6 Scenic Napa Valley Secrets

These are striking, don't-miss visual experiences in Napa Valley.

the sunrise glows over the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards in Napa, picture
Sunrise paints the sky at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards.
Mars Lasar

1. Mural at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, American Canyon

Every summer, Jamieson Ranch invites street artists to paint the south wall of the winery. The result is an annually changing mural that brings a colorful splash of city life to Napa Valley wine country.

2. Napa Valley Pedal 'n Paddle Tour, Napa

On this guided excursion run by Getaway Adventures, get some up-close glimpses of the Carneros region on an eight-mile bike ride (with stops for winetasting and a picnic lunch), then paddle (as rigorously or as slowly as you like) on the Napa River.

3. Skyline Wilderness Park, Napa

A hike or a mountain-bike ride here requires moderate exertion, but the payoffs are extreme. From the park entrance in Napa, take the Skyline Trail on a gradual climb to sweet views that range from Mount St. Helena to the valley’s southern end. It's seven miles round-trip; the farther you go, the more you see.

the grapevines and lake view at Chappellet Winery in St. Helena, picture

The views—and the chardonnay—at Chappellet Winery in St. Helena are wonderful.

Courtesy Chappellet

4. Twilight at Chappellet Winery, St. Helena

A serene winery on Pritchard Hill, Chappellet is too far off the beaten path to be the first stop on a standard tasting tour. But its chardonnay is second to none, and so are the early evening panoramas from its patio.


5. Hall Wines HALLmark Tour, St. Helena

A guided stroll around the 33-acre property, this tour culminates with wine and cheese on an "ocean view terrace"—the ocean in this case being a sea of vines.

6. Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Ride, Yountville

There's no greater perspective on the valley, and you can soak it all in while an FAA-certified pilot does the work. Rides operate year-round, weather permitting, and range from 40 to 90 minutes (depending on conditions). Add-ons include a post-flight champagne brunch.

This article was first published in January 2017 and last updated in August 2019.