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THE BEAUTIFUL TOWNS OF NAPA VALLEY
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When people think of the Napa Valley, they think of an entire region. But the towns of Napa Valley each have unique appeal. Visiting the main wine regions of the wine country are well worth your time. You will get a lot more from your trip by compared to staying in just one town.
American Canyon is right at the southernmost end of all the towns of Napa Valley, some 35 miles to the northeast of San Francisco. The city is famous for being the gateway to the valley and the first place people stop-off when traveling from the rest of California. American Canyon developed following the end of World War II and was incorporated in 1992. Many of the people who live in the town are connected with Silicon Valley’s tech economy.
Calistoga is best known for its beautiful spas and resorts, high-elevation vineyards, and hot springs. The town, with a population of 5,155, is one of the most populous in the area, offering a host of activities for visitors.
Located right at the north end of the Napa Valley, Calistoga is famous for its geothermal hot springs and mineral-rich waters.
If you’re a geology fan and heading to the town, make sure that you check out Old Faithful, one of the best examples of a natural geyser in the US. There are also plenty of shops, wine-tasting rooms and places to eat.
Napa probably has the most confusing name of all of the settlements in the Napa Valley. The term Napa can refer to the region as a whole, Napa County, or the town Napa that sits squarely in the middle of it. The origins of the word Napa are not entirely known, but historians believe that it comes from the term used to describe the southern Indians living in the area: the Nappan.
The city of Napa first came into being after being founded by Nathan Coombs in 1847. It grew rapidly during the 1850s gold rush and secured itself as the central living hub for the majority of people in the country ever since.
Oakville is the smallest stop-offs on most tours of the Napa Valley. The settlement, located just a few miles to the north of Yountville on Highway 29, is home to just 71 people. With that said, Oakville punches above its weight in the tourism stakes, attracting thousands of wine lovers to the area every year in search of vintage quality.
Oakville is best known for its scenic countryside, the Oakville Grocery, and the Kalon Vineyards. It provides a classic setting, especially in the summer months, for some memorable wine drinking. Founded in the 1860s, the Kalon vineyards are famous all over California to this day.
St. Helena is a Napa Valley town that can be found in the north of the Wine country. The town features two of the most impressive wineries in the region: the Charles Krug and the Beringer. If you would like to learn more about the art of cooking, then you can head over to the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. A little way out of town, there is the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, which features some original industry – including a water mill – from the 1800s. For wine-lovers, there’s also the Clif Family Tasting Room offering a range of vintage reserves.
To the north of Napa, you’ll find the next settlement in the Napa Valley – Yountville. The city is located right in the heart of California’s wine country, and one of the primary liquor-producing centers in the region. Interestingly, though, the town is dominated by the Veteran’s Home of California, an institution that looks after aged or disabled veterans long-term. It comprises more than a third of the settlement’s total population.
Yountville is still a relatively small place. According to the 2010 Census, its population was just 2,933. It has a very provincial feel.
For lots more information on Napa Valley, please check out this very detailed article on Wikipedia.