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When to Visit Napa
For the true wine connoisseur, the perfect time to visit the Napa Valley may be "crush time" in the fall when grape vines show off their autumnal colors, and you can watch your favorite winery turn its grape harvest into fine Cabernets and Chardonnays. Spring in the Napa Valley is delightful too; winter rains and the lengthening days have worked their magic on the wildflower seeds, blanketing the hillsides with thick clusters of bright orange California poppies and purple lupine.Historical and Cultural Attractions
The name "Napa" refers to a county and city as well as the valley where many of this country's finest domestic wines are produced. The city boasts some well-preserved 19th century homes and commercial structures as well as the wonderful Oxbow Market where you can sample locally made delicacies like charcuterie and chocolate truffles. However, Napa Valley's top attractions are its wineries. Their appeal is not only in their tasting rooms but also in their buildings. Castello di Amorosa is an authentically styled Tuscan castle, complete with defensive turrets, a moat, a drawbridge, and a chapel.
Schramsberg Vineyards Estate, a registered historic landmark, is one of the oldest vineyards in the Napa Valley; its founder, Jacob Schram, was an acquaintance of the author Robert Louis Stevenson. The Robert Mondavi Winery is a showcase for artists like Beniamino Bufano and Wayne Thiebaud, and it features a celebrated concert series throughout the warm nights of summer. Both wineries are stops on the Napa Valley Wine Train, a unique traveling restaurant.
Robert Louis Stevenson was briefly a resident of the Napa Valley, and the abandoned mining area where he and his wife spent their honeymoon in 1880 is now Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, a haven for hikers. Napa Valley is also famous for its many hot-air balloon ride providers.Best Napa Resorts and Their Amenities
Travelers come to Napa Valley to relax and be pampered, and Napa resorts reflect that. Long before the area became famous for its wines, it was famous for its geothermal springs, so you'll find many Napa spa resorts that offer hot volcanic mud baths in addition to more familiar spa treatments like massages and facials. There's no better place to find a great Napa resort and spa than on Expedia.com. Many Napa resorts also offer all-inclusive deals that package your food, drink, room, and many different amenities for one low price.Exploring the Wine Country
At the base of Mount St. Helena, 25 miles north of the city of Napa, sits the town of Calistoga, CA. Visit the Sharpsteen Museum to get an idea of what Calistoga was like during the 1860s when the first Napa spa resorts were developed. If you'd like to go back even farther in time, explore the Petrified Forest. It was once the site of a thick redwood forest before a volcano erupted 3.4 million years ago and turned the trees into stone.
Sophisticated St. Helena is home to Napa Valley's prime shopping destinations in addition to more than a dozen local wineries. Main Street's boutique retail stores and galleries show off local artisans and artists. The town also boasts a small museum with exhibits and artifacts documenting the life of Robert Louis Stevenson, before, during, and after his sojourn in the Napa Valley. When you're ready to make a similar journey, visit Expedia.com for top prices on cheap flights, resorts, and hotels in Napa.