Four Great Ways to Relax in the Napa Valley

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With summer vacation on the horizon, your thoughts are probably drifting to the smells of fresh-cut grass and barbecue lighter fluid, late evenings outdoors, maybe an Adirondack chair with a good book. And here in the Napa Valley, we can relax with the best of them. Here are a few ideas for kicking back, taking it easy, and recharging your batteries in the slow lane.

Take an easy ride on the Napa Valley Vine Trail. There are plenty of great cycling roads across and around the valley, but if you want to go for a spin without worrying about traffic or steep climbs, this is the route for you. The Napa Valley Vine Trail is working to build a 47-mile walking and bike trail system through the entire valley, from Vallejo to Calistoga. The current completed section is an easy 12.5 mile trail from Napa’s Kennedy Park to Yountville. This is also a great activity for families with young kids. Find information on renting bikes here.

Glide down the Napa River. Take the Napa River History Tour and learn about the rich history of the Napa Valley from a gently rocking kayak. Tours are led by a Napa native who is equally passionate about the river and local history. Or just rent your own kayak and drift down the river with no other agenda.

Finally open that juicy novel. Who said you need to have a beach to enjoy a beach book? Now’s the time to grab a lawn chair and a place in the shade and crack the spine of the latest John Grisham or Ann Patchett. Some of our favorite outdoor spots for reading: Fuller Park or Kennedy Park in Napa; Yountville Park; Crane Park or Lyman Park in St. Helena; and Pioneer Park in Calistoga. If you need a new book, try Copperfield’s Books in both Napa and Calistoga; Napa Bookmine in downtown Napa; and Main Street Books in St. Helena.

Get the full spa treatment. Still not officially chillaxed? There are more than 18 spas in the tiny town of Calistoga, from basic to luxurious, that offer hot springs, mud baths, and massage treatments. In the latter category is Solage, where you can participate in “Mudslide Mornings” at the Bathhouse and Mud Bar, including breakfast at the Michelin-starred restaurant Solbar before a three-part detox treatment. Or try the Full Moon Aqua Vibrations, an evening workshop that includes gentle movement, inner and outer sound vibrations, and a floating meditation in warm geothermal pools. Some of our other favorite Calistoga spas include Indian Springs, Lincoln Avenue Spa, Golden Haven Hot Springs and Resort, and Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort.

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