Napa Valley Insider

As a destination, you might come for the wine, but you’ll stay for everything else Napa Valley has to offer. don’t just take our word for it—hear from the people who work and live here every day.

“There are great trails at Bothe- Napa Valley State Park that go along the Richie Creek Canyon, or you can head up Mount Saint Helena. take Highway 29 toward Lake County and just at the county line, there are hikes that go in both directions with extraordinary vistas up at the north end of the valley. You can go to the top of Saint Helena but you don’t have to go all the way to get beautiful views and a feel for the volcanic activity that would have occurred all these years ago. Heading south from the parking lot at the shoulder, you go to table Rock and the Palisades, and again you can walk 10 miles.”

“The quality of the produce at the St. Helena farmers’ market held at Crane Park is unbelievable and one of the many reasons we love living here.”

“Napa Valley Fly Guides by Richard Loft. He knows all the fishing hot spots in Napa!”

: There is a truism in photography–early in the day and late in the day. Close to sunset and sunrise. The sun is at the right angle for long shadows. It’s not as harsh, a softer light, and it’s very beautiful. And at that time of day, on a good day, anywhere you turn is a beautiful picture. In the wintertime, as the sun is already at an angle, you can get beautiful pics all day long.
Places: Anywhere off Highway 29 or the Silverado Trail onto the other lanes–there is vista after vista and beautiful setting after beautiful setting. A great place for a photographer.

“Napa County has a new Vine Trail that will eventually run the length of the country. For the moment, if you want a nice easy route, you can run the trail from Downtown Napa through Kennedy Park and back. It’s a long, flat run along the river. In the summer, a great place to run is Carneros, as it is always so much cooler due to the influence of the bay. There is also a nice trail at Stanly lane that takes you around the vineyards.”

“Napa is one of the more beautiful places to fly over. And in some respects, the real action is up in the hills that you can only see by plane. All those hillside vineyards are so unique with estates tucked up in them. Take an aerial tour with the Napa Jet Center located at the Napa Airport.”

“Napa Valley has really evolved over the years in terms of performing arts. Check out the Uptown Theatre and the Opera House, which has now been taken over by City Winery. Their new program is live music and comedy acts. Lincoln Theater is also a great venue–this is where they hold CabFest each year. Also the Napa Valley Chamber Music season runs from November to the end of April.”

“THE CIA (Culinary Institute of American) is amazing. The building alone is a sight to see! Head inside for a bite, take a one-day cooking class, or just check out the scenery. It’s pretty unique to see all of the students learning about cooking with the same attention our winemakers give their work!”

“The Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company in St. Helena is a long-standing family business. Run by and pick up their oils, or stay and have lunch on the patio!”

“Napa Valley is a great place to ride horses. There are trails at the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, and up in Angwin there is a open space by Pacific Union College with lots of trails too. The most advanced equestrian center in the valley is Diamond Mountain stables in Calistoga. They have hunters and jumpers as well as offer family riding lessons.”


“The counter at Soscol Café (632 soscol avenue) for a huge, greasy breakfast!”

“Gott’s for classic burgers you can eat picnic-style at benches.”

“Oysters on the deck at Hog island at the Oxbow.”

“Fume Bistro is definitely a locals’ hangout.”

“A great margarita and chips-and-guac combo at La Condesa in St. Helena.”

“Cook is a local gem, and you’ll find supernice Chef Jude Wilmoth working there almost every day.”

“Cole’s Chop House for fantastic steaks.”

“Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. Cindy is an iconic chef in Napa Valley, and we love
to support her.”

“Head to Yountville and your choice of fine-dining establishment and styles of cooking are endless, plus they are all top-notch, Michelin-starred places like Bistro Jeanty, Bistro Don Giovanni, Bouchon, and so much more. Pretty spectacular for farm country.”

A complete list of places to enjoy Napa vVlley wines at the table can be found at after all, if your food can come from a stone’s throw away, shouldn’t your wine as well?

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