The independently owned Roxy Stadium 11 regales patrons with the flickering pictures and digital sounds of the latest blockbusters and the sizable snack bar. A colorful lobby greets guests as they meander past towering pillars that stretch toward an arched ceiling swathed in neon lights and bold swaths of royal blue. Aisles of cushioned auditorium seats allow moviegoers to choose the spot closest to the screen or furthest from the person sobbing emphatically during coming attractions. High-tech projectors digitally unspool films in each theater, with RealD 3-D technology transmitting some flicks in three vibrant dimensions. To silence distracting mid-movie hunger pangs, staffers in the concessions area whip up fresh batches of Orville Redenbacher popcorn and Nathan's hot dogs alongside other traditional theater fare.
Napa Valley Paddle teaches people to walk on water. Armed with a fleet of stand-up paddleboards, instructors get riverine explorers up and standing during a brief on-shore lesson. From there, guests have unfettered access to the pristine Napa River, where they glide along its reed-lined shores and paddle under five new bridges and around bends that open into stunning views of sun-drenched mountainsides, flowering vineyards, and groups of wild lawyers sunning themselves on the grassy beaches.
The sport is known for its cross-training and ab-blasting benefits, and in addition to being an effective exercise, it can also double as bonding experience. To that end, Napa Valley Paddle leads educational tours or team-building excursions.
Charles Creek Vineyard Tasting Room & Gallery is situated in a charming 1890s storefront on the historic Sonoma Plaza. In addition to offering the opportunity to taste and purchase the small lot, hard to find Charles Creek wines the room also serves as a showcase for local artists with new exhibits hanging every 60 days.
Ramekins offers cooking classes from award-winning chefs in a beautiful, European-style villa in the heart of wine country. During each three-hour cooking class, up to 12 fledgling gourmands prepare and eat a multicourse meal under the careful tutelage of a crack team of expert chefs using essential culinary techniques, such as meat seasoning, soup simmering, and chopping thrown tomatoes cleanly in twain.
Genesis Fitness’s staff of coaches includes a lifelong athlete, a US Marine, a swim-team coach, and a dedicated computer gamer, all of whom transformed their bodies using the CrossFit method. Now the coaches teach this high-intensity training regimen that focuses on functional movements such as running, jumping, and climbing. They hold classes six days a week in their industrial gym with exposed-brick walls, red steel rafters, and padded floors.
The history of Ceja Vineyards dates back the 1950s, when Pablo Ceja, then working in St. Helena vineyards, dreamed of owning his own land where his ever-expanding family could grow their own grapes and make their own wine. Fueled by this dream for a better life for his children, Pablo moved his family from Mexico to the Napa Valley in 1967. Fortunately, 2 of his 10 children, Pedro and Armando, inherited his passion for wine and belief in hard work. When they were old enough, Pedro and Armando planted their first pinot-noir grapes in 1986 and, 13 years later, officially founded Ceja Vineyards with their wives and children. Today, the Cejas' operation boasts 113 producing acres and a chic wine-tasting salon where guests can enjoy sips of the vineyard’s red and white varietals, artisan cheeses, gourmet food items, and featured works from local artists.
In good Ceja tradition, Pedro and Armando’s kids are now beginning to purple their feet in the family business as well. Pablo’s family has undoubtedly made him proud; they’ve done much since their humble beginnings in St. Helena. The family hopes their story of hope and determination surfaces in every sip of their lovingly cultivated wines.
Now that eating on an ordinary table or atop a stack of Chinese acrobats seem horribly passé, adventurous foodies are seeking the next unconventional dining experience. Today's Groupon puts a little motion under your meal with two gourmet dinners on the Napa Valley Wine Train for $99 (a $198 value for dinner, $188 value for lunch). Treat yourself and a loved one to a three-hour ride through Napa Valley on an antique locomotive engine, accompanied by a delicious gourmet meal in lieu of the traditional mysterious murder.