The Best Things to Do in Napa Valley
Collected by AFAR Editors, AFAR Staff
California wine country has more going for it than just vineyards and wineries. The region is rich in natural landscapes, cultural sites, and buzzy little towns worth exploration. Indulge in a spa treatment, a bike ride down sunny lanes, a wine-tasting on a terrace, maybe a little shopping, and finish up with a dinner at an award-winning restaurant. One day is enough to intoxicate you with this mixed-up destination—sophisticated food, beautiful resorts and hotels, and working vineyards and farms—and one day is only your first sip. Cheers!
Napa Valley, CA, USA
When you think of Napa Valley, world-class wineries and Michelin-starred restaurants immediately come to mind. But there is more—much more—to this luxurious and revered destination that only a true insider can access. This January, AFAR...
500 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
The Culinary Institute of America opened in the former Copia building in 2017, and, in doing so, resuscitated a vision of a foodie attraction in downtown Napa that celebrates the valley’s long and colorful epicurean history. The...
8815 Conn Creek Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573, USA
Before there can be quality wine, or even quality grapes, there needs to be quality dirt. Frog’s Leap Winery is located in one of the most coveted patches of dirt in the Napa Valley — Rutherford. Which is why, when you visit, owner John Williams...
100 Rapp Ln, Napa, CA 94558, USA
Open-to-the-public horseback riding is hard to find in Napa Valley, but this outfitter based out of Shadybrook Estate, just east of Napa, fills the need. It offers 30- or 50-minute tours of Rapp Ranch Estate, a sprawling vineyard...
1340 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Cameo Cinema, a one-screen theater on St. Helena’s Main Street, has been showing movies almost continuously since 1913. Today, the meticulously maintained theater (complete with red velvet chairs and house-made popcorn) screens everything...
5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Yes, Napa Valley is known for its wine, but the Di Rosa Preserve highlights the art of Northern California. Rene and Veronica di Rosa had a personal passion for art and artists. Their home, the Di Rosa Preserve, became the focal point not only for...
4411 Redwood Rd, Napa, CA 94558, USA
Yes, the Hess Collection in Napa makes wine and sells it under the same name. But really, the brand is about something equally wonderful in entirely different ways: modern art. Owner and entrepreneur Donald Hess began collecting art in the 1960s,...
1275 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
There’s something romantic about train travel isn’t there? And when the journey is on tracks that have been around for more than 150 years in one of the word's most scenic wine regions, the ride is even sweeter. If you’re looking...
1490 Library Ln, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Author Robert Louis Stevenson's connection to Napa Valley is celebrated at the eponymous museum, a modest building near the public library on the outskirts of St. Helena, and highlights the summer he spent squatting in an abandoned...
1350 3rd St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Originally built as a movie theater in 1937, the Uptown Theatre in Downtown Napa once attracted stars like Clark Gable and Marion Davies, both on the screen and in the seats. Today, it is arguably the best place to see live music in Napa Valley....
Silverado Trail, California, USA
The rolling hills of Napa Valley make for great hiking--they're not too tall, so it's not too strenuous, but the views of the vineyards and surrounding nature are priceless. If you have the good fortune to visit more than once, in different...
7000 Newell Dr, American Canyon, CA 94503, USA
This expanse of marshland runs parallel to the Napa River in the city of American Canyon, which is located due south of downtown Napa and is the southernmost city in Napa County overall. Technically, the area is part of an interconnected watershed...
1924 Yajome St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Some of the best beans in the country can be found in downtown Napa at Rancho Gordo which sells heirloom and organic beans, as well as corn, grains, and herbs, all native to North and Central America. A retail store in a warehouse on the north end...
3801 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Situated on the east side of the Mayacamas Mountains between Calistoga and St. Helena, the 1,900-acre Bothe–Napa Valley State Park offers something that’s otherwise hard to find in the valley: open space. The park features miles...
1311 Washington St, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
The colorful history of Calistoga is front and center at the modest Sharpsteen Museum, whose exhibits cover the town's founding up to the early 20th century, including its time as a hot springs resort in the 1860s, and extensive dioramas show...
1507 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Calistoga’s most storied mineral baths are the centerpiece of what has become Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort, fittingly named after a chiropractor from San Francisco. Most visitors still come for the day spa, which is split...
1821 Monticello Rd, Napa, CA 94558, USA
Napa Valley artist Gordon Huether has become famous for his large-scale sculptures and works of public art made of metal and glass. In recent years, he has “downsized,” focusing on smaller-size projects with fine detail....
Napa, CA, USA
Dunn-Wildlake Ranch Preserve is part of the expanse of land on the east side of Napa Valley, owned by the Land Trust of Napa County. While most of the trust's land is closed to the public, portions of Dunn-Wildlake (and another parcel, named the...
1299 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
No, this isn’t the Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. But it is a naturally occurring geyser powered by a subterranean volcano, and it does go off every 20 to 30 minutes without fail, making it, you guessed...
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