Napa Valley: An Exploration Beyond Wine
You have to admit: nothing compares to the Napa Valley in the springtime: the fresh smell of rain in the fields, the vistas of rolling green hills, longer daylight hours, and the first signs of budding in the vineyards. This is a season for discovery and the enjoyment of the outdoors!
Naturally, when we think about the Napa Valley, the first thing that pops into our minds is often wine, but there is much more to explore in the Valley:
Skyline Park is a favorite destination among locals, located in the southern foothills of the Napa Valley. This jewel is the setting for more than 25 miles of trails-- one for every experience level. One consistent favorite among the team at Priest Ranch is the hike to Lake Marie. Since it's quite the journey, we recommend packing plenty of water and picking up sandwiches from Genova Delicatessen to enjoy as a reward once you arrive at the lake. The fields are bursting with local flora this time of year, and you may even spot some wildlife if you're lucky. The journey is a little over six miles round-trip, so plan to spend roughly four hours on this hike -- including a short break to take in the surroundings, take in the calm, and enjoy your alfresco lunch.
Another amazing local adventure introduces you to a whole new way of looking at
the NapaRiver—by paddleboard. Yes! Trust us when we tell you it is much easier than you think—even for a beginner. But don't be shy about scheduling a lesson from the professionals at Napa Valley Paddle if you prefer a little more guidance before venturing out. The Napa River begins at Mount Saint Helena, and the water travels 50 miles to San Pablo Bay, so you'll want to check the tide and weather to plan accordingly. This hobby can quickly become a recreational addiction and one you will continue to seek out everywhere you vacation.
The Napa Valley Vine Trail is also at the top of our list. Currently 12.5 continuous miles from Napa to Yountville (the hometown of our tasting room), this is the ultimate walking and biking trail system. Still a work in progress, the trail will be 47 miles long when completed, allowing visitors the opportunity to explore its paths from the Vallejo Ferry Building to Calistoga. If the current 12-mile jaunt on foot sounds like more than you're ready to take on, Napa Valley Bike Tours & Rentals has bikes available for rental at their Downtown Napa and Yountville locations. We invite you to take in the vineyard views up close while enjoying the fresh air either on foot or on a bike.
These are just three of our favorites, but we'd love to hear more from you about how you enjoy your time in the Napa Valley. Many of us love to enjoy wine as part of our daily lives, and there is nothing more rewarding than enjoying a glass of Priest Ranch wine after spending the day adventuring outdoors on a beautiful spring day. We recommend opening a bottle of our crisp and delicious Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc or popping the cork on a smooth fruit-forward Priest Ranch Peacemaker.
We've also hand-selected a few favorite spring songs to enjoy while indulging yourself (click here).
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