Active wine lovers can have it all in California Wine Country – the great hikes, the explorations with bikes, and the peerless wine and dine rewards at the end of a glorious day.
Good weather and golden rolling vineyard landscapes provide perfect conditions for quick getaways, heavenly honeymoons or easy, sweet vacations – no fuss, no muss – in a number of California wine regions.
Self-Guided Vineyard Walking Tours in Sonoma County
Take a free self-guided tour through several wineries in Sonoma County, getting a healthy burn while taking in spectacular views. Tasting rooms offer detailed walking-tour guides. Tours offered at wineries including: Schug Carneros Estate Winery, Landmark Vineyards, Balletto Vineyards, Mauritson Family Winery, Stryker Sonoma Winery and Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
Guided Sip & Cycle Tours in Sonoma, Napa and Carneros
Whether amateur or pro, the landscape in and around Sonoma County and Napa Valley is breathtaking. For those who prefer a guided experience, there are many options for bike rentals and guided tours that take you to wineries in and around Santa Rosa, some with picnic lunches or with tasting fees waived. Vendors include Ace It Wine Country Bike Tour, Getaway Adventures, Sip ‘N Cycle Tours (Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Calistoga, Carneros), Napa Valley Bike Tours, St Helena Cyclery and Wine Country Bikes’ Cycle Dry Creek and Madrona Manor Tour Package (includes stay at the inn).
Hike or Bike Napa Valley Trail ?
The Napa Valley Vine Trail offers a 47-mile path for exploring the world-famous region by foot or pedal from Vallejo’s Ferry Terminal to the foot of Mount St. Helena in Calistoga. For a packaged but still self-guided experience, Clif Family Winery at VeloVino with bike rentals through Calistoga Bike Shop. Start the day at the winery’s Clif bar for an espresso and a map of the winery team’s favorite routes. End the day with a food and wine pairing experience and wine by the glass at the tasting bar displaying cycling memorabilia or at the outdoor patio and wine sensory garden.
Hiking or Biking the Sierra Foothills Wine Region?
Just a quick day trip from Sacramento and Lake Tahoe is the Sierra Foothills wine region, which encompasses the great wine sub-regions of El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras. These regions have been producing wine since the Gold Rush days. Most of the grapes are grown on rolling hillsides at elevations over 1,200 feet above sea level – making for scenic bike rides and hikes. The El Dorado Trail boasts 28 miles of mountains and vineyard views. For a packaged ride, Giro D’Oro Cycling offers weekend and five-day trips through the area, as well as daily bike rentals.
San Franciscso East & South Bays?
Livermore Valley Wine Tasting by Foot, Bike or Train?
First-time visitors to Livermore are often surprised at the numerous, closely clustered wineries surrounded by open space and gentle hills of vineyards around San Francisco’s southeast bay. Cycling routes are plentiful and winery and bike path maps are available through the Livermore Valley Winegrowers. Walk along Greenville Road where six wineries are within less than a mile, including Big White House Winery, McGrail and Bent Creek Winery. Another good hike is on Tesla Road where walkers can visit Wente, Steven Kent, Page Mill, Concannon and Retzlaff. Niles Canyon Railway offers an easy way to taste Livermore wines paired with hors d’oeuvres. The wine-tasting trains run alternate Sundays in the summer.
Hike, Bike and Horseback Ride through the Santa Cruz Mountains?
Fremont Older—a 763-acre open space preserve bordered by Garrod Farms Stables and home of Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards— is a great place to hike or ride. The oak studded hillsides are home to many native animals, from bobcats, coyotes and deer to a variety of bird species. Begin the trail in the Cooper Garrod Estate Vineyards parking lot, and end in the tasting rooms. Horseback riders can rent from the stables and book a tour of the chardonnay vineyard and estate.
South Central Coast?
Bike Tours from the Vines to Coast in Paso Robles Wine Country
?Paso Robles has a lot to offer the biking fan. Take a self-guided tour from City Park town square through vineyard country up to J. Lohr Winery for a tasting and return to City Park to enjoy more tasting rooms, boutique shops, galleries and wine-centric eateries. For guided tours, Paso Bike Tours offers several wine country tours, including “On a Mission,” where guests bike to the historic San Miguel Mission.
Hike, Bike and Sip in Santa Barbara Wine Country?
Santa Barbara, known for surfing and the “Sideways” movie that made the wine region famous, is also a prime hiking region. Work up a sweat on the seven-mile Reyes Peak trail in the Los Padres National Forest. Reward yourself afterwards by checking out nearby Santa Ynez Valley wineries. Cyclists also can sign up with Santa Barbara Adventure Company for a full-day wine country bike tour. Cycle through vineyards along Foxen Canyon Trail or Santa Rita Hills, stopping at notable vintners such as Zaca Mesa Vineyards and Riverbench Vineyard & Winery. Tour includes a picnic lunch.
Hike through Nature Preserves near Lodi Wine Country ?Surrounding Lodi are thousands of acres of nature preserves, a paradise to avid birders and nature lovers. The Cosumnes River Preserve is a favorite among visitors and offers year-round hiking trails and an educational visitor center. Nearby is the interactive Lodi Wine & Visitor Center where you can walk through the demonstration vineyard, learn about winegrowing and winemaking, find out more about local wineries and taste Lodi wines.
Hike, Bike or Jog through Temecula Wine Country?
Just 90 minutes from Los Angeles and San Diego is the Temecula wine region. Several wineries offer opportunities to walk among the vines. Eco-conscious travelers may want to book a stay at The Ponte Family Estate, which offers AAA Four Diamond, sustainable accommodations. The estate has 300 acres of scenic, sustainably-farmed vineyards, and is popular for guests who want to run, walk, cycle or hike.
For more information on California’s wine regions, wineries and wines, go to