Most people know Napa is famous for its top-tier wineries and vineyards, but it’s worth a visit for teetotalers too! This beautiful region of California boasts a wilderness park, art museums, historic sites, and more. If you’re traveling with children or just want to take a break from the vino, there are lots of fun places to check out during your stay in Napa County.
Skyline Wilderness Park
This 850-acre park has a trail network shared by hikers, bikers, and those on horseback (dogs are not allowed in the park for trail safety reasons). With beautiful scenery of the surrounding foothills, Skyline Wilderness Park is a great place to spend a day outdoors. There’s a garden and picnic area if you want to relax after your hike.
The Monticello Dam has a unique feature — the largest “drain hole” in the world! Colloquially known as “The Glory Hole,” this giant drain in the water at the dam serves as a spillway for the nearby Lake Berryessa. During construction of the dam in the 1950s, the town of Monticello was covered. Now, during times of low water levels, you can see the outline of the town. The best time to visit this sight is in rainy season with high water levels.
Old Faithful Geyser
Image via Flickr by James St. John
No visit to Napa County is complete without a stop at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. This famous geyser erupts approximately every 74 minutes, so if you’re spending the day at Yellowstone, you can almost certainly catch at least one eruption. If you visit in the shoulder season, or head to the geyser earlier than lunchtime, you’ll have a better chance at beating the crowds.
Bale Grist Mill Historic Park
Not just for history buffs, the Bale Grist Mill Historic Park features a water-powered grain mill from 1846 that is protected by the state of California as a historic landmark. The mill has demonstrations of the grain-grinding process and tours appropriate for all ages. For a little adventure afterward, you can take a 2-mile trail hike from the mill to a nearby state park with picnic facilities.
Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art
If you find yourself caught in a rainy day, a visit to the di Rosa Center is in order. This art museum boasts over 200 acres of gallery space. The permanent collection here was collected by Rene di Rosa during his lifetime, and features Northern Californian artists. There are rotating events at the gallery, so if you time your visit right, you could peruse the art while listening to live music!
Another great option for a rainy day is the Cameo Cinema. This historical movie theater dates back to 1913, when it debuted as the G & G Theater. Fans of the Cameo love the interior, which has been updated to modern theater standards but retains its look and charm from yesteryear.
Napa County’s reputation as a wine-lovers paradise is certainly true, but there’s so much more to do in Napa County than just sample wine! Whether you’re a teetotaler or not, a stay in Napa offers history, art, outdoor activities, and more.
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