Old School Napa Valley: A Photo-Worthy Itinerary
December 30, 2019
What’s the opposite of shiny and new? Authentic and real — and there’s plenty of that to discover in Napa Valley. If you're one of those people who love a classic old sign that has stood the test of time (or just want those great shots for your 'gram) head to these iconic Napa Valley spots on your next visit:
1. Driving north up Highway 29, you just can’t miss the iconic Oakville Grocery — the name is painted on the exterior wall of this must-visit spot in tiny Oakville. (And if you weren’t thirsty for a Coke before, you will be after driving past this mural.) Oakville Grocery is one of California’s oldest businesses still in operation, having first opened its doors in the 1870s.
2. Keep heading north to St. Helena, where checking into El Bonita Motel is like taking a step back in time to the 1950s. The words “quaint” and “charming” quickly come to mind.
3. A few blocks up, Gott’s Roadside serves Niman Ranch beef burgers and thick, hand-spun shakes in a casual outdoor setting. Gott’s officially opened in 1999 after taking over the former Taylor’s Refresher roadside burger stand, which dates to 1949.
4. Pop into Cameo Cinema, on St. Helena’s Main Street. This independent movie theater was founded in 1913 and is one of the oldest continuously running single-screen theaters in the country.
5. A fixture in downtown Calistoga since 1952, Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort continues to be a bucket-list spot for wellness warriors seeking volcanic ash mud treatments and a soak in the town’s natural spring-fed geothermal mineral pools.
6. And while Instagram certainly wasn’t a thing in 1949 when the Welcome to Napa Valley billboard went up on Highway 29 near Oakville, this iconic sign was and still is a landmark for all. The sign’s original purpose was to bring awareness of Napa Valley when only a few wineries were open in the area. (Purpose served!)