One of the great things about having a winery in Napa Valley is that you get to play tour guide for all of the people who come visit. I keep handy a list of my favorite places and activities that I think our guests would enjoy, and I get the chance to pull it out often. Of course there are tons of wineries worth visiting in Napa, from the beautiful and elegant to the rustic and simple, and all of them will let you taste fantastic Napa Valley wine. But there are some non-wine-related places that I like to recommend to visitors, too. We keep a pinboard on Pinterest called “While You’re in Town” with these ideas and others for our visitors. We update it frequently, adding new favorites, so if you’re interested in places to go in Napa Valley, you’ll want to check it often.
Here are some of my current favorites:
The Model Bakery – St. Helena – Don’t even think about starting a day of wine tasting without a cappuccino and famous English muffin from this place.
Woodhouse Chocolates – St. Helena – One word: Exquisite.
Café Sarafornia – Calistoga – Just down the road from the winery is the most down-home, comforting diner I know, with the best food. The Huevos Rancheros are famous for a reason (They’re not bad as a wine over-consumption cure, either).
La Condesa – St. Helena – I know what you’re thinking: Gourmet Mexican food? Who needs it; I like my burrito place on the corner just fine, thanks. But this is worth a stop. Try the to-die-for mole: deep, complex, and thoroughly yummy.
Gott’s Roadside – St. Helena – It’s not much to look at, and on summer weekends the lines often run through the parking lot and down the street, but for a good reason: don’t leave Napa Valley without a stop for a hamburger (or ahi tuna burger, or fish tacos – all delicious) at Gott’s Roadside in St. Helena. Yes, it’s that good.
Robert Louis Stevenson Park – Calistoga – Take a day off wine tasting and hike to the top of Mt. St. Helena. The 10.2-mile round trip with a 2,000-foot elevation gain is tough, but will reward you with a mesmerizing view of the valley from the top of the mountain. On your way up, remind yourself that you’ve got a glass of wine and the hot springs of Calistoga waiting for you when you get back.