POSTED ON January 14, 2015 | IN Wine Tourism | BY Joe Becerra

traveling wine country

Expedia Viewfinder partnered with Wine Country Getaways to discuss different means of transportation around the Northern Californian vineyards.

Unique Ways to Travel around Wine Country

California is world renowned for its vineyards and wineries. The northern region, known as Wine Country, is arguably one of the best places to experience a tipsy vacation in the United States.

At Expedia Viewfinder, we wanted to discover unique ways of exploring Wine Country, so we teamed up with our friends over at Wine Country Getaways. From kayaking along the Russian River to riding the Napa Valley Wine Train, we learned some of the most spectacular means of transportation through the grape-baring vineyards of Northern California.

kayak Russian River

Kayak on the Russian River

Visitors who want to see Wine Country from a different perspective will love kayaking along the Russian River in Northern California. Departing from the beach in Healdsburg, the tour takes adventurers downstream along the river, past the various vineyards on the banks. Kayakers are treated to coastal views and wildlife such as otters and turtles. At the halfway point, relax on the beach with a picnic lunch, or hop into the water for a refreshing swim when the weather is warm. After cruising down the river, spend the rest of the day of sampling vino at the wineries and further touring the landscape.

big sur bike

Cycle through Monterey and Big Sur

Burn off those Cabernet calories with a multi-day bike tour through Monterey and Big Sur. Cycle along scenic Highway 1, which famously runs along the California coast, to arrive at the nationally renowned Santa Ynez Valley vineyards. Bike enthusiasts start at Carmel-by-the-Sea, ride past the sea lions at Point Lobos, through the redwoods along Big Sur, and end up at the wineries in the valley. After a long bike ride, nothing says victory like a glass of local wine.

wine train

Ride a Wine Train in Napa Valley

Step back in time on a vintage train to explore Wine Country in one of the most elegant ways. During this three-hour, 36-mile journey, the 1950s train chugs along from Napa to St. Helena. As the passenger cars pass through the Napa Valley vineyards, guests feast on gourmet meals with views of the rolling scenery and rows of grapevines. Those who reserve winery tours in advance can disembark at the stops along the train route to explore on foot and sample the region’s finest wines.

hot air balloon wine

Hot Air Balloon in Sonoma Valley

Take a Wine Country vacation to new heights by hopping into a hot air balloon and soaring above Sonoma Valley. Passengers typically begin the adventure at dawn, when the conditions are best for hot air ballooning. With a glass of champagne or mimosa in hand, watch the sun rise over the horizon and light up the vineyards below. For romance or just a thrill, this is the perfect way to kick start a day of wine tasting in Sonoma Valley.

Explore the Northern California region on water, wheels, or up in the air for a unique perspective of the grapevines. Whether you’re prepping your palette for the region’s wine selection or simply looking to marvel at the grape-laden landscape, embark on one of these adventures for a one-of-a-kind romp in Wine Country.

Written by an Expedia Staff Writer