We’ve all spent the past year watching way too much TikTok, baking pastries that is never as good as your favorite bakery and being self-aware of travel restrictions that have made us miss those long-planned vacations. This year is going to be different; you want to know why? Because you will spearhead your adventure and what better destination than California’s largest wine-growing region St. Helena Napa Valley. Invest your travel into St. Helena where the rolling hilltops and sea of vines illuminate the valley. Become a sommelier for the day, dine at restaurants that have been raved by the famous Michelin guide, or take in the serene countryside.
Whether you decide to travel now or later in the year here is a list of events and activities not to miss on your 2022 travel itinerary.
Experience the magic of mustard in Napa Valley. Each year between January and March the vineyards explode with vibrant yellow mustard blooms. This popular cover crop excites many visitors and is one of St. Helena’s most popular times to visit. Wake up next to the mustard scenery at Poetry Inn where expansive views of the valley floor shine bright with mustard. Feel the magic at Silverado Vineyards while tasting estate-grown wines with delectable treats including caviar for two. Dine al fresco amongst the gardens at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch where the talents of the exceptional hospitality team create a Napa Valley experience, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
A few minutes from St. Helena is Napa Valley’s very own tulip oasis. Located in Rutherford bright and colorful tulips blossom each year and line the historic road with bountiful life. To preserve the flowers, no picking is allowed but you can get up close and personal for your photo op just be mindful of the adjacent neighbors.
Dive in and embrace all things, St. Helena. California sunshine, wine, and a beautiful vineyard retreat, what could be better? St. Helena features ample gatherings to soak up the California sunshine while still embracing the #94574 lifestyle.
If you’re in search of a poolside retreat these top 3 resorts are a must! Insider tip some are even local friendly. First up, Meadowood Estate, surrounded by 250 acres of hilly oak forest, the club pool offers lap swimming in the morning and peaceful relaxation the rest of the day. Enjoy cocktails and bites in your private cabana or head to the adults-only dining area to catch a game on their large outdoor TV’s enjoying a serene afternoon drink under the palm trees. Next, Alila Napa Valley, set adjacent to Beringer Vineyards overlooks rows of vineyards and hillside slopes, comfy lounges, and cabanas stretch across the poolside for a perfect midafternoon sunbath. Seclude yourself at Four Seasons Napa Valley and find a peaceful sanctuary at their adults-only pool. The best time to view an extraordinary Napa Valley sunset is by the pool in a personal cabana surrounded by vineyards.
Longer nights bring extra festivities. By the end week, Main Street comes alive with musical acts. Catch a show at Merryvale Vineyards where they pair up with local artists and feature rotating food trucks to ensure an epic evening. Enjoy late-night jams and bold Cabernets at The Saint Wine Lounge. Sing your heart out with Karaoke at Legit Provisions, or go where the locals are and rock out with the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce Annual Summer Concert Series.
Fall & Harvest
Every year, harvest brings a certain feeling of anticipation to the valley as we pluck a new vintage from the vines. To kick off the season many wineries will gather for the longstanding tradition of the blessing of grapes. This tradition dates back to hundreds of years in Europe and includes prayers to harvest workers and good weather. For over 40 years Grgich Hills Winery keeps the tradition alive with a celebration of prayers, live music, and of course wine. With the grapes blessed and wine harvested it’s time to celebrate the achievements of harvest and toast to the next vintage. Take full advantage of the celebration by attending some of Napa Valley’s longest-running harvest traditions including, Charles Krug Winery Annual Harvest Party, Hall Wines Harvest Celebration, and Crocker & Starr Carnivus Maximus.
Book an extended getaway weekend and tuck away steps from the vines at Salvestrin Inn. The historic 1879 Victorian inn features panoramic views of working vineyards, includes a tasting and tour at the property and winery, and is located a minute’s walk to downtown St. Helena eateries and boutique shopping.
Experience vineyard luncheon at Peju Provenance. Secluded and nestled between the gardens and vineyard rows indulge your taste buds to a decadent four-course meal prepared by Chef Nic’s culinary wonders paired to perfection with select wines. As you’re heading down Highway 29 be sure to snap a photo at the historic Napa Valley sign to catch a memorable photo with the mesmerizing hues of orange and red changing of seasons vines peeking through.
Winter & Cabernet Season
To experience this orchestra of wine country luxury at full volume a winter wine country retreat is a must. From seasonal movies, drafting letters for Santa, roasting marshmallows by the firepit Solage provides world-class contemporary accommodations and festive activates during the holidays. Get cozy and dine in a private heated yurt at The Charter Oak. Their Yurt Experience includes a welcome glass of sparkling wine, chef-curated Legacy Menu, and a cognac cocktail finale. Downtown St. Helena is most festive during the holiday season the lampposts are sparkling bright with twinkling lights and Christmas cheer is sprinkled throughout every corner. Snap a photo with Santa at the St. Helena Visitors Center, explore the 30ft lit holiday wine barrel Christmas tree in downtown St. Helena, view the 26ft icy goodness lit snowflake, and find your favorite decorated wine barrel on the holiday wine barrel tour map. Mark every one of your Christmas lists by shopping St. Helena’s luxurious boutiques, Elysewalker, Patina Estate & Fine Jewelry, Carter & Co, Napa Valley Vintage Home, and Fideux.
With the holidays winding down the start to Cabernet Season begins and January brings joyous relaxation. Experience the magic of truffles and learn firsthand how to work and cook with truffles from the best Michelin star chefs. Forge for a day in a working truffle orchard, see where and how they are harvested, and meet the trained truffle dogs at the Napa Valley Truffle Festival. Live like a local and try a new bite at a St. Helena eatery during Napa Valley’s Restaurant Week, and sip delectable Cabernets with the St. Helena Little Book of Big Experiences Wine Passport.
In 2022 anything is possible. Take the leap and travel to wine country, St. Helena is here to welcome you when you arrive. Cheers!