Wine Tour San Francisco for Seniors

With its gorgeous scenery, friendly climate, and serene atmosphere, it’s no wonder that the Napa Valley also makes an ideal place for senior citizens and retirees. A wine tour in San Francisco is one of the things that seniors like to do, among other things.

The picturesque St. Helena, Napa Valley’s first incorporated city, is regarded as one of the favorite “hangouts” of seniors. They will find plenty of places to go shopping and dining. They may, perhaps, discover the history of some of the wineries as they go along in their wine tours. Many of the wineries in St. Helena have been operating for many decades, with its first and oldest having been founded in the mid-19th century.

Most seniors will naturally feel at home and can relate to the long-standing structures, many of which have become important historical landmarks. Probably, they had been to these places during their formative years. Fortunately, St. Helena has many of those historical places like the Bale Grist Mill (one of the first water-powered mills in the area), old mansions like the Chateau Cavalier, the fantastically-designed Commercial District, the local public library, and of course several wineries and cellars.

Seniors will also find St. Helena a treasure trove for antiques as many of the shops there that sell such types of wares.

For senior citizens who are also locals of the Napa Valley (and maybe also around the San Francisco Bay Area), they will be able to get their wine fix without having to go too far from home. The city of Napa itself has over twenty tasting rooms and wine bars so seniors will be able to enjoy local as well as international wines. Remember, wine is good for you as long as it’s taken in moderation.

Many seniors want to remain active to keep their bodies and minds sharp. Seniors can rent bikes and ride through the beautiful valleys, or if they’re passionate about golf, they may play 18 holes at the finest golf course in the area – the Chardonnay Golf Club. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is ideal for seniors so they may enjoy swimming at several excellent resorts in the Wine Country. Other seniors may take up courses such as Wine Label 101 at the Napa Valley College, or short-period cooking classes to boost their memory and creativity.

All “boomers” want to relax, unwind, and simply have a good time. Attend nostalgic concerts and live performances in Napa and Calistoga, visit art galleries such as the Hess Collection Winery and Art Museum, and hop on the Napa Valley Wine Train, a fabulously-restored vintage train that crosses through the Napa vineyards. After all the activities, they can indulge in relaxation and relief by visiting the top spas and resorts. If seniors are actively into yoga, then they can hit the best yoga centers in Napa such as Yoga Passion and Bikram Yoga.

How about a hot air balloon ride for the seniors? Hot air balloon rides are generally considered safe as long as the seniors don’t have illnesses or conditions such as a lingering heart ailment or anxiety attack. As long as they’re physically fit and mentally sound, as well as have a thirst for adventure, they can go on a hot air balloon ride. But of course, they can’t help thinking about their own safety.

Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) is a “veteran” in this field. With nearly 40 years of experience in providing sunrise hot air balloon rides, its reputation is truly undisputed. Senior passengers, as well as others, don’t have to worry about safety because BATV’s pilots have years of experience and are able to put tourists at ease. Once up in the air, they will view the neat rows of grapevines and the beautiful rolling hills greeting the warm rays of the sunrise. Don’t pass up the chance to take pictures of the scenery as a lasting souvenir.

Seniors will experience living the good life at BATV, and it’s not just hot air balloon flights. They will love the pre-flight breakfast with pastries and freshly brewed coffee, fabulous post-flight brunch that boasts the freshest and most delicious menu plus a sparkling wine, wine tours in Napa and Sonoma, last-minute shopping at Oxbow Public Market and Napa Premium Outlets, and comfortable, luxurious transportation services.

For seniors who want to do a wine tour in San Francisco, they will find plenty of things to do in Napa Valley. Just don’t forget to include a hot air balloon ride from Balloons Above the Valley in your travel plans. For once in their lifetime seniors can see the beauty of the Napa Valley from another perspective, as well as enjoy the experience of gently gliding along on a hot air balloon at sunrise.

Vacations in Napa Valley – Don’t Forget Kid’s Activities

When you think about vacations in Napa Valley, you consider activities for more adult things such as wine-tasting. But what may not realize about Napa Valley is that it can also be a great location for the kids and the whole family. It helps to know which places and activities are kid-friendly, and which ones aren’t.

When you are looking for a place to stay in Napa Valley, make sure that you pick a hotel or resort that isn’t meant for romance-seekers and that are kid- and family-friendly. Suggestions include the Hilton Garden, Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa, Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort, Silverado Resort and Spa, and Calistoga Spa and Hot Springs. You can go swimming in the hot spring pools, enjoy a barbecue, and take a hike on the hiking trails.

While many of us assume that wineries aren’t the ideal places for children, you may be surprised that there are actually kid-friendly wineries in Napa. Sterling Vineyards is one winery where you can have your tour with your kids and the whole family. There’s a tram there which will tour you around the winery. While you are having your wine tastings, for the meantime the kids will be given coloring books and grape juice. Other wineries such as Frogs Leap Winery and Castello di Amorosa offer entertainment and fun for the kids such as coloring books and barns where the kids can explore fruit and vegetable gardens, and pumpkin-carving during the Halloween season. Still, when you decide to take your kids to these wineries, you’ll want to make sure the wines are totally out of your children’s reach.

How about eating out? We know that kids love to eat, but most of us have the common thought that the Napa cuisine is catered to adult tastes. But fear not, there are also restaurants that can cater to the kids’ whimsical palate. If your kids love pizza and pasta, you can choose Checkers, Azzurio Pizzeria, and Fazerrati’s. If you and your kids love eating burgers together, then head over to a great burger joint: Napa Valley Burger Company. It serves gourmet burgers that can also appeal to kids’ tastes.

Most children love sweets and can’t get enough of them, so taking your kids to ice cream shops and candy stores is a surefire way to please them. Three Twins Ice Cream, Yo’Belle, Baskin Robbins, Mihoacan Natural Ice Cream are just a few of the ice cream shops in Napa. There, kids of all ages will find their favorite flavors and parents can discover more “adult” ice cream flavors as well as yogurts and even organic frozen delights. Try going to top confectionery shops such as Annette’s Chocolate, Woodhouse Chocolate, Vintage Sweet Shop, See’s Candies, Boom Candy and Sweets to satisfy your and your kids’ sweet cravings.

Don’t forget the fun! Take your children to places for fun, adventure, and discovery. Venues like Scientopia Discover Center, Playground Fantastico, Skyline Wilderness Park, and Safari West and others are awesome places your children will enjoy. They are also a perfect way to bond with your children. These places and activities refute the notion that Napa Valley is just for grown-ups!

Want for some more adventure? How about hot air balloon rides over the gorgeous Napa Valley landscape? You want to go but are concerned for your kid’s safety? You don’t have to worry when you choose Balloons Above the Valley (BATV). The pioneer of sunrise hot air balloon rides in Napa Valley, BATV has been in the business for almost 40 years. That alone will make you feel reassured of safety and fun rides for you and your children.

Children must be at least 40 inches tall so that they will be able to look over the basket. Parents are not allowed to hold children during the flight. Despite the fact that hot air balloon rides are generally safe, you will still want to keep watch over your children when you’re on the flight especially if they’re the frisky type. Kids will also enjoy age-appropriate meals during the pre-flight breakfasts and post-flight brunches.

Your kids may feel unsure of going up in the balloon, at first, but will soon feel comfortable once they are flying up in the sky and looking down at their surroundings. They may pretend they are the captain of a flying ship while enjoying the beautiful landscape that consists of rows of vineyards, lovely rolling hills, and beautiful blue morning skies.

Balloons Above the Valley has earned commendations from both its clients and other organizations – a testament to its commitment to provide high-quality service. Hot air balloon rides are easily the highlight of your vacations in Napa Valley especially when you do them as a family.

Fall Is Perfect for These Fun Things to Do in Napa Valley

You’d think things won’t be fun anymore once summer is over. But fret not, fall is also a great season for fun things to do in Napa Valley. Besides, it may actually be the best time to visit Napa Valley because when the weather gradually turns chilly the landscape will break its all-green uniformity with more interesting colors.

Autumn is also the time to harvest the fruits. You can see the rich dark purple color of the red Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and the light green Sauvignon Blanc grapes dot the flame-colored vineyards, ripe and ready to be made into wines.

Fall doesn’t mean that fun and activity have dwindled. Although the events lined up in the fall season may not be as numerous as in the summer season, you will still find plenty of them to enjoy. Another reason why fall may be better in Napa than summer is the amount of people in the area, therefore you have more opportunities to enjoy and discover places and events without the added inconvenience of so many others trying to go to or see the same things you are interested in.

This season celebrates the rich bounty that the Napa Valley has to offer. Join in the celebration of the harvest by joining related events at various wineries such as the Summers Estate Winery, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, Franciscan Estate Winery, Cornerstone Cellars, and other wineries where you can enjoy wine tasting/food (or cheese) and wine pairing, discover vintage and contemporary wines, and enjoy live music. Both longtime and novice wine enthusiasts will surely enjoy these events!

Napa Valley also has other events that are popular for the fall season. These include, but are not limited to, several upcoming concerts, art and book launch events, different types of workshops, cooking classes, kid-friendly fun events, and lots more. Many of these events have a noble cause behind all the fun, and it’s nice to know that you’ve actually helped these causes along the way while you’re having a blast. You could actually have your hands full in the fall season!

Fall is also a perfect time to go on a hot air balloon ride. With more interesting and incredible mix of colors that only Mother Nature can offer, what can be a better way to view it? Once you’re up in the air, you will see the vineyards each with a delightful burst of red, orange, yellow and green, dotted with dark purples and light greens from the ripening grapes which are ready to be harvested. You can even note the amazing color gradient of the neat rows of grapes from the golden yellow to almost maroon, while the ground is still covered with green grass.

When you decide to go on this kind of adventure, choose Balloons Above the Valley (BATV). It is the first and premier company to provide sunrise hot air balloon rides for visitors in the Wine Country. BATV is known for their service and seek to provide customer satisfaction that is above the norm. Enjoy sunrise hot air balloon flights in any season; autumn is especially great for hot air balloons as they prefer cool weather and stable winds.

Apart from the flights, you can also enjoy other perks and amenities from BATV including pre-flight breakfasts, post-flight brunches, luxurious transport from San Francisco to Napa Valley, last-minute shopping following the post-flight brunch, and so much more! Experienced pilots, friendly customer service, and safe and enjoyable hot air balloon flights — you can say that BATV is a veteran in this field as it has been operating for over three decades.

Balloons Above the Valley often receives positive and heartwarming feedback from clients as well as awards from several organizations, including the 2015 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

Riding a hot air balloon is one of the best fun things to do in Napa Valley. To ensure that it is the best experience ever, choose Balloons Above the Valley, a proven provider of safe and enjoyable hot air balloon flights in Napa Valley.

Consider One of BATV’s Napa Wine Tour Packages

When people plan a trip to Napa Valley, they have a lot of considerations, including budgeting and listing the activities they want to do. That’s why many of them prefer the Napa wine tour packages. These fixed packages save people time from having to further plan their itinerary, as well as help them to plan their budget better.

If you want more than just the usual wine tour, then choose Balloons Above the Valley (BATV). BATV has been providing hot air balloon flights and wine tours to clients for over three decades. We have amazing hot air balloon and wine tour packages that will entice everyone who wishes to make their Napa Valley trip more memorable.

Here are three of BATV’s hot air balloon and wine tour packages to consider:

1. Sunrise Balloon Flight and Champagne Brunch

This package is perfect if you’re planning for a short getaway in Napa! It may be the most basic among our other packages, but there’s nothing ordinary about it! Especially if this will be your first time riding a hot air balloon and you don’t want to spend that much, at $209 per person this should be the package for you. At this affordable price you will be able to enjoy the full luxury of wine tours in Napa Valley. First you will be served with breakfast that consists of freshly-baked pastries and freshly-brewed Starbucks coffee so that you won’t get hungry before taking your flight.

After the breakfast you will be transported to the launch site where you will witness the amazing process of inflating the hot air balloons. At the time of sunrise the winds are stable and the temperature is cool which the hot air balloons prefer. When you get to board the basket, you will be gradually lifted up into the peaceful sky where you will eventually get to witness the sun rising from the horizon. You can see the warm rays touching the endless rows of vineyards as if waking them up from their slumber.

Viewed from above, the endless, neat rows of vineyards make up the pretty patchwork look of the Napa Valley, with the verdant hills and mountains as well as the clear blue sky serving as a gorgeous backdrop. You have not need to fear because BATV’s pilots are extensively trained and their experience and enthusiasm will put you at ease. In fact, you may not realize how quickly you’ve forgotten your fear because it is so easy to get caught up in the awe of the beautiful landscape greeting the sunrise. You will never see this type of beauty in the Napa Valley from the ground, or when even standing at a vista point from the hills you’ve trekked, or from your hotel balcony. It truly is beautiful and awe insprining!

Our pilots will also guide you to other points of interest while you safely cruise through the crisp and calm morning air. After an exhilarating hot air balloon flight, you will then be treated to a champagne brunch celebration with other guests, either from your basket or one of the other balloons. There, you will have the opportunity to share your wonderful experience as you dine on fresh and delicious seasonal brunch with a sparkling wine. With this amazing experience flying on a hot air balloon and enjoying the other perks, they’re guaranteed to make you want to come back for more!

2. Balloon and Wine Tour Package

This package is similar to the Sunrise Balloon Flight and Champagne Brunch, but the difference is that this package also includes wine tours. At $608 for two passengers, you might consider this wonderful package especially if you want to have a Napa tour with your special someone or a friend who also loves traveling and wine.

Like the first package, you will enjoy a pre-flight breakfast, an awesome sunrise hot air balloon flight, and a post-flight brunch with champagne. After that, you will be transported through the valley for a wonderful wine tour, where you will have the chance to visit premium wineries, taste their own house wines, and learn the process of winemaking from grapes to glass. Ride in luxury aboard the limo bus as you enjoy and learn about wines at the same time. You will also love our picnic-style lunches as you take a stop from visiting the wineries and the vineyards. You may choose to take the wine tours right away after the sunrise hot air balloon flight, or choose to do it the next day.

3. San Francisco Balloon and Wine Tour Package

If you plan to visit and stay in the San Francisco Bay Area for a week or more, you may also wish to visit the outskirts of the city to discover and experience something new. For this, you may opt for BATV’s San Francisco Balloon and Wine Tour Package which begins in the city and continues a relatively short drive from downtown.

This two-day tour package is priced at $836 for two persons, making it perfect for traveling and honeymooning couples or buddies who plan for an extra-special Napa getaway.

On the first day, our transport arm will pick you up from San Francisco and take you to the wineries in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. You will get to experience the comfort and luxury inside a limo bus, where you will also have breakfast (plus a mimosa) along the way. You will also love the picnic-style lunch in Wine Country that we’ve prepared especially for you. A wine tasting, as well as olive tasting, is also included in this package.

The sunrise hot air balloon flight takes place on the second day. Of course, there will also be a pre-flight breakfast and post-flight champagne brunch. And that’s not all! You may also choose to do a last-minute shopping at the Oxbow Public Market or the Napa Valley Premium Outlets before being transported back to San Francisco by ferry. Or you have to option to be sent back to San Francisco by ferry right away after having the champagne brunch celebration.

With these three sunrise hot air balloon and Napa wine tour packages from BATV, it’s up to you to decide which one of them you will choose. Although they have some differences, these packages will provide you the same level of pleasure and make your Napa wine tours really special and unforgettable.

Best Time To Plan a Honeymoon in Napa Valley

With its Mediterranean climate, enchanting rolling hills, neat rows of vineyards, and world-class wineries as well as a smorgasbord of activities and events, Napa Valley is the perfect destination for the honeymooners. When planning a honeymoon in Napa Valley, there are some things that you should consider.

Napa Valley is just about a 90-minute drive from San Francisco’s downtown. Although you may have your holiday in the Wine Country any time you wish, it is recommended that the months of August to November are considered a great time to travel there. August and September are summer months in California. A drive to the Napa Valley will reward you with warmer temperatures and a whole different environment away from San Francisco’s notoriously chilly fogs.

October and November are perhaps the most beautiful time to have a vacation or honeymoon in the Napa Valley. You will find a marvelous explosion of green and warmer colors of autumn that adorn the Wine Country. These months are generally cooler, although the weather can invariably change — you may experience some Indian summers and short periods of rainfall and even some thunderstorms. Autumn is when the grapes and other seasonal produce are ready to be harvested and you might not want to miss this chance to experience what it’s like to see or go fruit-picking in Napa. Celebrate the harvest and the bounty of the valley by taking part in the seasonal events where you will have the chance to do wine tasting as well as food and wine pairing.

If you want to have a honeymoon in Napa but you’re somewhat short on your budget, we suggest you go there from December to March, where wintertime and spring loom. Since these months are an off-peak season for Napa tourism, hotels and other lodgings slash down rates — you really don’t want to miss taking advantage of the discounts they offer. Hotels you couldn’t touch during the summer months become more affordable, and lodgings in downtown Napa are absolutely inexpensive.

Besides, winter and spring months unfold an unusual kind of beauty in Napa Valley, where brilliant yellow wild mustard blooms steal the show as the barren vineyards are taking a rest. Emerald green rolling hills complete the picture-perfect loveliness of Napa Valley. Best prices and otherworldly beauty of the Wine Country are reasons why you want to go there during winter and spring seasons.

Autumn, winter, and spring seasons are also the best time for sunrise hot air balloon rides, since this mode of transport prefers cooler weather and stable winds. Riding on a hot air balloon has this unusual but appealing mix of adventure and tranquility that tourists crave. There are many companies that offer hot air balloon rides in Napa but people want to choose a company that has several years of experience, not to mention is also a pioneer in this kind of business. For this reason Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) has almost 40 years experience of providing hot air balloon rides in Napa Valley… and it is still flying high!

If you want your honeymoon to be extra-special and utterly unforgettable, then choose BATV for your hot air balloon adventure! We at BATV conduct not only hot air balloon rides but also wine tours and offer other perks, as well.

Delicious and freshly-made hot pre-flight breakfasts are served to get you ready for your sunrise hot air balloon flight. After your wonderful and successful flight, celebrate with a heavenly post-flight champagne brunch along with other guests.

Ride in comfort and style from San Francisco downtown to the Wine Country by boarding our fleet of limo buses. Be educated and entertained as you visit several wineries in Napa and Sonoma, and grab the chance to do wine and olive oil tasting. Be enticed and enjoy our picnic-style lunches. You can even shop till you drop following the post-flight champagne brunch!

Of course, riding the hot air balloon may be one of the highlights of your honeymoon. As you gently float above the blue skies, meet the sunrise, and enjoy the lovely Napa Valley landscape, they add to the exhilaratingly romantic factor of your honeymoon. If you want to have the balloon ride and a private table for the champagne brunch for just the two of you alone, you may want to consider our exclusive flights package. Only BATV can give that to you! You can check out more information about our sunrise hot air balloon and wine tours package:

As suggested, the months of August through March should be the best time for you to go on a honeymoon in Napa Valley. And speaking of the best, you might as well go for that quality when choosing a company for your romantic hot air balloon flights. Only Balloons Above the Valley can provide you the best, safest, and most delightful hot air balloon rides in Napa Valley.

Touring and Tasting Magazine Features Balloons Above the Valley

Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) is the first company to have introduced the hot air balloon rides and wine tours in Napa Valley. For almost four decades, BATV has been reaping rave reviews from both clients and other organizations. This is evident in the company recently receiving the 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and their 2015 Hall of Fame awards.

BATV was featured on one of the top travel/food/lifestyle magazines in country Touring and Tasting Online Grapevine eNewsletter. This magazine focuses primarily on enotourism (wine tourism). You may think the magazine focuses only on France and California, since they are known world-wide for their wines, however, the magazine also features wine destinations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan as well as France and California.

The magazine starts this feature with a glowing introduction:

Join Balloons Above the Valley for a one-of-a-kind wine country tour that you will remember for a lifetime. The friendly, experienced pilots will escort you above the vineyards, where you can explore the beautiful Napa Valley at a bird’s eye view. Your ballooning excursion includes pre-flight cafe & pastry service, and a full champagne brunch celebration following the flight.

BATV’s promotional video is also featured on Touring and Tasting’s website:

Bob Barbarick, owner and operator of BATV, founded the company and offered hot air balloon flights beginning in 1976 before there were very many vineyards in the area. Since that time, the company has become one of the major attractions in the Napa Valley. The company is known for offering exceptional customer service, known for its attention to detail, and following all established safety standards. You can expect to be treated with respect by not only our balloon pilots but also everyone on our staff.

If you would like to learn more about hot air ballooning with BATV, or would like to schedule a flight, call us at 800-464-6824.

Hot Air Balloon Rides in San Francisco — Why Are You Waiting?

California is a West Coast state that offers amazing activities for its millions of tourists, including hot air balloon rides in San Francisco, especially in the wine-growing regions of Napa and Sonoma Valleys.

When you are brave and adventurous enough to go on a hot air balloon, you won’t miss out when your balloon ride is with Balloons Above the Valley! You may think you’ve seen enough of Napa’s beauty from the ground, the porch of the restaurant where you’re dining or the balcony from your hotel. But it is nothing compared to viewing the gorgeous, vineyard-dominated stretches of Napa Valley from up in the sky.

You plan to have a grand San Francisco getaway including a couple of wine tours and you plan to enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon ride. But at the same time you want to save yourself from the additional burden of scheduling your itinerary when you have to plan and budget the trip on your own.

Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) will help you iron out the difficulties of setting up your Napa Valley travel plans. We provide excellent packages that allow you to visit wine tours as well as enjoy sunrise hot air balloon rides. For instance, the San Francisco Balloon & Wine Tour Package is pre-planned with everything you will want. At only $836 for two people, this is the perfect tour package for you and your loved one, or you and your best travel buddy, over two glorious days. Here’s what is in store for you with this package:

Day one:

  • Your 7-hour wine tour starts when BATV’s transportation partner Napa Valley Wine Country Tours picks you up from one of three meet-up locations in downtown San Francisco.
  • You will be transported from the city to the wine country inside a limo bus where you will experience comfort and luxury. Enjoy an on-board fresh and delicious breakfast with a mimosa! During the trip, you will also have the opportunity to stop and have a panoramic view at the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, you’ll want to bring your camera so you can get a picture of you with the bridge in the background.
  • As you make your way through the wine country, your knowledgeable chauffeur will guide you to the interesting and remarkable points. You will have a chance to visit a couple of wineries in Napa and Sonoma valleys as well as to engage in olive oil tasting. Please note: the wineries visited change each day, so you may visit a different set of wineries if you choose this package in the future.
  • You will also experience a delicious picnic lunch at the winery.
  • Finally, when the guests have finished their lunch at the winery, they will be brought to Napa and dropped off at any Napa Valley Hotel.   

Day two:

This is the day you are waiting for — the sunrise hot air balloon ride!

  • Meet with other balloon guests at the Napa Valley Marriott where you will enjoy a freshly-prepared breakfast and Starbucks coffee before being driven to the hot air balloon launch site.
  • At the launch site you will watch the amazing process of inflating a hot air balloon. Once it is fully inflated, you may go inside the basket. Then you’re off! You will gradually ascend from the ground and up in the sky…the airborne adventure begins!
  • You will find yourself floating peacefully in the sky as you view the spectacular, peerless views of the Napa Valley – a neat and endless patchwork of vineyards and brilliantly verdant mountains bathed in the glow of the sunrise. Don’t miss this opportunity to take pictures of the lovely Napa Valley landscape — everywhere you look is paradise!
  • After the flight, you and the other guests will be treated to a post-flight brunch that offers only the freshest seasonal buffet-style menu, with champagne.

Following the brunch, guests will be able to choose what activities to experience. Here are a couple of post-flight brunch suggestions that are part of BATV package:

  • Chalk Hill Winery – It is a winery located on the beautiful and extravagant Chalk Hill Estate in the city of Healdsburg, in Sonoma County. Their wines are made from the grapes gathered directly from the rich soils of the estate, therefore producing especially delicate and high-quality wines. If you want to have a fabulous brunch, you may choose Chalk Hill Winery. The area for the post-flight brunch is located in the winery’s dining hall, which sits on top of the hill. This is a beautiful place to have your exquisite brunch as well as enjoy more fantastic views of the vineyards.
  • Langtry Estates Vineyard – This is one of the largest privately-owned properties in California. The Langtry Estates Vineyard had been previously owned and operated by Lily Langtry, an actress renowned for her beauty. The estate is located in the beautiful and scenic Guenoc Valley, Lake County, just about a fifteen-minute drive from Napa’s Pope Valley. The winery, which looks over the picturesque Detert Reservoir, is famous for producing Cabernet Sauvignon’s.

So why are you still waiting? You don’t have to worry about the rates because Balloon Above the Valley’s hot air balloon and wine tour packages are luxurious but affordable. Once you’ve tried riding our hot air balloons, viewed exciting and gorgeous scenery, enjoyed the unbeatable selection of freshly-prepared pre-flight breakfasts and post-flight brunches at these beautiful wineries, we’re sure you’ll come back for more! You have one of the safest and most enjoyable hot air balloon rides in San Francisco with Balloons Above the Valley.

Five Fun Activities in Napa You Want to Try

Apart from the sightseeing and dining out al fresco at the gorgeous Mediterranean-style wineries/restaurants/chateaus, consider these five fun activities in Napa Valley that you do not want to miss trying:

  1. Visiting the Oxbow Public Market

Visiting the Oxbow Public Market should be included on your must-do list for your Napa Valley trip. This upscale public market is a good introduction to Napa Valley’s wealth of food, wines, and other delights that are truly unique in this wine region. You will find an abundance of seasonal farm produce and gourmet foodstuffs that discerning food lovers will surely enjoy. Under the open-air market’s one roof, there are more than a dozen restaurants, cafes, pizzerias, cheese shops, and several stalls that sell the freshest produce. The open-air space and feel of this market, as well as the attractive displays of the products, will incite you to explore one establishment to another, especially if you choose to stay in the area another day. Taste the decadent cold cuts, the freshest, newly-caught oysters, artisanal cheeses, premium wines, and other excellent edibles to your heart’s content. It can’t be more impressive than this.

  1. Get in touch with nature at Skyline Wilderness Park

Discover your adventurous and nature-loving side by going to the Skyline Wilderness Park, a 900-acre park that features a remarkable elevation. The navigation course is tough, but unless you revel in getting lost as part of an extreme adventure, you really need a map to help you find your way (maps are available at the park’s entrance). Venture into the thick of the forest where you can discover all kinds of wildlife such as wild turkey and deer. Hike, bike, go horse-riding, go camping, and have a picnic lunch as the park also offers picnic and barbecue areas. You may also want to explore the two-and-a-half-mile trail that leads up to Lake Marie at the eastern part. On this trail you will be able to view the San Francisco Bay on a clear, bright day. (An alternate route is also available, but it’s not recommended for the faint-hearted!). Please be aware, dogs are not allowed in this park.

  1. Get aboard the Wine Train

Ride on the restored vintage wine train which crosses the expanse of the picturesque vineyards. This is one of the most popular activities in the famous wine region. Recreate the golden days of train travel and marvel at the train’s interior designed in early 20th-century fashion. Not only do you enjoy riding a beautiful “retro” train, you also dine inside it, as the train also functions as a restaurant that features excellent fine-dining fare. You will enjoy the freshest and most seasonal gourmet meals. The train runs on a 25-mile track from Napa to St. Helena. This is one train ride that you will surely never forget.

  1. Explore the best wines and art at Hess Art Collection Museum

Wine and art lovers will find the Hess Art Collection Museum the ultimate utopia. Located on Redwood Road in Napa Valley, this museum houses an exquisite collection of wines as well as world-class art. You will also find exceptional wines such as Napa’s own Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Admire Hess’ exceptional art collection selected and acquired by its owner Donald Hess. He championed the works of many unknown artists who, under his generous support, have blossomed into renowned names in the art field. If you want to experience an exclusive wine-tasting, you should make a reservation in advance. This wine and art adventure at Hess is something you definitely should not miss.

  1. Go on a hot air balloon ride with Balloons Above the Valley

You may have appreciated the picturesque beauty of the Napa Valley from the ground, the panoramic view up from the hill, or from the high balcony of your hotel. However, nothing beats the view of the Napa Valley’s expanse from high in the skies. Yes, this is possible through a hot air balloon ride! Experience the ride of the lifetime with Balloons Above the Valley (BATV), where you can have the safest and the most fun sunrise hot air balloon rides. See the beautiful greens of the expanse of the valley in the summer, splashes of green and shades of warm colors in the autumn, and a blend of brilliant yellows and greens in the winter and spring, with the neat rows of grapevines working into one great gorgeous patchwork.

Not only you will enjoy the finest hot air balloon rides in the morning, you will also enjoy other perks like hot and fresh pre-flight breakfast with coffee (and mimosa), post-flight brunches with sparkling wine, luxurious transportation, shopping, wine tours, and so much more. Our pilots have years of experience and knowledge about the most important spots in the Napa Valley that’s why you will feel safe in their hands. Our office staff will be there anytime to serve you with a ready smile and warm hospitality. Our sunrise hot air balloon rides and wine tour packages will make you feel like you’re living in a luxury without paying luxury prices!

Check out our list of packages here and decide which of them will fit your budget. We will gladly assist you in booking your reservation:

There are endless possibilities to have fun activities in Napa, but we recommend these five activities for you to experience and enjoy your vacation to the fullest in this world-famous wine region.

Planning for Fun during Your Next Vacation in Napa Valley

You are planning a trip to California and want some fun things to do in Napa Valley. Since Napa Valley is wine country, one of the must-do things to consider during a visit to the area is touring the vineyards and the wineries, as well as sampling and tasting wines when there’s a chance. Marveling at the gorgeous scenery is another thing to do there. You will be most likely to do these things again on your next vacation in Napa Valley — this time with your whole family – so it should be decidedly more fun!

Napa Valley is primarily a wine country, so at first you may not think of it as the ideal place for a family vacation. Wine country doesn’t seem to be a fitting holiday destination for kids. But you would be mistaken! The wine region can also be a family-friendly place, with venues and activities geared especially for the whole family. Your children will definitely enjoy many things that Napa Valley offers while you can continue your interest in wine tours and wine tastings.

There’s no better sight than a happy family eating and enjoy food together in beautiful scenery like in the Napa Valley. The wine region is dotted with many restaurants and local cafes that will have something for your children’s often finicky palate. You will never run out of options where to take your family for a breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. While the adults enjoy sipping wines while dining, kids will enjoy fresh sweet grape juice, smoothies and other fruit juices. Children can enjoy burgers, fries, brick-oven cooked pizzas, sandwiches, freshly baked pastries as well as delectable chocolates, gelatos and other sweets while their parents enjoy “adult” meals like blue cheese flatbread with amazing Kobe steak, paired with the finest Pinot Noir.

Families can rent bikes and pedal their way through the foothills and through the vineyards. They should also consider viewing the awesome Old Faithful geyser in Calistoga – the wait may be long for the hot water to blow, but once it does it will surely be worth it! Experience hands-on science and fun with the whole family at the Scientopia Discovery Center and spend extra fun hours at the Playground Fantastico (or Fantastico Park). Go swimming, boating/kayaking, or fishing at Lake Berryesa, and take your kids to private ranches where they can play soccer and even pet farm animals while you prepare a picnic.

A hot air balloon ride would also be a fantastic activity that will surely be a great enhancement to your traveling experience with your family. Since you’ll be bringing your children along, the most important consideration for you is safety. Many children like to imagine that they’ll fly like their superheroes, while some are hesitant because of the height. But if you choose Balloons Above the Valley (BATV), you and your family will be in good hands.

Your children will imagine themselves being in a fantasy adventure as the basket slowly lifts off. They will excitedly describe the neat rows of grapevines that look like their own quilted blankets. Trees, shrubs and mansions that dot across the vineyards will appear as toy trees and houses. These sights will leave you and your kids wide-eyed in wonder.

In order for your children to be qualified for a hot air balloon ride, they should be at least 40 inches tall; although we recommend that your kids should be at least four feet tall to be able to see over the side of the basket. Balloon flights are generally gentle because they simply move by the wind’s direction. So it feels like you’re “sailing.” While you know where your hot air balloon launches, once you’re up in the air you will have no idea where you’ll be landing, which adds to the adventure! However, you don’t have to worry because our pilots are fully experienced and have flown many hours. They will guide you to land at the safest spot possible.

As much as BATV is strict in admitting children to ride the hot air balloon, we do this to ensure their safety. When a flight is safe, the fun part is guaranteed to follow! Check out our link about Child Rates and other amazing tour packages:

Balloons Above the Valley is proof that the Napa Valley can be a top destination for the whole family. Planning your next vacation and looking for fun things to do in Napa Valley with your kids? Include a hot air balloon ride in your plans and you and your children will never regret it!

What to Look for in Wine Tours in San Francisco and Napa Valley

If you’re looking for a unique traveling experience, it would definitely be taking wine tours in San Francisco and Napa Valley. The region has something for every vacationer who craves diversity in their travels.

Beyond the famous Golden Gate Bridge across the San Francisco Bay, is the lush wine-growing region where millions of grapes are made into wines that have gained acclaim from many parts of the world. Apart from the world-famous wines, tourism is also a major source of income for the Napa Valley. Every year, over three million visitors travel to San Francisco and the Napa Valley, bringing in $1.5 million in revenue. Wine tours in San Francisco and Napa Valley have indeed been a steady business!

There are many things to do in San Francisco and particularly Napa Valley. The small region has lots to offer — truly beautiful scenery, the best wine and food, and so much more. The first thing you look for when doing wine tours is visiting wineries. Note that the there are over 400 wineries in Napa Valley; if you include nearby Sonoma, that number would have been doubled. So, you’ll want to consider your choices carefully.

Apart from visiting wineries, taking a hot air balloon is also a great way to enjoy wine tours in San Francisco and Napa Valley. Enjoy the stunning views of the Napa Valley scenery as the elevation literally takes your breath away. The neat rows of grapevines make up the whole quilt-like landscape of the valley. Everything you see is picture perfect and so do not miss taking photographs as your own souvenirs! Balloons Above the Valley (BATV) is one of the first to provide hot air balloon flights in the region. While our sunrise hot air balloon packages are affordable, they don’t sacrifice comfort or luxury that you crave in your hot air balloon journey.

Our San Francisco Balloon and Wine Tour Package is one of BATV’s most popular packages. You will be able to indulge in some luxuries such as going on a wine tour in a limo bus, where you can enjoy an onboard Continental breakfast with a mimosa. Visits to wineries in Napa and Sonoma, olive oil tasting and delightful picnic lunches, and of course the sunrise hot air balloon flight will be some of the highlights of this two-day package designed for two persons. You will also have the option for last-minute shopping that follows the post-flight brunch.

The Sunrise Balloon Flight and Champagne Brunch is another package from BATV that you may want to try. Begin the day with an aromatic and delicious pre-flight breakfast that will definitely awaken your senses. Then take part in the hot air balloon ride, and afterwards celebrate the successful flight with other guests with a champagne brunch. After your hot air balloon adventure, you will have the option to take the Napa Valley wine tours right away, or do them on the next day.

This package also allows you to visit four to six premium wineries. Remember that wineries change daily in this package so expect that you may visit entirely different wineries the next time you visit and enjoy another balloon flight. You will have the rare chance to sample wines from small boutique wineries, and discover the process of winemaking from grapes to glass as you go around wineries and vineyards in the comfort of limos and limo buses.

Balloons Above the Valley has over 30 years of experience in hot air balloon flights, and our award-winning service puts our clients at ease. This frees them to really enjoy their time on the hot air balloon flight as well as the other perks that we offer. Enjoy having wine tours in San Francisco and Napa Valley — whether up in the air on the ground — when you choose BATV!