Summer sunset in Napa Valley vineyard

The Visit Napa Valley Blog

Kirsten Mickelwait - Visit Napa Valley blog writer

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Kirsten Mickelwait

Kirsten Mickelwait is a St. Helena-based writer who has lived and raised her family in Napa Valley for more than 20 years.

The Napa Valley Vine Trail: Touring the Valley by Bike

One of our favorite ways to see wine country is on a bicycle, experiencing Napa Valley’s beautiful terrain in the fresh air and at human speed. From the seat of a bike, you can get closer to the vines, sites, and people that make this valley so special. And, as a bonus, you’ll be burning enough…

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Pines & Vines: Camping in Napa Valley

Forget room service and chocolates on your pillow – sometimes wilder amenities call. Like going to sleep to the sound of crickets and awakening to birdsong. Sipping that glass of Cabernet by a campfire, under a sky full of stars. Spending the day floating on a lake. In addition to its wide range of…

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8 Things to Do at Lake Berryessa

With summer right around the corner, the warming temperatures remind us that there’s a gorgeous lake just up the hill from the Napa Valley floor. At 23 miles long, Lake Berryessa is the largest lake in Napa County, with a 2,000-acre wildlife area along its east side. When full, it stores 1.6 million…

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How to Enjoy the Napa River

Beyond wine tasting and vineyard peeping, Napa Valley provides endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. And one thing often overlooked is the Napa River, which is one of the largest rivers in the Central Coast Range, traveling 50 miles from Mt. St. Helena to San Pablo Bay. The 17 miles from the…

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Walkable Wineries in Napa Valley

Sure, you can hire a car and explore those out-of-the-way wineries along the back roads. But why spend half your day on the road when there are so many excellent tasting rooms within an easy walk? Here are a few of the most accessible urban wineries and tasting rooms you can get to on foot…

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The Most Beautiful European-Style Wineries in Napa Valley

So you had to forgo that European vacation this year (you’re not alone). Not to worry: Just get yourself to the Napa Valley, which is filled with some hidden architectural treasures that will make you feel as if you’ve landed in France, Italy, South Africa, or even ancient Persia. Put these wineries…

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Graveyards and Ghost Tales in the Napa Valley

As Halloween approaches, it’s the perfect season to remember that the Napa Valley has a rich and colorful past. Generations of Native Americans, Mexicans, pioneers, Italians, and Germans have lived and died here – some of them under violent or mysterious circumstances. The Napa County Historical…

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How to Pack Smart for a Fall Wine Country Getaway

Sitting at an outdoor café table in St. Helena or Yountville watching the passers-by, it’s a cinch to identify the tourists. The women are often dressed to the nines, tottering by on tiny heels or sky-high platforms. They clearly planned their wine-country vacation with the same fashion fervor as…

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Outdoor Things to Do in Napa Valley

Whether you’re the rugged countryside type or you enjoy a gentle stroll through a farmer's market, the Napa Valley is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors. Here are some ways to experience the active side to Napa Valley: Cycle through the valley by renting a bike or join a bike tour with…

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Napa Valley Food & Wine Pairings

If there’s anything better than a glass of good wine, it’s a glass of good wine with its perfect food partner. From cheese to chocolate – even popcorn and cupcakes – here are some of our favorite food and wine-pairing experiences around the Napa Valley. Most of these experiences are available by…

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