Experience St. Helena Like a Local
Our 5-Day Guide to St. Helena’s Best Adventures
Blog Post By Meg Barkley
St. Helena is Napa Valley’s Main Street! The railroad came to the area in the late 1800’s and by 1876 the town of St. Helena was founded. It was the commerce hub for the influx of residents arriving to plant vineyards and make wine. Today St. Helena is home to many winemakers, chefs, vineyard workers and wine lovers. Like our fellow neighbors, Clif Family loves to share our hometown with visitors to Napa Valley.
Here’s our own curated guide on how to Enjoy 5 days in St. Helena, California like a local.
Unplug, reset, and settle into vacation mode. Meander to downtown St. Helena to mix and mingle with locals over breakfast and coffee.
The famous English Muffins from Model Bakery are a not-to-be missed morning treat. Did you know that Clif Family preserves were featured in Oprah’s Favorite things alongside these muffins? We encourage you to indulge.
Take a stroll off Main Street to the St. Helena Library. The library houses the Napa Valley Wine Library collection, a vast offering of books, writings, and journals on wine dating back to the 17th century. Turn off your phone and enjoy a read while overlooking the vines of the aptly named Library Vineyard planted in the late 1800’s.
Shop until you drop. Downtown St. Helena is home to many wonderful local boutiques and specialty shops. Spend the day filling your bag with mementos from Napa Valley.
Acres is one of our favorite shops for picking up gifts or a treat for yourself. You can find something for the chef, the gardener, the wine lover, or anyone that loves thoughtful and meaningful gifts.
Sportago is the go-to for the outdoor enthusiast or adventurer. They carry everything from hiking shoes, and yoga mats to eco-friendly attire. A great spot to pick-up a hat, scarf or flip-flops you might have forgotten at home.
Enjoy an easy lunch at Giugnis Deli. Opened in 1911 as an Italian grocery store, it’s now a deli that makes made-to order sandwiches. Expect a wait and be sure to add the famous Giugnis Juice to your sandwich.
Pamper the day away. Start your morning with a little pampering at Health Spa Napa Valley. Treat yourself to a massage or a decadent wine country inspired treatment. You can also opt for some exercise at their gym with a run on the treadmill or ride on their Peloton Bike before your treatment. And don’t miss a post-treatment dip in the pool.
Continue the pampering with a leisurely tasting and lunch across the street at Clif Family. Under the direction of Executive Chef, John McConnell, our Seasonal Wine Tasting experiences bring to life the flavors of our organic farm, located just a few miles away. Continue the culinary experience with lunch from our Bruschetteria Food Truck, parked next door to the Tasting Room.
Be a foodie for the day. Head back to Clif Family for our Tour de Chef bike package. Pick up your cruiser bike rental and we’ll send you along your way with a map and directions. Explore quiet neighborhood roads with lovely mountain vistas and vineyard views. And when you’re done, we’ll have a seat waiting for you at the table for wine and bruschetta, inspired by your route.
Continue your food journey with a visit to the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus. Built in the late 1800’s and formerly the Christian Brothers Winery it now offers culinary and pastry degree programs. Make a reservation at the Gatehouse Restaurant for dinner. You’ll enjoy a farm to table meal prepared and served by culinary students.
Act like a local. You’ll find most of the St. Helena locals at the St. Helena Farmers’ market on Friday mornings. Peruse the bounty of farm fresh fruits, veggies, and flowers. The market stands showcase many family-owned farmers, artisans and gourmet food producers. Start your shopping with a coffee and a pastry and don’t miss out on the chef demos and live music.
Then head to The Station for lunch. This gas station and grab n’ go offers fresh-baked goods, juices, an assortment of toasts and fresh salads. We love their Avocado toast.