Set against the backdrop of sun-kissed rolling hills and historic architecture, Napa, CA, is a postcard-perfect destination for travelers far and wide. It's also an American Viticultural Area which, simply translated, means grapes used to make wine reign in this region. Thousands travel to Napa just to tour sprawling vineyards and sample world-class wines. But, there's more to the area than just Sangioveses and Syrahs.
Home to a bountiful array of Queen Anne, Victorian, Italianate and Craftsman-style homes, Napa showcases grand architecture at every turn. George Webber, a local historian sporting his trademark top hat, vest and pocket watch, leads the three-hour Napa Walking Tour and delivers an entertaining and historical look at the town and its buildings.
Stops along the tour include the Napa River Walk, a promenade with spectacular views of the Napa River, and Main and First Streets where the Napa Valley Opera House is located. While touring the downtown area, you can catch a glimpse of Napa ARTwalk and this year's installation entitled "Momentum: Art That Move(s) Us." Consisting of 13 three-dimensional sculptures, each piece showcases kinetic works that imply movement.
Of course, no trip to Napa would be complete without a tour and taste at one of the over 600 wineries and vineyards. It's completely possible to spend your entire getaway traversing the valley and stopping by large-scale vineyards to sip and learn about the different varietals. One unique way to explore the scenery is to take a seat on a Napa Valley Bike Tour. An experienced tour guide will take you off-roading through a few vineyard fields and by a wildlife refuge. There's also the Napa Valley Wine Train that offers a three-hour, 36-mile trip through the valley where you can savor a romantic gourmet lunch or dinner on the way.
With the holidays right around the corner, Napa is gearing up for some festive fun. On November 21, you can enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and other seasonal treats while watching Napa's mayor light the city's tree during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Veterans Park. "Do you hear what I hear?" will be the theme of the Downtown Napa Christmas Parade, taking place on Saturday, November 24. Festively dressed cars and horses along with holiday-themed floats will make their way through the streets vying for prizes and ushering in the season. On December 1, Napa's Holiday Historic Tour & Taste Event will give you a chance to admire the seasonal display of decorations at 12 historic inns while sampling the offerings provided by some of the area's premiere chefs and winemakers.
Here are six Napa bed and breakfasts you'll encounter on the house tour's epicurean trail.
--Mary White, CEO and founder, BnBFinder.com