Located between Calistoga and Rutherford, St. Helena is known by locals as “Napa Valley’s Main Street.” Stroll the downtown area and you’ll find numerous shops, art galleries, fashion boutiques, cafés, and candy stores housed in historic buildings. One “can’t miss” stop is Woodhouse Chocolates, where you can find tiny edible unicorns.
St. Helena was named “Best of California’s Wine Country” by Travel and Leisure Magazine … and rightfully so. St. Helena boats numerous wineries, including the iconic Merryvale Vineyards, which was the first winery in the valley to open after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. You can also visit Hall Wines, which showcases edgy art, sculptures, and a “glass house” tasting room. If you go, be sure to greet the mascot Bunny Foo Foo, a 35-foot-tall stainless-steel rabbit at the winery entry.
For literary lovers, there’s the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, located next to the local library. In 1880, the future author of Treasure Islandfound an abandoned shack in Silverado, a remote mining ghost town on Mount Saint Helena. Penniless, he lived there with his wife for many weeks. In 1883, he published a memoir of his stay, The Silverado Squatters. Today, many of his artifacts are on display at the museum.
St. Helena has a plethora of dining options too. In fact, many of the great chefs found in Napa Valley and around the world come from St. Helena and the world-famous Culinary Institute of America campus. Be sure to visit the Gatehouse Restaurant located on the campus to indulge in the creations of budding chefs. No mater how long you stay in St. Helena, you’ll agree that this town embodies the soul of Napa Valley.
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