For a place that’s meant to be quintessentially romantic, Napa can often feel overwhelming, with its myriad wineries, numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, many winding trails to bike and hike, and hot springs to sooth aching muscles. But at Milliken Creek, the pace finally slows and the checklist disappears. A 12-room inn of classic clapboard buildings nestled between the trees along the picturesque Napa River, it’s the kind of place that induces an instinctive sigh of relief, as if upon arriving home. Honeymooners could easily spend a day in their spacious, luxurious suite, from the moment a freshly cooked gourmet breakfast appears on the riverview terrace until the massage therapist arrives for a couples massage later that afternoon. Then end the day meandering down to the quiet riverfront lounge chairs for a sunset glass of wine.
If the pull of one of those Michelin-starred restaurants is too much to resist, the concierge will handle the phone acrobatics required to get a reservation. Not sure which wineries to stop at? The concierge can find a few you’re guaranteed to love, and maybe you’ll even get a private tour. So, pour another glass of wine (or let the visiting vintner of the day do it for you) and take Napa at your own speed.
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Milliken Creek feels almost surprisingly secluded considering how well-placed it is: a few minutes off Highway 29 (Napa Valley’s main thoroughfare), between the winery-lined Silverado Trail and the banks of the picturesque Napa River, and just north of the city of Napa’s downtown. In other words, there’s little except scenic nature in the immediate vicinity, but everything you could want to visit is within an easy drive. So, go hiking, biking, and hot-air ballooning all day long, stop into some wineries that sound good (Luna Vineyards and Reynolds Family Winery are both nearby), and then take your pick of evening outings: northward to Yountville for dinner at the likes of Bouchon or Ad Hoc, or southward into Napa to somewhere like Morimoto.
Need to Know
Rooms: 12 rooms, seven suites. From $299. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: As a bed-and-breakfast, the inn doesn’t have a full restaurant, but a made-to-order gourmet breakfast is served to your room, balcony, riverfront lounger, or anywhere else on the grounds you’d like to start the day. Every evening, the inn also hosts a “Magic Hour” of wine and cheese, with local winemakers on hand to pour and talk about their wines. The living room in the main house also doubles as a house bar, and premium ports are poured nightly as nightcaps. Spa and gym details: Open only to guests of the inn, the spa offers a range of natural, organic beauty and wellness treatments, many of which can be conducted in your room or in the riverside cabana. The B&B does not have a gym, but it offers free passes to a nearby fitness club that has a lap pool and group classes, in addition to all the regular equipment.
Who it’s best for: Independent couples on romantic weekend getaways. Our favorite rooms: The Luxury Rooms in the south building are the largest and most private suites at the inn, and those on the top floor have private balconies with scenic views of the Napa River. A place to relax: The inn may not have a pool, but it does have extensive riverfront gardens equipped with loungers and umbrellas, so guests can soak up the sun and the view.