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What Not to Do in Napa Valley

by Christina Henry

Let yourself get stranded too far afield

The Napa Valley may be narrow, but it's 30 miles long, with no freeway. The town of Napa is at the southern end, and Calistoga is to the north, with Yountville and St. Helena in between. Healdsburg is even further beyond Calistoga, and well over an hour from downtown Napa. Before you press the "Book" button, map your hotel's precise location in relation to the wineries and towns you want to visit.

Select a hotel midway up the valley

For easy access to a high concentration of wineries, plus downtown Napa's restaurant scene and St. Helena's shops, choose a hotel between Yountville and St. Helena. The Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford holds court halfway up the valley. Rooms start at around $750 per night in summer, but if you're not quite up for that kind of splurge, fear not. The Cottages of Napa Valley (pictured) are just south of Rutherford in Yountville, and the eight bungalows give you the faux-rustic comforts the valley is known for, at around $300 a night in high season. Solage Calistoga, on the northern edge of the valley's main attractions, is decidedly more modern (polished concrete floors instead of hardwood, a dearth of floral accents), with high-season rates starting at around $400. If you plan to spend the bulk of your time in the increasingly upscale town of Healdsburg, options include the French-country Les Mars Hôtel and the stark Hotel Healdsburg, both located right near the main plaza.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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