By Stuart Schmidt
So many times we hear of ladies taking a “girl’s trip” up to wine country for the weekend, but it is a lesser-known secret that Napa Valley and Sonoma have plenty of things to do for the guys too. Though Napa wineries and Sonoma wineries are the focal point of any trip to this part of California, of late, there has been a ton of development in non-wine fun.
It’s important to start a day of wine tasting at Napa wineries with a good meal so stop #1 should be downtown Napa with its fantastic culinary scene. Restaurants like Jax White Mule Diner and Alexis Baking Company provide an excellent breakfast while Cole’s Chop House is a fantastic dinner spot if you love steak! Itching for some BBQ? Bounty Hunter will hit the spot. No day would be complete however without visiting a few of the world famous Napa wineries and Sonoma wineries. Call up Platypus Wine Tours in advance and you can let them do the driving as you enjoy the scenic drives up and down the valley. Be sure to go up and taste in Calistoga on your trip. The town has retained a semi-rustic vibe and the wines are rare outside of the valley (call around and find a winery that makes a Charbono-a local specialty).
Although the region is famous for its Napa wineries and Sonoma wineries, don’t miss out on the beer scene of Northern California! Stone, Trade Brewing and Fieldwork in the Ox Bow Public Market are all selling fantastic beer of varying styles and have a large selection. You could also do a beer tour with Platypus and combine the best of the brewing scenes in Sonoma and Napa in one day! Don’t forget Napa Valley Distillery’s awesome tasting room at their distillery near downtown Napa either. Their speakeasy-influenced space also has a selection of nice cigars and harkens back to the days of the roaring 20s. For unique microbrews, try Downtown Joe’s Restaurant and Brewery – can’t go wrong with a burger and beer.
For you outdoorsmen out there, Napa Valley also has great hiking at both Skyline Park in the City of Napa and Bothe-Napa Valley State Park nearly smack-dab between St. Helena and Calistoga. Skyline is a light to moderate hike into the beautiful rolling hills with vineyard views while Bothe-Napa Valley is much more wooded with towering trees. Either one would make a great break to a day of touring Napa wineries and Sonoma wineries, or a relaxing walk at the end of a trip.
Though wine country does have the reputation for being a “girls” outing, do not forget that there’s much more to see for all friend groups. With great food, a unique beer and spirits scene, and plenty of outdoor recreation, this amazing area is the ultimate playground for your “guys’ wine country adventure.” Make sure to get the ultimate fun and social experience by booking a Platypus Tour through Sonoma wineries and Napa wineries. There’s no better way to bond with your buddies than with Platypus!
By Stuart Schmidt