Northern California is home to many things, but very well known for one main attraction: booze. From Monterey County all the way up to Napa Valley you have some of the best vineyards in the world producing top notch wine. While sipping on the various varietals is a great reason to pay a visit to the area, there are also tons of other activities that are alcohol free.
Here are 7 things you can do in wine country that don’t involve a sip of wine.
Visit The Home of A Great Artist
The new home of a private collection of more than 570 works of art by Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali opened this summer in Monterey. Dali17 is one of the places Dali used to live and the exhibit represents the largest private collection of original Dali art in the United States. The museum is the first and only of its kind on the West Coast.
Go On A Safari
Nope, you didn’t read that wrong. Elkhorn Slough is one of California’s largest wetlands and part of a National Estuarine Reserve. The wildlife-rich reserve winds inland many miles and provides an important feeding and resting place for sea otters, curious harbor seals, sea lions, hundreds of species of birds and more. You can book a guided trek through this incredible nature landscape with Elkorn Slough Safari Tour.
Try To Spot A Whale
California is one of the only places in the world where visitors can see whales year-round, and there’s no better place for whale watching than in Northern California. While in many areas whale watchers have to go far from shore to see a whale, along the Monterey coast up north, whales can sometimes be seen offshore with the naked eye.
Take A Helicopter Tour
Monterey County is home of the iconic Highway 1, Big Sur, and one of the largest wine growing and producing regions in California. And now helicopter tours. In true Central Coast style, leave your car behind and explore the mountainside vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands, California’s premier cool-climate wine growing region via helicopter and/or an ATV. Remember, you’re not drinking, so the brand new Sky Safari Adventure is a great way to explore the area sober. You’ll be able to spot whales, seals, dolphins and sharks from up above, before landing at the Monterey Zoo, home to tigers, bears, birds, elephants and more.
Eat An Artichoke
This sounds weird, but this veggie is actually worth the trip. Pezzini Farms, located in Castroville (the Artichoke Capital of the World since 1929), offers fresh artichokes and local, farm-fresh products. A visit to The Choke Coach for French Fried, Grilled and Steamed Artichokes is also a must for your artichoke fix.
This new upscale tented camping experience launches in mid-November as the newest camping experience in Big Sur. Ventana’s Redwood Retreats offer a rustic-luxury take on traditional camping with 15 safari-style canvas tents available in the resort’s ancient redwood forest. Each tent features inspired cabin-style décor, a king bed, natural fiber rugs, picnic table, dinnerware and separate gas and wood-burning fire pits.
The new Art & Seekers program at Ventana Big Sur features mind-body-soul experiences that celebrate the essence of the natural and calming experiences. Workshops include drum circles, quartz bowls & cymatic resonance sessions, create your couple mandala, nature charcoal drawing, neuroacoustic music therapy and photography-hike workshops as well as glassblowing and watercolor painting for groups.