Everybody knows why to go to Napa Valley, right? Wineries. Lots and lots of wineries. It’s the most famous wine region in America, and it’s the second most popular tourist attraction in California after Disneyland, with over 3.3 million visitors per year (probably the first most popular, if you just count adults). You go to Napa Valley to taste great wine in a beautiful location. Year after year, the place is always great, and what more is there to say?
The thing is, though, if you spend more than a day there—a given if you’re coming from farther away than the Bay Area—you need a place to stay, restaurants at which to have meals, even, possibly, places to shop. And since an unusual number of excellent new places to stay or dine or spend your hard-earned cash have recently opened in Napa Valley, now—not next year, not five years from now—really is the time to go.
1. Cadet Wine Bar
This laid-back winemaker hangout hidden in an alleyway in downtown Napa serves wines from around the world (not often the case in a valley that produces more than 8 million cases of its own wine each year), as well as local bottlings from some of the region’s more adventurous vintners; plus a lot of terrific craft beers. And, if you buy a bottle, you get to play an album on the bar’s turntable from the co-owners' wide selection of old vinyl records. cadetbeerandwinebar.com