Almost everyone dreams of flying. In those dreams, landscapes unravel below like patchwork quilts, and high, soft breezes brush past your face while mountains and hills jut out of the earth to form peaks and valleys. They're gentle dreams, and ones that Calistoga Balloon Co can make real with high-soaring balloon rides.
During sunrise launches, their rainbow-hued balloons flit above the north end of Napa Valley, gliding passengers along scenic grapevine corridors and mountain vistas unique to the region. The area is also home to landmarks the likes of Mount Saint Helena, the Palisades Cliffs, and the Napa Valley Castle?all sights to be savored from the basket of a hot air balloon. To celebrate collecting such lifelong memories, passengers can enjoy a champagne breakfast after touchdown followed by activities such as leisurely picnics or bike tours through the wine country.
The Charles M. Schulz Museum pays loving homage to the life and career of the legendary creator of the Peanuts comics. For 50 years, Schulz illustrated the adventures of Charlie Brown and his friends Snoopy, Linus, Pigpen, and Lucy in hundreds of U.S. newspapers. The museum maintains six permanent exhibitions, including a re-creation of Schultz’s studio, a morphing Snoopy timeline, the Peanuts–themed wall of his daughter’s nursery, and a flying Red Baron who constantly pelts customers with pepperoni slices. Rotating exhibitions last for about six months, featuring such curiosities as a 13-foot-tall Charlie Brown sweater and an examination of Schulz’s evolving pen line. Museum memberships give patrons a discount on all museum stores, complimentary admission, and invitations to members-only events.
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 nonprofit Heidrick Ag History Center harvests the rich history of agricultural machinery and transportation through an extensive collection of vintage tractors and trucks. The 130,000-square-foot space houses both the Hays Antique Truck Museum—home to such artifacts as a one-of-a-kind Breeding steam-powered truck and broccoli steamer from 1916—and the Fred C. Heidrick Antique Ag Collection, an assemblage of olden-day iron horses and golden cows collected over a period of 60 years.
Using skills acquired from his childhood days building his own planes and combines from scraps of wire and wood, Mr. Heidrick himself restored most of the equipment—some of which was formerly little more than heaps of rust—to its original condition. Palettes of green, red, and yellow pop from John Deere tractors from the 1930s to the 1950s, a Deering reaper machine from 1891, and a 120-horsepower Holt built in 1917 to tow artillery during World War I.
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.
A work of art relies on many components to maintain its integrity. Aside from the canvas and the struggle the artist went through to get Billy to stop hogging all the blue paint, the piece will require a frame to be respected as a finished product. At Ringseis Designs, the framing crew works with custom mouldings and archival techniques to protect and enhance artwork, analyzing each piece before selecting matting and frame combinations that draw attention to intended focal points. They also protect 3-D objects, protecting keepsakes in shadowboxes and preserving sports jerseys in textile cases.