Napa Valley is a popular tourist destination, but many would be surprised to know just how many tourists come to exercise.
Napa Valley, California is one of the viticulture capitals of the world, so when people talk about vacationing in Napa Valley, the most common assumption is that they’re going to sample wines.The reality, though, is that more and more people are traveling to Napa Valley not just for the wine—that comes, too—but also for the exercise.All sorts of healthy exercise trends have been taking root in recent years as enotourism lures people who enjoy the wine culture, benefit from its anti-oxidizing advantages, and getting a physical workout at the same time whether it’s hiking or biking.
Napa County is wrought of a myriad of ideal landscapes for hiking ranging from redwood forests to wetlands to mountains or grassy hills.From most vantage points, Napa also graces its tourists with excellent views of the landscape or even the Bay Area from considerable altitudes.
“Our open spaces are such a hidden gem ready to be tapped,” said Ryan Gregory, county supervisor.Any hiker can expect to be able to exhaust himself or herself here despite the fact that it’s not an inherently challenging destination for hiking.The kind of exercise gained through hiking, though, is a boon for the heart and as valuable as resistance training for the thighs and calves, and the same can be said for much of the biking that goes on in Napa Valley as well.
Napa Valley is an incredibly beautiful region of California, and it is the rural canvas in which lie innumerable, premier wineries and appellations.With all the tourism that takes place in Napa Valley, especially enotourism, the place has become a site for all sorts of cycling.Cyclists come from all over to find one of the most interesting places to ride their bikes, and this open country of Napa Valley is perfect.In fact, not only is the landscape ideal for riding, whether on dirt paths or on paved roads, there are loads and loads of bike tours all throughout the area.
Photo source: Mbz1 via Wikimedia Commons
As is often the case with activities in Napa Valley for obvious reasons, these bike tours often double as wine tours.Bike from one place to another, and taste premier wines from some of the world’s most prestigious wineries.
One of the most popular bike tours in Napa Valley is the Classic Half-Day Napa Valley Bike Tour.For this, cyclists can leave the latter half of their day, as well as their night, free to explore and engage in whatever activities they want.The tour begins at 9:00 a.m.and lasts until 1:30 p.m.In this timeframe, cyclists follow a guide and cover between three and six miles of riding on average.These miles are traveled cumulatively between winery visits, and the routes wind along truly scenic routes.The tour guides that lead these tours are quite knowledgeable about their surroundings, the wineries, the history, and the paths taken.
A smaller group of about eight or so cyclists also undertakes the Full-Day Napa Valley Bike Tour, which is quite similar.It starts at the same time with the half-dayers, but it extends until 4:00 p.m.As such, the tour spans approximately the same mileage between winery visits but also includes an extra winery.In the middle of the day, the tour also breaks for a catered picnic lunch as well.The pace is leisurely, and the scenic roads contribute to forming fond memories of Napa Valley bicycling.
Cyclists also have the opportunity to engage in the Cycling in the Vineyards Tour, which serves as a more adventurous ride.These tours take cyclists off-road so that they can quite literally bike through the prominent vineyards of legendary, designated American Viticultural Areas.This is an avant garde approach to exploring Napa Valley, and the dirt paths selected for the ride are wide, positioned between the vineyard tracks so that they are not difficult to ride.The pace is also rather easy-going for everyone to enjoy.
There are Napa Valley bicycling tours that cyclists can plan for themselves, mapping them out with a guide before departure.Cyclists receive logistical support from the Napa Valley Bike Tours team full of experienced guides who know how to help guests plot out safe, fun courses for themselves.They also provide self-guided cyclists with boxed picnic lunches by delivering them to a winery that serves as a checkpoint along the route.Included with the picnic lunch as well is the option for a wine purchase facilitated via pick-up service so that guests can continue cycling without hazardously carrying the bottles of wine.
Visitors to the area can get both hiking and biking in on the same trip and leave incredibly fit for having come to the wine destination of the country.The hiking trails are ubiquitous and fulfilling, as are the cycling routes that guides map out for you.Hikers have their pick of the American Canyon wetlands, Napa River trails, or the Stanly Lane trail.