Your Culture Guide to Napa Valley

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If you need a break from wine tasting (we said IF), Napa Valley has much more than wine to offer, including museums, theaters, live music, and art. Here are 10 of the best cultural experiences in the area to round out a picturesque Wine Country weekend.

1
Things To Do / St Helena

The Culinary Institute of America - Spice Islands Marketplace

The West Coast campus of the esteemed Culinary Institute of America is located in St. Helena, in a beautiful historic stone winery. You can take a cooking or wine class, sample delicacies from the student-run cafe and chocolate shop, or make a reservation at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant on campus.

Insider Tip

Visit during March to experience the ultimate foodie festival, Flavor! Napa Valley. It’s a full week of cooking demonstrations and classes, wine seminars, parties, and celebrity chef and somm sightings.

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2
Things To Do / Napa

Uptown Theatre Napa

This old-school theater in downtown Napa is regularly booked with national acts as well as local favorites, including comedians, singers, and bands. The theater itself is half the act, being a stunningly restored 1937 art deco space with a personal feel (the last row is less than 100 feet from the stage).

Insider Tip

After the show, traipse across the street to Nation’s Giant Hamburgers for a classic hamburger and fries combo. Their special Java Thick Shake isn’t a bad idea, either.

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3
Things To Do / St Helena

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

This quintessential small town museum in St. Helena is snuggled up against the local library on a quiet street just outside of downtown. Take a tour of the famous author’s life through letters, books, and photos displayed in the two-room museum, and chat up the knowledgeable docent on duty. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Insider Tip

Visit Schramsberg Vineyards next, where Stevenson tasted wine on his honeymoon while in Napa Valley.

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4
Things To Do / Yountville

Napa Valley Museum

Yountville boasts the Napa Valley Museum, where visitors learn about Napa Valley’s history, from the Native Americans through the 1976 Judgment of Paris. Regular classes and seminars are held throughout the year for children and adults, so check the events calendar to see what’s coming up.

Insider Tip

After the museum, continue your Napa Valley education by strolling down the block to one of Yountville’s many tasting rooms, like Hope & Grace or Hill Family Estate.

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5
Things To Do / Yountville

Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater

The Lincoln Theater in Yountville is a beautiful performing arts theater that hosts world-class performances throughout the year. Dance troupes, bands, inspirational speakers, and “flying winemakers” are just a few of the exciting talents to take the stage.

Insider Tip

Enjoy dinner before the show at one of Yountville’s world-renowned restaurants. We recommend Redd Wood for a casual but elegant pre-show meal of wood-fired pizza.

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6
Things To Do / Napa

BottleRock Napa Valley

Bottlerock is an outdoor music festival near downtown Napa that rocks the valley each May. Huge acts like Snoop Dogg, Imagine Dragons, and Gwen Stefani have played over the years, and the roster is only growing. The festival takes place on the Napa Fairgrounds, where local wineries and restaurants set up tents and lounges alongside the stages, allowing visitors to indulge in the local epicurean scene between sets.

Insider Tip

Take a break from the festivities and walk the few block to downtown Napa, where you can grab a cold beer at Downtown Joe’s and mingle with the locals.

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7
Things To Do / St Helena

The Christopher Hill Gallery

St. Helena’s Main Street is lined with a dozen or so art galleries, with styles including impressionist, modern, and sculpture. Christopher Hill Gallery is one of the most exciting of the bunch, exhibiting world-renowned artists from the 20th century who specialize in a wide array of genres.

Insider Tip

Take a break from the art scene and rest your feet with a coffee or gelato at Sogni di Dolci. Their outdoor patio is perfect for watching the St. Helena elite stroll by.

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8
Things To Do / Napa

di Rosa

This art museum and outdoor sculpture garden in Carneros is one of the more fascinating—and unknown—gems of Napa Valley. The indoor museum displays local artists’ work, and the huge outdoor sculpture garden is home to 217 acres of artwork from over 800 artists. Take the guided tour on a tram through the rolling hills to discover these hidden works of art.

Insider Tip

On select Saturdays, take a three-mile guided hike through the park, which offers sweeping views of Napa Valley.

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9
Things To Do / Napa

The Hess Collection Winery

To enjoy the best in wine and art, make an appointment at the Hess Collection. Perched atop Mount Veeder in south Napa Valley, the winery produces stunning mountain Cabernets and Chardonnays, while also hosting founder Donald Hess’ unbelievable modern art collection. Come for the wine, and stay for the art.

Insider Tip

When you head back down the mountain, take a right at Brown’s Valley Road and head up Partrick Road until you break through the trees: you’ll have the most spectacular view of rolling pastures, steep vineyards, and on a clear day, the San Francisco skyline.

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