What’s Old Is New Again at the Napa River Inn

Exterior of the Napa River Inn

Exterior of the Napa River Inn

There’s nothing I love more than an immersive vacation experience—one that transports you to a time and place that connects you with the past in a palpable way while adhering to modern standards and expectations. This is what I encountered during my stay at the historic Napa River Inn in downtown Napa Valley. But, don’t let the quaintness of this locally owned, antique-laden boutique hotel fool you. This property is downtown Napa's highest Michelin-rated hotel, which also nailed a four-star rating in the 2015 Forbes Travel Guide.



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Healdsburg Is Happening

Boutiques, restaurants, and tasting rooms line the streets in downtown Healdsburg

Boutiques, restaurants, and tasting rooms line the streets in downtown Healdsburg

Healdsburg is hot. This verdant area has award-winning wines, acclaimed restaurants, a zeal for local products, and friendly residents. And it’s an easy drive from San Francisco—when you gauge the traffic correctly.

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Charming St. Helena

Tree-lined Main Street in St. Helena

Tree-lined Main Street in St. Helena

It’s the perfect time to visit wine country—no crowds, no unbearable heat, and no traffic. Usually bustling with tourists and cars inching along Main Street, St. Helena’s popular restaurants, prime parking spots, and space at the wine bar in your favorite tasting room are all available at this time of year.

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Find Tranquility in Bodega Bay

Boats docked in Bodega Bay

Boats docked in Bodega Bay

Once you’re beyond California’s Highway 101 and headed west to Bodega Bay, the drive is through open farm and ranch land, orchards, and vineyards—serenity in every direction. Then it’s over the hills and to the coast. If you’re lucky, there’s no fog and you can see the harbor and the Pacific Ocean shimmering just beyond. Alternatively (and on a clear day) take Highway 1 up the coast for a stunning drive.

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It’s Time for Downtown Napa

Napa’s riverfront

Napa’s riverfront

If you’re in the mood for a wine country getaway that doesn’t require you to drive after you’ve arrived, then downtown Napa is the place—just stash your keys and relax. On a good traffic day, make the drive from San Francisco in an hour. And after the recent earthquake, Napa needs your support. Visit and help out the local economy.

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