June 2010 Archives

Recreation on the Yakima River

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yakima_scouts2.jpgBy Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau

During the summer months, there isn't a more relaxing way to soak up the beauty of the Valley than a gentle, 11-mile float down the Yakima River. Motorized watercraft are prohibited on the river, except between the Roza Recreational Site and Roza Dam, which controls irrigation for 72,000 irrigated acres downstream.

Rill Adventures on the Old Thorp Highway can outfit you with rafting, rowing and fishing gear, as well as picnic lunches, ices chests and dry bags. The company also offers kayaking lessons, shuttle service and full-moon floats June through August.

Tour Yakima Valley by Bicycle

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Silverlake-2.jpgBy Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau

From spectacular views to challenging climbs, the Yakima Valley has much to offer cycling enthusiasts. Elite riders will enjoy the grades west of Yakima from Eschbach Park to Naches Heights and Lake Wenas. The tough terrain is conquered each April during the Group Health Yakima Ridges Bike Ride.

If you're looking for a less strenuous, but no less breathtaking trip, venture to the Yakima River Canyon, where each May, traffic is restricted while riders of all ages and abilities participate in the Your Canyon for a Day Bike Tour.

Outdoor Adventures in Yakima Valley

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Fishing-10.jpgBy Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau

Serene to spine-tingling, there are plenty of ways to answer the call of the wild.

In the Yakima Valley, weather and topography team up to create the perfect conditions for outdoor adventure. Weather in the valley is moderate during the spring and fall, crisp and cold in the winter, and hot and dry in the summer, and no matter what the season, there's a good chance the sun will be shining.

Spectacular mountain passes, deep blue lakes, rushing rivers and pretty meadows provide a wealth of exhilarating recreational opportunities. For the adventurous, there is skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing and river rafting, alongside the more serene pursuits of horseback riding, hiking and golfing.

Yakima Valley Shopping

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shopping.jpgBy Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau

Enjoy a warm welcome at our distinctive shops and spas.

You've tasted the wine, sampled the fresh fruits and vegetables, and photographed the quirky attractions. So what's left to do in the Yakima Valley? Why, shop, of course! It may be best known for its wineries and produce stands, but the Valley's hidden gems are its distinctive shops and friendly merchants.

Start with the Visitor Information Center on Fair Avenue at the edge of downtown Yakima, which offers more than just maps and tips for traveling the Valley. The gift shop represents a who's who of local products, from Yakima Valley wines to chocolate-covered cherries, plus handcrafted jewelry and accessories from around the world.

Made in Italia

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hoteluca.jpgHotel Luca brings a Tuscan getaway to Napa Valley

By Sarah Sung

When it comes to visiting Wine Country, there's so much more to it than wine tasting and vineyard visits. Add bountiful food, elegant scenery, and luxurious spa treatments, for example. And Hotel Luca, the newly opened boutique resort just steps from the French Laundry and across from local dive Pancha's, on the north end of Yountville, successfully incorporates it all with its well-appointed 20-room accommodations.

Think of it as an escape that transports you to Italy from the moment you pull up to the villa-like stone tower and walk across the 300-year-old Italian floor tiles in the courtyard. Immerse yourself in a lunch or dinner of house-made salumi, wood-fired pizzas, and a hearty fisherman's stew known as cacciucco (originally from the Tuscan port of Livorno), accompanied by wines from the 300-label list, which features Italian varietals with local Napa Valley accents. After a digestif, retire to the spa for a relaxing rubdown--all under one roof that just happens to be made of 200-year-old tiles imported from Firenze.

CLICK HERE to read the full Napa Sonoma Magazine article

Activities In St. Helena

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A 1337 shop in St. Helena

Image by ohkaterina via Flickr

There's More To Do Than Just Drink

By Deirdre Bourdet

ST. HELENA, CA - Whether you're a tippler, a toddler, or a teetotaler, everyone needs to do things other than drink wine on a trip to wine country. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-alcoholic activities to entertain you in just about every sub-region of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. This series of articles will point you to some of the less obvious ways to have fun in the land of wine.
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July 4th Weekend Events in Wine Country

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Fireworks at the celebration of the United Sta...

Image via Wikipedia

Fourth of July is less than a month away so now's the time to start planning your festivities! We suggest, instead of the same 'ol backyard bbq, why not venture out and experience some of the fabulously patriotic events going on in your wine country backyard? More than likely, you'll find BBQ, wine tasting and of course fireworks too! Click here for Red, White and Blue events near you!

July 4  -- Winestock Alive! Free Independence Day Concert

Live Music: Chouinard Winery's 'Music in the Vineyards' series includes live cajun, swing, reggae, jazz, blues, & sugar beat. All in our beautiful woodland vineyard. Reservations are necessary. Bring your own gourmet picnic. 33853 Palomares Road, Castro Valley.
Fee: $40; Time: 12pm - 5pm.; Phone: (510) 582.9900

CLICK HERE for full Livermore, CA Events CalendarReblog this post [with Zemanta]

Family Fun in Napa

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Five Kid-Friendly Wine Country Activities
By Courtney Cochran

Napa may not seem like the obvious choice for families with kids in tow, but it turns out there are a number of activities tailor-made for touring with little ones.  Read on for a few of our favorites.  

Oxbow Market
Home to several retailers with mega kid appeal (Kara's Cupcakes, anyone?), downtown Napa's popular Oxbow Market place is a natural fit for your little ones.  Start your visit with famously good burgers at adjacent Gott's Roadside Tray Gourmet before heading into the market for free live music (Tuesday and Friday evenings) and face painting by Popo the Clown (first Tuesday of every month; $2 per child).  Sample oysters at Hog Island and wines at the Oxbow Wine Merchant while your kids wrap up their evening with a scoop of Three Twins Ice Cream.

Sterling Vineyards
With its hilltop tram ride and self-guided tour (so you and your little ones can go at your own pace), Sterling Vineyards is easily one of the valley's most intriguing spots to taste with kids.  Follow the tour path through art galleries, overlooks and elevated walkways as you and your family learn the winemaking process from grape to glass; motion-activated flat-screen televisions provide detailed explanations along the way (not to mention ample fun for active youngsters). Wrap up your visit in the tasting room, which offers juice boxes for thirsty tykes.