg that will rent bicycles to your group so you can do your own thing ( they will provide maps- the backroads of Dry creek valley are great to bicycle in).
Lastly, costs no money but it is spectacular just take a drive along the Sonoma coast. Truly breathtaking!
I have over the years done all of these activities on various vacations in Napa/Sonoma. That is why I keep coming back!

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