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St. Helena

This quintessential California wine-country town touts itself as the Main Street of Napa Valley. It’s a perfect base camp for a weekend filled with visits to vineyards, but also has plenty to do – and eat! – right in town.

A day in St. Helena is best started with a trip to the Model Bakery. If you get there early enough, make sure to try one of the English muffins. They’re so popular that customers are limited to buying no more than six at a time. Then choose from one of the many activities in the area. Of course a wine-tasting tour is always a good option, but if you’re looking to pair it with a bit of fresh air and exercise, check out Clif Family’s Velo Vino. They offer custom bicycle tours of Napa’s pastoral countryside, complete with espresso and a wine tasting to reward yourself afterwards.

When you get hungry, there’s an endless array of fresh farm-to-table options around town. Check out one of the restaurants at the Culinary Institute of America for a unique and innovative dining experience. And if you’re looking for some entertainment at the end of the day, the Cameo Cinema, a historic movie theater right downtown, always has something interesting showing, from classics to current blockbusters.

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Things to Do & See

Here are some of the best things to do in St. Helena. Add them to your trip and we'll hold on to them in your Travelog. Look for to find free stuff.

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Velo Vino

The Clif Family Winery (as in the family who created Clif Bars) offers a unique tasting experience at their Velo Vino Tasting Room. Relax on their outdoor patio with a glass of wine and a snack from their Bruschetteria food truck, or rent one of their bicycles and enjoy a custom tour of the Napa hillsides.

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Pride Mountain Vineyards

With a prime location on a hilltop straddling Sonoma and Napa counties, Pride Mountain boasts amazing views. A tour-and-tasting is offered daily at 10am and includes wine samples and a walk through the vineyards, the production facility, and the wine caves ($25/person). And tastings are offered throughout the day. Regardless of which you choose, reservations are required.

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Culinary Institute of America

The renowned Culinary Institute of America is located in one of Napa's most historic and majestic buildings. In addition to its many educational programs, there are also several award-winning restaurants on site. Reservations are recommended, except for "The Bakery Café by illy." There is also a comprehensive high-end kitchen store on site, as well as a tasting bar, and the Ghirardelli Chocolate Discovery Center, which can be viewed through the glass from the tasting bar.

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Cameo Cinema

First opening its doors in 1913, this charming cinema offers a varied program of classics and current blockbusters. Even Francis Ford Coppola has been spotted at this little gem right downtown.

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Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park

This fully restored water-powered grist mill still grinds grain. Watch the millstones in action and pick up some of the products to taste the difference when you're at home.

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Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Work up an appetite at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park where you'll find 10 miles of trails and barely another soul. For overnight stays, the park even has a few yurts to offer!

Events

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Musical Picnics in Lyman ParkMonthly, on the every other Thursday from 6pm to 8pm during the summer.

Pack a blanket and a picnic and claim your spot early for this popular free concert series held every summer.

Top-Reviewed Restaurants

You're probably going to get hungry while you're there, but what's good in the area?

We've asked our friends at Yelp to keep us updated on what's cool and tasty, and they sent over their top-rated St. Helena eats. Add some to your trip and we'll store them for you.

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