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The Best Kept Secrets Of California Wine Country: St. Helena & Calistoga

BY NADIA CHO

Wine tasting room in Calistoga

St. Helena and Calistoga are two towns north of Downtown Napa that embody all the cozy, welcoming feels of North Bay wine country without all the heavy tourism of central Napa Valley. They’re both much smaller than Napa Valley as each has a downtown area that only spans one street, but they’re incredibly charming, tranquil and affordable; definite must-sees for those who wish to profoundly explore California wine country.

SEE ALSO: How To: Last-Minute Napa On A Budget

St. Helena is like a romantic town stuck in simpler times as its Main Street is lined with gorgeous boutiques, small restaurants, candy shops, hotels and a classic movie theater, all of which are local businesses as large chain franchises are no longer allowed. Calistoga has more of a rustic, country feel with low-rise houses and shops and various antiques and wares displayed outside for those who walk by.

The 7-mile drive between the two towns is absolutely wonderful as you pass by tree tunnels, fields of grapevines with roses, beautiful mountains of the North Bay and The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone which offers restaurants led by students of the school’s prestigious programs.

So next time you’re planning a trip to Napa County, try bypassing the usual, well-known spots and seek out something more tranquil. Because the more north you go up in wine country, the more peaceful and scenic it gets!

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Photos: Nadia Cho

Nadia Cho contributor profile

 

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Categories: Foodies

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