St. Helena: One Perfect Day on Main Street
April 28, 2011 • Posted in Napa/Sonoma
One Perfect Day on Main Street
Known as the heart of Napa Valley, St. Helena exudes the warmth and hospitality that defines the region and has many gorgeous Napa valley properties for sale. As locals and the 5 million-plus visitors a year know, there’s plenty to discover, toast and take in along Napa Valley’s Up-Valley Main Street. Here’s how to spend one splendid, sunny day in St. Helena.
Early AM. Start on Main Street at the legendary Model Bakery, founded in the early 1940s. The bakers use the original brick ovens to create a tasty array of breakfast treats—and all day treats. You might even get lucky and catch a poem from St. Helena’s Poet Laureate, Michael Waterson who is currently the town’s ambassador for poetry. His mission: to make poetry more accessible to the community.
Mid Morning. Stop by the Silverado Museum and one of the largest collections of Robert Louis Stevenson’s work, including Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and A Child’s Garden of Verses. Stevenson spent his honeymoon in an abandoned bunkhouse at the old Silverado Mine on the slope of Mount St. Helena—now his collection of great works has found a home on Library Lane.
The nearby Napa Valley Museum in Yountville is always a fun stop. This May – July, local professional photographers share a bit of their own wanderlust in a show featuring their “best of” from around the world. Or forge ahead to Calistoga for a nature show of Old Faithful Geyser. With a wall of thick bamboo and plumed pampas grass as your backdrop, you might catch a 1,000+ gallons of water headed into the deep blue sky.
Lunch. The choices are plentiful—and yummy. A local favorite for picnic fixings is located on the St Helena Highway. Dean & Delucca, founded 40+ years ago in New York, feels right at home in the Napa Valley. Handcrafted products and artisan foods will have you mesmerized. Or make reservations at the very popular and very St. Helena Tra Vigne. Its shade covered Tuscan courtyard is a favorite. And with 200+ wines on a list that is “refreshed” weekly, there’s no more perfect spot. The 12-acre Crane Park has plenty of picnic tables plus bocce and horse shoes. It’s also the home of the St Helena’s Farmers Market for any added lunch treats and local produce (7:30 – Noon, M-F, May – November).
Mid Afternoon. If food and wine are still on your mind, explore the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone located in the 100 year old former Christian Brothers Winery for cooking demonstrations, wine tasting and gourmet cooking classes. Its Vintner’s Hall of Fame features a wonderful History of California Wine display. Or take a peak in the Spice Islands Marketplace and take home one of its 1,500 cookbooks—many signed by the chef/authors. Or, if you plan ahead, enjoy some of the smaller family-owned wineries that dot the valley (in fact, 95% of Napa Valley wineries are family-owned and operated.) Here’s a great listing of some by appointment only hidden gems, complete with some bonus tasting certificates.
Dinner. St. Helena has some remarkable dining choices. On Main Street, Market Restaurant features produce from local organic farms in an elegant and memorable setting. Tucked away just a mile or two from Main Street, Meadowood recently earned three stars from the prestigious Michelin Guide—joining Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Yountville with the prestigious honor. Also in St. Helena, enjoy delicious meals at Cook, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, Farmstead, Press, Taylor’s Refresher and Villa Corona.
Average sales price $1,068,474
Days on market 161
# of properties on market 116