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9 Hidden Gems in Napa Valley

9 Hidden Gems in Napa Valley

Here are 9 Napa Valley hidden gems to help you discover wine country from a new perspective.

Roubina Al Abashian


5 min read

February 19, 2022

Most Wine Country itineraries start in vineyards and end in tasting rooms, but the best ones take you on an exploration of Napa Valley’s hidden gems. The region packs plenty of attractions you don’t know about—all you have to do is look past the tourists. If you thought you knew the area like the back of your hand, these Napa Valley hidden gems might just prove you wrong. Leave your wine glass behind because you’re about to see a different side of the valley.  

Lake Berryessa is more than 20,000 acres when full and approximately 15.5 miles long and three miles wide.

1.  Lake Berryessa

Location: Vaca Mountains

Despite being the largest body of freshwater in Wine Country, Lake Berryessa is still a hidden Napa Valley gem. Considered to be one of the best boating lakes in California, this is the perfect place to beat the heat. Water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing are a few of the fun sports to enjoy here, even when the weather gets rough. Meanwhile, the coves are perfect for kayaking, swimming, and fishing during spring and summer. Lake Berryessa is a weird place to visit in California as well thanks to its Glory Hole. The opening that looks like a portal to another world is actually an inverted sink which resembles a whirlpool when the water gets high. If you want to see the phenomena, check the water levels before arriving—these don’t occur very often.

2. Linda Falls

Location: Angwin

Tucked high in the hills of Angwin, on the western side of Howell Mountain, you’ll find one of the most spectacular natural gems of Napa, Linda Falls. Water from the Conn Creek spills over crystalline steps and into the pools below, creating a natural marvel—the best time to visit the waterfall is during rainy seasons when the water flow is at its heaviest. Hike to this stunning Northern California waterfall by following the short and easy trail at the Linda Falls Preserve.  

Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company provides local olive oil in St. Helena

3. Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company

Location: 835 Charter Oak Avenue, St. Helena

The fertile land of Napa Valley not only produces the best grapes, but the finest olives too—that’s why people come here to purchase the best olive oils in and around the Bay area. As for tasting the richest of them all, head to the Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company. Here, your taste buds will indulge in the creme de la creme with a side of freshly baked baguettes and artisanal cheese. The family-owned business makes oils in a myriad of flavors like garlic, black truffle, and blood orange. Make sure to buy a bottle or two of your favorite flavors—your salads will never taste the same again.

Give yourself a much-needed break and soak in thermal mineral waters

4. Indian Springs Calistoga

Location: 1712 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga

Napa Valley’s rich soil is as perfect for your skin and soul as it is for grapes and olives. The north end of the valley has high volcanic ash content, resulting in relaxing mud baths. Plan the perfect digital detox in California and head to Indian Springs Calistoga to enjoy the tranquility. This hidden gem in Napa Valley invites you to take mud baths followed by soaking in the resort’s thermal mineral waters. 

5. Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum

Location: 500 1st Street, Napa

Seeking the best things to do in Wine Country that don’t involve wine? Make your way to the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum. Famous cookbook author and editor Chuck Williams is the mastermind behind this strange museum in California—he donated over 4,000 pieces of cookware for his project. Here, you’ll get transported into another world, where you’ll encounter whimsical tureens shaped like boar’s heads, a duck press, and more obscure kitchenware. 

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park contains the farthest inland coast redwoods in a California state park.

6. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Location: 3801 St. Helena Highway, Calistoga

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is a hidden gem in Napa Valley that outdoor enthusiasts love to explore on any given day. The underrated state park has acres of coastal redwood forests and miles of gorgeous hiking trails. Walk through the towering redwood trees and moving creeks to enjoy the beauty of Napa Valley away from the crowds. Don’t forget to pack a basket and enjoy a picnic under the trees—bring a tent if you’re planning to spend the night at the park. 

7. La Luna Market and Taqueria

Location: 1153 Rutherford Road, Rutherford

There’s no shortage of Mexican markets in Napa Valley, but La Luna Market and Taqueria is the best of them all—we promise you’ll never taste a burrito as divine. Make your way to the back counter to build your own burrito, quesadilla, tacos, or torta—you can choose from more than 20 types of meat for the perfect stuffing. If anything, you’ll end up creating the ultimate Mexican meal that you’ll rave about for a while.

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park was once the center of social activity as Napa Valley settlers gathered to have their corn and wheat ground.

8. Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park

Location: 3369 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena

Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park introduces you to the early development of the region. The California state historic park is home to Napa’s famous mill, which was built in 1846 by Edward Turner Bale. The mill was a place where the community would come together to turn grain into flour. Centuries later, the mill is still functional, and you can even stop by the shop and buy local flour. The hidden gem in Napa Valley also boasts a few hiking trails worth exploring—don’t forget to put on your sturdy hiking shoes.

9. Yountville Art Walk

Location: 6550 Yount Street, Yountville

Since 2009, Napa Valley visitors have been enjoying the creative artwork of local artists thanks to the Yountville Art Walk. This colorful tour features more than 40 sculptures scattered from one end of the town to the other. Start the tour at Washington Street, where a big portion of the artwork is displayed. The rest are randomly placed in a two-mile radius—the entire tour takes around two hours to complete. You can also rely on the online guided tour for directions and general descriptions of each piece. As you enjoy touring the outdoor sculpture gallery, remember that you can buy any piece you like—and don’t worry, a new piece will replace the one you purchased soon after. 

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