Napa Valley was practically tailor made for those who love the finer things in life, complete with more vineyards than you can shake a stick at, copious eateries staffed by 5-star chefs, high-end art galleries within a stone’s throw, and spa resorts galore, just for starters. But the truly discerning traveler may be looking for something a little extra special. If you number yourself among the many modern adults that have jumped aboard the eco-friendly bandwagon and started using their consumer dollars to vote for vendors that support environmental protection, then the excesses of good living may offend your sensibilities, especially if they are rife with waste and pollution. For this reason you might be seeking accommodations, eateries, and other attractions that are a little more in keeping with your conscience when you visit Napa Valley. And believe it or not, there are several options to tickle your fancy. Here are just a few you may want to consider on your next vacation.
- Napa Valley Bike Tours. If you’re hesitant to rent a limo or party bus when you vineyard hop, consider locomotion courtesy of your own two feet with a variety of biking tours of the Napa Valley wine country. You’ll get to view the scenery from pathways unavailable to cars, allowing you to soak in the beauty of this coastal region over the course of several days. And the distance between vineyards will give you time to burn off the effects of your foray into wine tasting. As a bonus, you won’t have to worry about producing those pesky hydrocarbons when your travel without the aid of a gas-powered vehicle.
- Wine Carriage. If you’d rather ride in luxury than pedal your way through the wineries, consider an old-timey tour by horse and carriage. The slow pace on this 7-mile tour will better allow you to drink in the scenery even as you sample some of the magnificent wine this valley has to offer. And you won’t have to risk a DUI, a spill on your bike, or further pollution of the environment in the process.
- Cade Winery. You may think it impossible to find an eco-friendly vineyard, but here you’ll be surprised thanks to a winery that has attained prestigious LEED certification (gold status). Not only are the environs totally green with a structure made from recycled steel and concrete, as well as a series of concrete caves that provide non-electric cold storage; the merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes are also organically grown. In short, this is one winery that greenies can’t afford to miss.
- Ubuntu. After you conclude your daily activities in Napa Valley (i.e. wine tasting) you might be on the lookout for some sustenance, and Ubuntu can provide. The self-proclaimed “vegetable” restaurant places an emphasis on locally-grown fare, which you’re bound to enjoy thanks to the inclusion of a variety of exotic ingredients (which servers are happy to describe). And there’s even a yoga studio upstairs for those that wish to massage their innards with a few twists following dinner.
- Bardessono. An eco-friendly visit to Napa won’t be complete without a stay at this 62-room hotel and spa that has managed to attain LEED platinum certification. Salvaged-wood finishes, solar panels, and composting are just the beginning of the features that green living enthusiasts will love when they enter this posh establishment. After a day of wintertime activities in Napa Valley, for example, you’ll no doubt appreciate the geothermal heating and in-room massage table. And the locally-sourced and produced cuisine, plus inclusions by organic and sustainable vintners, will surely whet your palate and soothe your conscience.