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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Get Moving in Napa Valley

Best known for world-class wines and dining, Napa Valley is also drawing adventure-minded travelers with biking, hiking, and other adrenaline-pumping ways to explore the vineyard-filled landscape.

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1. Where to Stay


Yountville's North Block Hotel feels transported from the Italian countryside.  

Forgo your car in pedestrian- and bike-friendly St. Helena at the Wydown Hotel (from $269). The welcoming lobby here is known as “the living room” for good reason: The frameless leather chairs, comfy couches, and a selection of games and books invite lingering. That warm aesthetic continues in 12 guest rooms with fuzzy throws on king-size beds and nature-inspired photographs on the walls. Take advantage of guest passes to the Health Spa Napa Valley, just a five-minute walk away, and get your workout in at the state-of-the-art fitness center and 25-yard heated outdoor lap pool. Then indulge in the Sports Massage (from $130) before walking back to the hotel for four-flight tastings at the adjoining tasting room of Materra/Cunat Family Vineyard, known for its Merlot.

Imagine you’re in Tuscany at Yountville’s North Block Hotel (from $300). Located just off the town’s main drag and within easy walking distance of wineries and tasting rooms, the property feels like a villa in the Italian countryside, with a lantern-lit courtyard decked with lemon trees, a fireplace, and lounging sofas. The 20 understated and elegant rooms feature wooden sleigh bed frames, plush armchairs, and wool carpet, plus French doors that swing open onto patios or terraces equipped with loungers. Take a midafternoon dip in the cabana-lined pool, then grab a dinner of wood-fired pizza (from $11), handmade pasta (from $15), and charcuterie (from $15) at the on-site restaurant, Redd Wood, a bustling, osteria-style spot by chef Richard Reddington (reservations recommended).

Relax weary muscles at The Sunburst Calistoga (from $129), where the on-property mineral-water swimming pool and hot tub are fed by Calistoga’s underground geothermal well. The former-1950s motel’s lackluster exterior gives way to a lively, retro-chic vibe in the lobby and all 50 guestrooms, with orange-and-blue patterned carpet, bold black-and-white palettes in the bathrooms, and '60s-inspired furniture like woven marshmallow lounge chairs and mini green picnic tables. Luxe in-room touches include rainfall showers, decadently comfy beds, plus a continental breakfast (with stellar coffee from Northern Cali’s Equator) included in the rates.


Published on Mar 6, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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