Travel / April 23, 2019

Napa Valley Spring in St. Helena

Image: Visit Napa Valley

It is officially spring in Napa Valley. Buds are breaking, flowers are blooming and warm weather is in the air. Whether you’re planning to day trip, spend a weekend, or a week in this beautiful wine valley, there’s always plenty to do. Whether it’s food, wine, shopping, recreation, arts or entertainment, the only problem is, how to plan your itinerary. Assuming you’ll spend some time wine tasting and fine dining—maybe a spa visit or two—we thought we’d explore more casual dining, shopping and exploring options.

Our first Napa Valley destination is St. Helena, a perfectly charming walkable town at the north end of Napa Valley. Vintners, chefs, artists, local businesspeople and families make up this small town, giving it a hometown feeling. If you’re staying in St. Helena, you can easily occupy a day just walking along Main Street, exploring everything this little spot of heaven has to offer.

Next edition: Summer in the Town of Napa

Image: Napa Valley Olive Oil Company

Napa Valley Olive Oil Company

Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company is an authentic, old school Italian grocery store founded in 1931 and hidden away on a dead end (turn at Charter Oak restaurant on Main Street and follow the street a few blocks until you see the white barn). They carry prosciutto, salami, sausages, breads, cheeses, peppers, wine, and pastas imported from Italy, and of course, Napa Valley Olive Oil, made the same way since the very beginning and available by the jug. Cash only.

Image: Giugni W F & Son Grocery Yelp

Giugni’s

Guaranteed you will never find another sandwich like the one you’ll find at Giugni’s—that’s because it’s built to your personal specifications with plenty of protein, bread, cheese and condiment choices. Located on Main Street in St. Helena, this funky deli spot is famous for its special recipe secret sauce called “Giugni Juice.” Don’t forget to ask for it on your sandwich. Cash only.

Image: The Model Bakery

Model Bakery

Main Street institution Model Bakery serves any number of casual breakfast/lunch dishes, house made breads and sweet treats, but they’re world-famous for their English muffins—thanks to Oprah raving about them on her 2017 favorite things list. Go early—this place get jammed especially on the weekend.

Image: Gott’s

Gott’s Roadside

You may never have been to a burger stand quite like Gott’s. You can’t miss it on the left on Main Street as you drive into St. Helena. There very well might be dozens of people on line but never fear, the line moves fast. From gourmet burgers and fries to fish tacos to Fearless Franks, Gott’s has a casual, alfresco ambience not to mention a killer wine (and beer) list. Plenty of shaded picnic seating.

Image: Sunshine Foods Market

Sunshine Foods Market

The perfect place to grab some gourmet snacks, cheeses, local produce and general grocery items with an impressive selection of Napa Valley wines, beer and spirits. Sunshine Foods Market is located on Main Street in the little shopping center with Wells Fargo Bank.

Main Street St. Helena, Image: Visit California
Image: Visit California

Main Street Shopping

Main Street is the place for retail therapy. From Napa Soap Company to Woodhouse Chocolates and dozens of shops in between, you could spend a couple of hours wandering in and out of the stores. If you love to cook, be sure to check out Steve’s Hardware. Yep, hardware in St. Helena means a cooking section to rival Sur la Table and William Sonoma. Goop recommended!

Image: Cameo Cinema

Cameo Cinema St. Helena

This intimate, historic movie theater on St. Helena’s Main Street was founded in 1913. Today, Cameo Cinema boasts a state-of-the-art film viewing experience, comfy, cushiony seats and wine with your popcorn. Films range from blockbusters to art house. Films change every two days.

Hike Napa Valley

If you feel in need of a little Mother Nature, Napa Valley has dozens of gorgeous trails all over the valley from Napa to Calistoga. Spring just might be peak hiking season, for wildflowers and great weather, so get out there and hike off some of that great wine and food! Check this guide for great recommendations.

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