Where to stay in Napa: 5 best Napa Valley towns

Published Date: July 25, 2023

View of mountain range from top of a hill in Napa Valley, CA.
With more than 400 wineries, 90 tasting rooms, 14 Michelin-starred restaurants and picture-perfect weather, Napa Valley is a dream vacation destination. Known for producing some of the world's best wines, Napa Valley is 30 miles long and five miles in length, with over 45,000 acres of vineyards. Scattered across the lush valley are a variety of individual towns, each with its own charm and appeal. If you’re planning a trip to Napa Valley and you’re not sure where to stay, here’s a quick rundown of five of the most popular towns, from north to south. No matter which you choose, you’re within easy access of tasting rooms, wineries, restaurants, outdoor activities, art and more. 

1. Calistoga

Quiet, relaxed and tucked away on the very north end of the valley, Calistoga is known as a wellness destination, thanks to its natural hot springs. As the self-proclaimed “Spa Capital of Northern California,” Calistoga has more than two dozen spas and massage therapy salons, with some located inside luxury hotels. Lincoln Avenue is Calistoga’s main street, and it pairs small-town ambience with upscale shopping and dining. It’s best explored on foot, so you can stop in a local tasting room, browse local galleries and grab a bite to eat. Popular wineries located in Calistoga include Schramsberg Vineyards, Chateau Montelena and Vincent Arroyo. Without a doubt, the most famous is Castello di Amorosa, built to resemble a medieval castle. After a sip of their reserve wine, you might just think you’re in Tuscany. After a long day of wine tasting across the valley, there’s nothing quite like returning to your hotel for a mineral soak or a spa treatment. Luckily, many of the properties in Calistoga fit the bill. Check out Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Indian Springs Calistoga or Solage Resort & Spa, to name a few. 

2. St. Helena

Just south of Calistoga, the town of St. Helena is best described as sophisticated and historic. The town is affectionately nicknamed “Napa Valley’s Main Street,” due to its central location. The half-mile long downtown is perfectly walkable, featuring boutiques, dessert shops, cafes and specialty boutiques. St. Helena is a dream for foodies. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone offers tours and cooking classes, while their Spice Islands Marketplace is where you can stock up on all things cooking related, including a selection of over 1,700 cookbooks. Gourmet farm-to-table restaurants abound in St. Helena, from the cozy outdoor patio at the Charter Oak to The Restaurant at nearby Auberge du Soleil, which boasts 13 consecutive Michelin stars. The wineries in St. Helena are known for their incredible views. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the vineyard views at Rombauer, watch the sunset over the vineyards at Joseph Phelps, or head high atop Spring Mountain for sweeping valley views from BarnettSt. Helena is known for its luxury and boutique accommodations. Stay just outside of town, surrounded by nature, at Meadowood Napa Valley. Or stay within walking distance of wineries at Southbridge or Wydown Hotel. Wine Country Inn & Cottages is a popular stay for those looking for an immersive Wine Country experience — the property is within a working vineyard. 

3. Yountville

Continuing south through the valley, Yountville is another can’t-miss foodie destination. Perhaps best known as the home of Thomas Keller’s famous restaurant, The French Laundry, Yountville has more Michelin stars per capita than any other town in the United States. Since Yountville is only about 1.5 square miles, exploring on foot is the way to go. Browse gourmet chocolate shops, art galleries and upscale boutiques. You also won’t want to miss the self-guided Yountville Art Walk, a great way to get some steps in before an award-winning dinner. Another way to get the lay of the land? Hire Napa Valley Balloons to take you on a hot air balloon ride high above the valley. Yountville is known for its luxurious accommodations, but you won’t find large international hotel chains here. The accommodations are mostly intimate boutique hotels, vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts. Bed and breakfasts in Yountville are a lovely way to stay, as many come with amenities like farm-to-table breakfasts, afternoon wine tastings and complimentary bikes so you can explore the ever-expanding Napa Valley Vine Trail.  

4. Napa

The town of Napa is the perfect place to stay for those who need easy access back to San Francisco or wine lovers on their first trip to Napa Valley. It’s also ideal for those who only have a few days to explore, as there are dozens of tasting rooms, wine bars and restaurants right in the heart of town. Napa’s historic downtown is big on charm, thanks to its riverfront location. On a sunny day, you’ll see kayakers paddling the Napa River. The most popular attractions in town include the Oxbow Public Market, a 40,000 square-foot marketplace with an eclectic mix of local food vendors, and the Napa Valley Film Festival, which happens every November. You’ll have your pick of accommodations in Napa, whether you prefer a large resort like the Carneros Resort and Spa, set on 27 bucolic acres, or a centrally located hotel like the Andaz Napa. You’ll also find some historic properties and quaint bed and breakfasts. 

5. American Canyon

An up-and-comer at the southern end of Napa Valley, American Canyon is popular with those who want to visit the valley on a budget. Choose from a range of national hotel chains and save your vacation dollars for a world-class dinner out or a case of your favorite cabernet. To access the majority of the wineries and restaurants, you’ll need to make the 10-mile drive to Napa, but don’t overlook everything American Canyon has to offer. The small town is known for its beautiful scenery. It’s located adjacent to a bay and wetlands, which makes it a dream destination for bird watchers — don’t miss the Napa River Bay Trail and Glass Beach

Say cheers to a second home in Napa Valley

If you’re becoming a Napa Valley regular (or want to be!), owning a second home might be your best bet. Say goodbye to the cost and hassle of booking a hotel and hello to your own Wine Country wonderland.  Pacaso offers co-ownership opportunities across Napa Valley, from wellness-focused Calistoga to historic St. Helena, and beyond. Ownership shares are available for as low as ⅛ the total home price, and every Pacaso home is professionally decorated, fully furnished and ideally located. Raise a toast to your own Wine Country retreat.

Jen Headshot

Jen Lyons

  • Share this post:

Featured articles


A couple on a hike on the island of Maui, one of the best vacation spots for couples.


Don't miss out

The best properties sell fast. See the latest listings, inspiring holiday homes and buying tips.

Want to chat? Contact us.