Delight your kids (young children or interested teens) with a wine tour that entertains those in your party not old enough to participate in a wine tasting…while you still get to sample some wines and see the region's most popular sites. From a pint-sized train to a geyser that regularly spouts over 60 feet high to a ride in an aerial car, the whole family can enjoy this tour.
With younger children our itinerary may go like this: Drive down the "Crookedest Street in the World", then out of the city and across the Golden Gate Bridge toTrain Town, a ten-minute ride on a down-scaled replica of an 1890s steam/diesel train, through ten landscaped acres of tunnels, bridges and lakes to an 'old mining town' populated by llamas and barnyard animals...and ten minutes back.
Then it's on to a tour by tractor-pulled surrey of the Benziger Family Vineyards in Sonoma Valley… as we enjoy the panoramic view, they teach us about how this historic property pays close attention to ecologically focused farming methods. While you taste, the kids can enjoy the play structure up the hill. A second version of the day includes a tour of the popular Jelly Belly Factory, en route to Napa Valley. A casual deli provides our midday meal.
In the afternoon we may visit Napa Valley's "Old Faithful" geyser (one of only three on the planet)…not forgetting to pet their "fainting" goats. If you have always wanted to explore a "real" castle but haven't taken the kids to Europe yet, you won't want to miss the Castello di Amorosa, its Great Room, dungeon and commanding vistas: it's one of the few wineries that actually welcome minors on its tour. Everyone likes to ride the aerial tram that floats you up to Sterling Vineyards' hilltop tasting rooms and views in all directions. Or we can head over to the Charles M. Schultz (creator of "Peanuts") Museum in Santa Rosa, a lovely city in the Russian River wine region. Or if you're ready for a long day there's Safari West, a nearby African wildlife refuge, where you may get close to zebras, lemurs, warthogs, flamingoes, cockatoos, giraffes et. al. on a two-hour ride in a customized Land Rover. And there's a Petrified Foresten route.
FYI most wineries do not welcome minors (under 21 years of age) because in California they're not eligible to consume or purchase alcoholic beverages, and they don't want the liability as they move around in a working farm environment.
With teenagers, we can include stops for tasting artisanal olive oils, chocolates or cheeses.There's also the option of allowing your mature teens to spend the day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, while parents/guardians enjoy a tour of the nearby Napa and,or Sonoma Valleys.,
No itinerary can include all these attractions. But we can certainly focus on the ones that would work best for you and your family.
“Jesse is a treasure trove of information… and is flexible and patient with children and shopping-hungry wives! We had so much fun on our Monterey-Carmel tour that we signed up for his Wine Country tour the next day. We had our 5-year-old son with us and Jesse put together a child-friendly tour of the wine country which our son thoroughly enjoyed—the visit to Traintown is a definite must on that tour! With its warm and friendly service, A Friend in Town certainly lived up to its name!” – Angela H. (Singapore)
A Private Custom Sightseeing Service for the San Francisco Bay Area