About St. Helena

Affectionately known as the heart of Napa Valley, St. Helena is home to legendary wineries named for the valley’s founding families, romantic world-class restaurants, and a charming historic downtown in a community that celebrates the finest in wine country hospitality, culinary adventure, the arts, health and wellness. Welcome to St. Helena. Welcome to the heart of the Napa Valley.

Given the mild climate and the good weather year-round in these parts, there’s always something interesting going on. Usually, several things at the same time. The most difficult part of visiting St. Helena, therefore, may be figuring out which to choose.

If you’re looking for high adventure, our balloon rides are hard to top. Taking off on a calm morning, you feel like creation is unfolding below you.  It’s quite an experience.  All the valley is also at your disposal if you’re on foot.  The Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is a treasure trove for nature lovers and, in fact, the Napa Valley has not one climate but three!  Within park confines you can travel from lush, moist glades blooming with trillium and redwood orchids in the spring and, with a few miles, be traversing chaparral and sagebrush.  History will frequently be your companion, especially if you visit the park named after Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and Kidnapped.

Closer to civilization, latter-day activities abound, including hiking, biking, tennis, golf, swimming, picnics and tours of local haunts such as Long Meadow Ranch, which dates back to 1872 and still produces wine, olive oil and grass-fed beef.  If you love learning things, your hostelry may offer a course in appreciating wines from its resident master sommelier.  Many wineries do the same.  The Culinary Institute of America is another great source of interesting lectures and week-long seminars; this year the C.I.A. offered a week-long program on Spanish food and every hotel in the valley was booked.  It was that good.

Or if, like Mark Twain, you don’t favor any exercise “other than sleeping and resting,” you needn’t exert yourself.  Indulge in a spa treatment and chill out. If shopping isn’t too much of an exertion, our historic downtown district has a remarkable collection of clothing, arts, food, furniture, accessories and what have you in three blocks. And for our visitors who are ambitious and indolent in equal measure—who want to see the sights of the valley and yet not have to stress out driving—we recommend a limousine tour of wineries or our famous wine train.  Both are great fun and there’s little exercise required beyond lifting a glass to your lips.  In either case, it will be a grand day.


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St. Helena is one of the most visited vacation destinations in the world for good reason. We suggest that you come see for yourself.