St. Helena Guide, Napa California

If you plan on visiting the Napa area, I highly recommend staying in St. Helena. St. Helena is a quaint town located about 30 minutes north of Napa. The main street is lined with historic brick buildings, delicious restaurants, cute cafes, art galleries, and many shops. Yes, the town is a lot quieter and less busy than Napa, but that is why I loved it so much. Not to mention it is very close to some of the oldest operating wineries in Napa! This St. Helena Guide will cover everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable trip.

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Three to four days is an ideal amount of time for a vacation to St. Helena Napa. This will allow you enough time to have a long-weekend getaway to explore, taste wine, and still have time to relax, and even enjoy a mud bath spa day!



If you live within driving distance, then the easiest option is to drive to St. Helena.


Most likely you will be arriving by plane. The closest airports are in San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento. I recommend flying into one of those airports, renting a car, and driving to St. Helena. You will need a car for this itinerary (when driving sober of course). The drive is about 1.5 to 2 hours long from any of the above listed airports to St. Helena.


St. Helena is a smaller town and has a limited selection of hotels. I suggest booking far in advance because they do tend to book up quickly. Here are all the hotel options in St. Helena. I listed my top favorite hotels below as well:

Inn St Helena

This Inn is an 8-room bed and breakfast located right in downtown St. Helena.

Wydown Hotel

The Wydown Hotel offers guests a modern take on the classic wine country getaway. This 12-room boutique hotel is located directly in downtown St. Helena.

Harvest Inn

Harvest Inn St. Helena captures the charm of Napas vineyards.

Wine Country Inn Napa Valley

Tucked away, the Wine Country Inn Napa Valley is romantic and secluded. The property is quintessential wine country, with spectacular vineyard views. Indulge in daily country breakfasts and take a dip in the swimming pool or hot tub. 

Vineyard Country Inn

Situated on over an acre of lushly landscaped grounds including over 100 cabernet vines, Vineyard Country Inn is a great place to stay. The Inn offers 20 boutique-style suites and a swimming pool on site.

Southbridge Napa

Located just a quick walk to downtown St. Helena, lies Southbridge Napa. The hotel offers spacious accommodations, complimentary breakfast, and full access to a health spa, golf, tennis, croquet, hiking, picnic settings, and a historic cinema.


Regardless of when you plan to visit, each season brings something special.


After the winter rains, the valley begins to bud with wildflowers and the vineyards start to awaken. This is a beautiful time of year to see vibrant green hillsides with mild temperatures. However, you may see some scattered showers in the forecast. This is a great time of year to visit if you are wanting to do more hiking or biking activities.


Summer is one of the most popular times to visit Napa. Very little rain and sunny longer days appeal to most people. Great time for outdoor tastings, with warm days and cool nights.


The fall season is usually the busiest time of year in Napa Valley. Harvest season begins, and many of the winery teams can be seen picking grapes. It is also a spectacular time of year to see the vibrant fall colors. The temperatures are quite mild with little rain. Downside? This is typically when overall prices increase for accommodations and tastings.


The winter season is a very magical time. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, you will find many festivities going on. Not to mention the beautiful holiday lights. The days will typically be filled with more rain, but the sights are still beautiful.

Mustard Season (Low Season)

January, February, and March are considered to be the rainy season in Napa. However, don’t let this deter you! This brings fewer crowds and lower prices. Not to mention you will be able to experience the beautiful mustard flowers. The Mustard flowers erupt through the vineyards, making a carpet of yellow. It truly is a beautiful sight.

St. Helena Guide



  • Bubble wrap or wine bags if you plan on purchasing a few bottles of wine.
  • Electrolytes, to help the hangover!
  • Regardless of the season you visit, I recommend dressing in layers. Mornings and evenings tend to cool down.


Book flights, hotels, rental cars, wine tastings, and popular restaurants in advance. Napa is a mass tourism destination and most wineries are by reservation only. So make sure you do your research and have your itinerary well thought out and planned before arriving.


Arrive in St. Helena and check into your hotel. After you are settled in, take a walk around downtown St. Helena and explore the many boutique shops and have lunch at Gott’s Roadside.

If time permits, go wine tasting at one of the many wineries close by or stay in town and enjoy a tasting at Erosion. This place is adorable! And if you are not in the mood for wine they have beer tastings and even an ice cream tasting!

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Dinner: Enjoy a delicious dinner in town at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, make reservations in advance!


Breakfast: Go to Model Bakery and try Oprah’s favorite English Muffin, it is worth the hype!

Wine Tasting: Most likely the reason you came to St. Helena is to taste some wine! There are two ways you can enjoy the wineries in the area:

  • Book a Private Tour:
  • Uber or Lyft from Each Winery:
    • You can easily take a rideshare from winery to winery. There are just a few things you need to be aware of:
      • Allow 45-6o minutes between each tasting to account for transport and delays.
      • Make sure to call the last rideshare no later than 3:30 pm, they do tend to get more scarce later in the day.
      • I used Uber and Lyft during Napa’s slow season and we had no issues!
    • However, if you do this option, just remember you will have to book and create your own wine-tasting itinerary. Which is enjoyable to those who have very specific wineries they want to try. If you need help choosing, please contact me and I will gladly help!

Dinner: Charter Oak

Wine tasting in Napa


Today you get to experience a Mud Bath in Calistoga! Calistoga, California, is known for its geothermal hot springs and mud baths, which are popular attractions for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. The mud baths in Calistoga are unique because they utilize the area’s natural resources, including volcanic ash and mineral-rich waters.

There are several spas and resorts in Calistoga that offer mud bath experiences, I listed a few below. These establishments usually provide private rooms equipped with large tubs filled with a mud mixture. Some spas also offer additional amenities like hot mineral pools, saunas, steam rooms, and massage services.

I know it may seem gross, but the mud baths have numerous health benefits. The combination of heat, minerals, and the detoxifying properties of the mud promotes relaxation, relieves muscle tension, improves skin conditions, and enhances overall well-being. It is definitely worth trying!

Wineries: If you are still in the mood for wine, explore some of the wineries near the Calistoga area. Most of the spas offer a full shower room after the mud treatment, so you can be refreshed and ready to try more wine!

Enjoy an evening of luxury in Yountville. There are a few restaurant options, but one of my personal favorites is RH Yountville. This restaurant is not only beautifully decorated, but the food is also delicious.


Here are some tips on how to pick wineries in Napa Valley:

  1. Consider your budget and interests. Napa Valley is a popular tourist destination, so there are wineries to suit every taste and budget. If you’re on a tight budget, there are many wineries that offer free or discounted tastings, especially during the low season. If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, there are also many high-end wineries that offer private tastings and tours.
  2. Do your research. Napa Valley is a large region, so it’s important to do your research before you start planning your trip.
  3. Make reservations. Many wineries in Napa Valley require reservations, especially during the peak tourist season. It’s a good idea to make reservations at least a few weeks and maybe even months in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during the summer.
  4. Dress comfortably. You’ll be doing a lot of walking at wineries, so it’s important to dress comfortably. Wear layers so you can adjust to the changing weather.
  5. Consider the type of wine you like. If you know you enjoy a certain type of wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay, you can narrow down your list of wineries by looking for ones that specialize in those types of wines.
  6. Think about the atmosphere you’re looking for. Some wineries are more casual and family-friendly, while others are more formal and upscale. Choose a winery that fits the atmosphere you’re looking for.
  7. Read reviews of different wineries and check out their social media pages. This can help you get an idea of what to expect from each winery.

No matter which winery you choose to visit, you are sure to have a memorable experience!

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Oasis by Hoops

Home to a regenerative farm and animal sanctuary, Oasis by Hoopes is a great winery and garden experience in Napa.

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Chandon Winery Napa is known not only for its exceptional sparkling wines but also for its picturesque surroundings. The estate features stunning vineyards, lush gardens, and breathtaking views of the Napa Valley. It is a popular destination for wine enthusiasts and visitors looking to explore the beauty of the region.


Schramsberg Vineyards

Schramsberg Vineyards is a winery located in Calistoga, Napa Valley, California. The winery is known for its sparkling wines and has been producing them since the late 19th century.

I love this winery so much because of the cute cats that live on the grounds, and the cave wine tour. The cave wine tour typically lasts about 90 minutes and includes a walk through the historic caves where the sparkling wines are aged, as well as a tasting of several of their wines.

To make a reservation for a tour and tasting, visit the Schramsberg Vineyards website to book online. I highly suggest making a reservation in advance to ensure availability and the best possible experience. Keep in mind that tours are limited in size, so it’s important to book early, especially during peak season.

Hopefully, this St. Helena Guide will help you plan how to spend a perfect weekend in Napa. If you need any help planning or have any questions, please reach out or message me on my contact page! I would love to hear about how your trip went as well. Tell me in the comments below!

Looking for more wine-tasting destinations in California? Check out Quick Guide to Solvang!

Meet Mel

I started Mel’s Scene to showcase my trips and offer my personalized itineraries to other global wanderers. I have never cared for material things, I care more so for the experiences and memories that each travel destination has given me.


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