It's a daunting task to visit all the wineries in the Napa/Sonoma region?there are more than 900 of them. Luckily, Stacy's Wine Tours is up to the challenge. They whisk visitors to a wealth of boutique wineries and vineyards during customized wine tours aboard a fleet of luxury vehicles. Guests can cruise through the grape-dotted countryside inside a stretch limo or opt for a basic designated-driver service.
They can also skip the wine tastings and head out on a brewery tour via Tap in Tours. A tour bus described as an "Irish pub on wheels"?though it's missing drunken novelists and poets?ferries passengers to various microbreweries along the 121 and 101 corridors, including Lagunitas, Hop Monk, and Petaluma Hills Brewing Company.
With more than 15 years in business, FastFrame’s Napa Valley location helps enhance fond memories with a variety of framing and photo-related services. Bring in prints or negatives from your backpacking trip through high school and have the photos conveniently imprisoned on CD ($10) or DVD ($15) or reproduce reminiscences sized from 4"x6" to 18"x24" ($5–$44) with photo-printing services. Restoration services ($10–$98) will reverse the age of old photos, repair damage to records, and add bright hues to images that predate the invention of color. Napa Valley FastFrame’s fine custom and ready-made framery (prices vary widely) is available to encase an abundance of items, including pictures, instruments, and 13-foot anaconda skins. Owner and certified picture framer Fred Cooper and his expert framers are happy to guide clients through copious selections of inspired custom framing that follows decorative and classical designs.
At the Napa Valley Museum, regional history and art collide in an idyllic setting with rotating exhibits of artwork, photography, and a permanent history gallery. Membership unlocks access to the museum and openings of various exhibits such as the currently running Wanderlust: Journeys with Napa Valley Photographers, a collection of stunning images from exotic happenings in Burma, Cuba, and local Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. Joanne Youngberg and Nina Antze's A Year in Flowers demonstrates phalange-crafted artwork with paintings and sketches of botanical wonders found throughout nature. Relive the horticultural and wine-soaked history of the Napa Valley with Land and People of the Napa Valley, an exhibit displaying artifacts from the region alongside a huge collection of period-specific advertisements and Internet memes.
Somerston Wine Co. stocks its modern, ranch-style tasting room with casks reflecting the diverse yield of local vineyard blocks. Set taste buds to “sommelier” with a Highflyer wine tasting, which features 2-ounce samples of eclectic vintages including the fruity and floral grenache blanc 2009, the chocolate-toned Centerline 2007 red blend, and the cherry-laden pinot noir 2008. Two plates of artisanal cheeses, locally dried fruits, and pistachios, or local chef Chris Kollar's chocolates accompany sips of wine, which guests may nosh outdoors, on the rooftop terrace, or in the ranch’s replica bathysphere.
Long visited by dreamy visions of starting their own tour company, Jewels Wine Tours owners and Napa Valley residents Julia Young and Ryan Raes utilize their regional intimacy to construct guided tours to the finest wineries, distilleries, and restaurants the area has to offer. The team takes great joy in customizing packages to their guests’ preferences, whether customers are looking to taste-test a certain hard-to-find vintage, or just want to be driven around by someone other than the family dog. A dedicated driver handles navigation for the duration of each tour, allowing the grape gurus to focus on enriching the tour experience by answering in-depth questions and providing insights into Napa and Sonoma Valley history.
The Golden State Model Railroad Museum brings the nation?s bygone steam-powered days back to life in miniature form, recreating the trails run by the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads. Trains snake through three huge model layouts, which depict the varied terrain of Northern and Central California lovingly recreated and operated by the East Bay Model Engineers Society. Sundays in April?December from noon to 5 p.m., some of the 70 behind-the-scenes conductors imbue the tracks with energy, transforming the 10,000-square-foot facility into a locomotive wonderland alight with the sounds of bells and whistles not heard since the days when phone numbers only had three digits. The museum is also open on Wednesdays and Saturdays for viewings or on select days for themed events such as Amtrak Day or Steam/Transition Era Day.