Stay: Wydown Hotel in St. Helena

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We use the phrase “Going to Wine Country” because the details just don’t matter. The expression alone denotes a sunny weekend of great wine, outdoor dining and Weekend del Sol-style leisure regardless of where we end up. Healdsburg? Of course. Yountville? Sure. Even downtown Napa? Why not.

Lately, we like St. Helena. It has a picturesque downtown core lined with incredible buildings from California’s early days. Three whole blocks earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. But it’s hardly the domain of history geeks: those old buildings house hip new bars, restaurants, and boutiques on par with anything you’d find in the city. And they’re all within walking distance of each other. By ditching your car and bunking downtown you’ll be rewarded with a charming Main Street setting, immediate proximity to the best spots, and precious little time on dreaded Highway 29. Translation: A perfect Wine Country escape at an even more relaxing pace.

Try the sleek Wydown Hotel as your base. Located in the heart of downtown, it nestles 12 smartly-designed rooms in a newly remodeled historic building. The contemporary interior is streamlined and soothing. The lobby living area pairs warm tan leathers with cool green succulents (and you know how much we love succulents). Natural light slips in from skylights dotted about. Rooms are serene and hold thoughtful comforts like Keurig coffee makers, mini fridges, spa robes and free-wifi. You’ll also receive complimentary day passes to the Health Spa Napa Valley down the street. It’s a nice perk…assuming you can pull yourself away from the room.

This post is a modified version of an article that was originally published in Marina Times, September 2013.

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