Less than an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, California’s wine country has a lot more to offer than just drinking rosé all day. “If you live in Napa, that’s not what you’re doing,” says local April Gargiulo, founder of natural skin-care brand Vintner’s Daughter. (Her family owns a winery in Oakville, BTW.) “The real Napa is about living a good and balanced life. Yes, maybe a glass of wine is part of that—but it definitely doesn’t have to be all of it.”
“The real Napa is about living a good and balanced life.”
With nearly 800 miles of pliable earth, the NorCal city’s a grower’s paradise, which means you’ll taste produce so delicious it’ll make you want to go raw. Something else you’ll want to adopt? The area’s niche take on Cali-cool style.
Unlike the salty beach waves and denim cutoffs synonymous with its southern neighbors like Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Napa’s temperate climates (nearly pristine forecasts 365 days a year) will have you craving cozy sweaters, sturdy boots, and all-weather field jackets season to season. And you’ll get plenty of utility out of your trendy Normcore threads, which conveniently double as ideal trekking attire.
You’ll need it if you plan on exploring some of Napa’s lush, mountainous scenery. It’ll quite literally take your breath away—thanks to both its beauty and the intensity of local hiking trails. Be prepared to while away an entire afternoon walking through its redwood forests, rocky mountain ranges, and other off-the-beaten-path idylls.
So what’s on the agenda other than earthing? Scroll down to see 6 wellness-centric activities Gargiulo says are must-dos next time you’re in Napa Valley.
1. Spend the morning at Oxbow Market
This is basically Napa’s answer to San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Start your day with a green juice from Hudson Greens and Goods (or treat yourself to its “Christina’s Cuckoo,” which is the best healthy “milkshake” ever, according to Gargiulo). If you’re looking for a heartier morning meal, chow down on C Casa’s gluten-free breakfast tacos. Oxbow Public Market, 610 and 644 First St., Napa, CA
2. Take a hike (with a view) at Napa’s State Park
Napa Valley’s natural beauty is best appreciated on foot. Head over to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park for a hardcore hike. When you get to the top, spend some time taking in the panoramic views of the vineyards below. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, 3801 St Helena Highway, Calistoga, CA
3. Wander the Vine Trail
One day, this 47-mile path will connect the entire valley from Vallejo to Calistoga—but for now, you can hike or bike a 12-mile, uninterrupted stretch from South Napa to Yountville. Stop at Kelly’s Filling Station and Wine Shop for a coffee while you wander. (It’s the chicest gas station you’ll ever come across.) When you get to Yountville, head straight to The French Laundry’s culinary gardens where you’ll find a suped-up chicken coop, some of the freshest-looking produce you’ve ever seen, and—if you’re lucky—famed chef Thomas Keller wandering around the grounds. Napa Valley Vine Trail, 3299 Claremont Way number 4, Napa, CA
4. Take the waters at Indian Springs
This resort’s pools are fed with mineral water from thermal geysers giving them various restorative powers. Once you’ve had a healthy dip, head inside for a steam room sweat sesh, or take a traditional mud bath. Indian Springs, 1712 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, CA
5. Hit up an organic winery
Just because a healthy trip to Napa isn’t all about wine, doesn’t mean you can’t imbibe a little bit. There are a number of organic vineyards throughout the valley, including Mumm Napa, a go-to for Gargiulo. In between tastings, make sure to check out the winery’s photography collection, she suggests. Mumm Napa, 8445 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA
6. Eat izakaya at Miminashi
Land-locked Northern California may not seem like a primo destination for sushi and Japanese small plates, but thanks to this culinary team’s dedication to freshness and creativity, Miminashi’s cuisine is an explosion of flavors. The menu changes daily based on what its chefs find at the farmer’s market, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a meal full of crazy fresh produce. Miminashi, 821 Coombs St., Napa, CA
Whether on vacation or IRL, here’s why wine may be one of the best things to incorporate into your post-workout routine. And, in other amazing news, a glass of vino could also help improve gut health. Cheers!