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The Bounty of Napa County
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The Bounty of Napa County

Napa, California is full of natural wonders, culinary expertise, and luxurious lodging, and here's the best it!

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5 min read

February 14, 2022

Thirty miles of highway connect the six quaint towns responsible for the prestige of Napa in California. With plenty of natural wonders, distinctive climates, culinary expertise, and luxurious lodgings, there is no question of why Napa County draws several million visitors every year. Located just an hour north of the San Francisco Bay Area, the county draws visitors from faraway places as well as those from nearby towns itching for a staycation. The warmest time of the year in Napa, California coincides with the annual harvest and grape-stomping spectacles of September and October, leading to the busiest time of year in the valley. 

Napa County, once the producer of many different crops, is known for its regional wine industry, rising to the first rank of wine regions with France.

The History of Napa Valley

Napa Valley is legendary among connoisseurs of all things sumptuous. But do you ever wonder what Napa was like before being recognized as California’s Wine Valley? Well, as it turns out, the area’s love affair with grapes goes deep. While the first vines were planted in Napa, California back in the late 1700s by Father Junipero Serra, it was settler George Calvert Yount who took Napa’s grape-harvesting potential to the next level. And yes, Yountville, which is a culinary gem of a town, is named after him. Recognizing the land’s agricultural potential, a slew of other people started harvesting grapes and cultivating a history of wine the region is known for today. In fact, a number of Napa’s vineyards established around this time still exist and operate today!

This tremendous expansion was soon brought to a halt with the arrival of phylloxera, which destroyed more than 80 percent of Napa Valley vineyards. The 1920 alcohol prohibition further hindered the booming industry and most vineyards in Napa were abandoned over the next 14 years—only a handful of them continued to operate by producing sacramental wines. However, Napa, California slowly but steadily started recovering from the double blow in the 1930s with the efforts of locals, vintners, and otherwise.

Today, the county’s esteemed status in the wine industry is owed to the various soils and climates present throughout the region, as well as the people that work very hard to preserve Napa’s integrity and prosperity. Though only 30 miles long and 5 miles wide, the Napa Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) is subcategorized into 16 distinct AVAs, each with its own elevation, soil composition, temporal regions, and ultimately, its own terroir. 

From winery-owned guesthouses to luxury boutique hotels, you'll find the chicest and the most rustic hotels in Napa, California.

The Best Hotels in Napa

Between Napa’s high-end hotels redefining luxury by offering every amenity imaginable, Yountville’s fine-dining establishments drawing acclaimed chefs and food critics alike, and Calistoga’s spas featuring healing mineral waters from surrounding hot springs, the region prospers by highlighting its abundance of natural resources. Experience all this and more by booking a weekend stay at the best Napa Valley hotels.

Maison Fleurie

Address: 6529 Yount Street, Yountville

Set among landscaped gardens and comprising three lovely stone-and-brick buildings built in 1873, Maison Fleurie is an upscale bed and breakfast that perfectly embodies Napa, California’s country-chic ambiance. This Napa hotel seamlessly combines an inviting setting with signature amenities and gracious service, making it an absolutely spectacular lodging for your romantic getaway. Plus, this Napa hotel’s location allows you to access Yountville’s best shops and eateries within less than a 10-minute walk.

It's not only the wine that competes with the French, but also the quaint French countryside charm you can find in most of Napa's hospoitality.

Auberge du Soleil

Address: 180 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford

The most opulent Napa Valley hotel is hands down Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford. Inspired by the south of France and infused with California soul, this Napa hotel provides an exceptional experience in every way. Whether it’s with accommodation, service, dining, location, or views, Auberge du Soleil proves time and again that it deserves its esteemed reputation as one of the best hotels in Napa.

Archer Hotel Napa

Address: 1230 1st Street, Napa

Archer perfectly combines Wine Country chic with the amenities of an urban boutique hotel in Downtown Napa. The location of this Napa Valley hotel makes it ideal for those who are in town to experience the urban, walkable downtown and its bevy of innovative merchants, chefs, and tasting rooms. Did we mention this Napa hotel even has a rooftop spa?

Napa County hotels are guaranteed to bring serenity to your trip with stunning views and sunsets.

Harvest Inn

Address: 1 Main Street, St. Helena

Over in beautiful St. Helena, Harvest Inn sets the stage for unforgettable memories in California’s Wine Valley. The eight-acre resort offers something for everyone, featuring 81 deluxe guest rooms and suites surrounded by lush landscaping, botanical gardens, and fine art installations. Stay at this Napa Valley hotel and spend your days walking under redwood trees, savoring farm-to-table creations, relaxing poolside, and taking in the sweeping views of Napa vineyards—you won’t want to leave. 

What To Do In Napa, California

While the wine produced in this area is the reason for the county’s claim to fame, this distinction has allowed several other industries to flourish in their own right. Looking to fill your Napa itinerary? These are all the things you should do beyond visiting Napa Valley’s vineyards.

Discover high-value, artisanal products at the Oxbow Public Market, they also make for much better gifts than magnets to take back to friends and fami

1. Visit the Oxbow Public Market

A trip to Napa County is not complete without a visit to Oxbow Public Market. With artisanal products—including an array of locally made olive oils, fragrant soaps, fresh oysters, and craft coffee—the essence of the bountiful region can be discovered in just a few steps. 

They always say, dream big! Let your dreams take a flight and soar high in the sky of Napa County to experience Wine Country from above.

2. Take a Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

Take advantage of the slower months and soar high above the vines in a hot-air balloon to watch the sunrise over the 500-plus wineries of Napa County. Napa, California is perhaps the best destination in the state for a hot air balloon adventure, so you don’t want to miss this!

There are nearly just as many spa experiences to indulge in as there are wineries to visit. Ok, not that many, but still plenty!

3. Enjoy a Spa Day 

Boasting world-class facilities, many of the best hotels in Napa also house incredible spas complete with whirlpools, steam grottos, soothing water walls, and incredibly skilled masseuses. Don’t leave without booking yourself a relaxing treatment at a spa in town.

4. Treat Yourself to an Upscale Dining Experience

You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to fine dining in Napa, California. Several restaurants here have earned Michelin stars and span various cuisines from French and Italian to Japanese and even Brazilian. Without a doubt, Napa is the place to go if you’re looking to enjoy the meal of your dreams in a pristine setting.

5. Tour the Best Galleries in Napa, California

We all know that Napa Valley’s natural beauty is unmatched. However, beyond Napa’s vineyards and panoramic hills, a whole different kind of beauty lies inside its eclectic art galleries. You don’t have to be an art aficionado to appreciate the creations. Enjoy a day exploring the impressive range of local and international paintings and sculptures from contemporary artists and you’ll have a newfound appreciation of the art scene in Napa, California.

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