Napa Valleys Hidden Gems and Best Kept Secrets

A short drive from Sacramento, Napa Valley is an unadulterated hedonist playground for aficionados of delicate wine and breathtaking landscapes. Spending a reasonably long vacation exploring this stretch of land can melt the hearts of even the biggest cynics.

On the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable to ask a question laden with skepticism; “What makes Napa Valley different from other wine getaways on the planet?

How is it, in any way or capacity, better than Tuscany or Provence?” Thankfully, the answer to these questions is a long list of Napa Valleys hidden gems and best kept secrets, which will leave anyone yearning for a quick return.

Napa Valleys Hidden Gems

Marvel at Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa is truly a remarkable landmark of Napa Valley. The reason for this is because the story behind it is incredibly charming yet stranger than fiction.

Dario Sattui is a winery owner whose family harkens from the beautiful and rustic Italy. This is why he decided to honor his heritage and, after he amassed enough finances, he embarked on a project that turned him into a local legend.

He built Castello di Amorosa – a medieval Italian castle adorned with lots of details and tweaks to make it appear more genuine. It has a working drawbridge, eight levels and a whopping 197 rooms. Sattui used 8,000 tons of chiseled stone to finish this architectural marvel and opened it for the public in April of 2007.

If you ever get a chance to visit Castello di Amorosa, you should know the place is not just standing there to be looked at. It is a fully functional, well-stocked winery, and with a general admission ticket you’ll gain access to a couple of levels of the castle and have an option to enjoy 5 wine tastings.

Napa Valleys Hidden Gems

So little time, so many wineries to savor

Of course, Castello di Amorosa is far from being the only interesting winery in the area. In fact, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a place for a drawn-out wine and dine. Thankfully, after a bit of consultation with the reliable DMC California, you’ll be able to get all the information you need and visit some of the best wineries in the area.

Whether it’s Domaine Carneros, Artesa Vineyards, Darioush or Inglenook, the best way to achieve that coveted moment of Napa Valley idyll is to time your visit to your chosen vinery just before the sun starts sliding under the horizon.

This way, you can bask in the sheer beauty of the landscape and the explosion of warm colors that roll over the vineyard and towards your dining table as you wash your delish meal down with a glass of exquisite wine.

Napa Valleys Hidden Gems, wine glass

State of the art

If your thirst for amazing food and wine has been quenched, you can venture out to the art galleries of Napa Valley to catch some food for thought.

What might come as a surprise to some people is the sheer volume of exhibitions; and the staggering number of art galleries that dot this region. In fact, many artists bought parcels of land and built hybrids of galleries and studios; so they can easily seek refuge and find inspiration surrounded with tranquil nature.

Of course, di Rosa art gallery is a must visit for art enthusiasts. More than 2,000 diverse items of contemporary art signed by 800 serious artists fill a 220 acre estate.

Napa Valleys Hidden Gems, Art, paintings,easel

Have a delightful adventure in Safari West

Peter and Nancy Lang were just as ambitious as Dario Sattui; when they decided to take up a colossal project and create Safari West. The end result is an animal preserve that covers a dizzying 400 acres and serves as a home to African fauna.

If you ever wanted to feed a giraffe or see an antelope or a rhinoceros up close; this hidden gem of Napa Valley finally gives you a chance to do so.

Napa Valleys Hidden Gems, giraffe, safari west

Those smoldering mud baths

Now here is something you did not expect; one of the best kept secrets of Napa Valley are definitely mud baths and geothermal springs. Calistoga Golden Haven is probably the most well-known destination for all of you who want to add a session of relaxing massage and detoxifying mud bath to the list of hedonistic things you want to try out while you are on vacation.

The sunny slopes of Napa Valley are a legendary destination for a good reason. You can spend weeks unpacking its countless secrets; and giddily inspecting all the charming little nooks and crannies that are brimming with interesting things to see.

Napa Valley is like a gaudy, warm present, wrapped in the most beautiful glittery bow and covered in Mediterranean scents; a gift that, once unwrapped, keeps on giving.

About Olivia Williams Jones

Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Other posts by the Author

6 Responses

  1. 5 Best USA Campgrounds for Wine Tastings | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] and Winery is a short drive after crossing the river. The RV parks and campgrounds in Napa Valley offer an opportunity to visit several […]

  2. Sonoma California: History, Film Food and Wine | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] rich history and beautiful scenery. As some would argue, it has better wine selection than that of Napa Valley. Explore this underrated valley that offers more than just wine on your next trip to the greater […]

  3. 12 Best Marathon Cities for Travel Junkies - Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] The Napa Valley Marathon might not reach the scale of its cousin in San Francisco (it only has a couple of thousand runners) but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth attending. To some participants, the fact that it’s small might prove to be preferable because it will not be as crowded. Those who run for the sake of being close to nature will appreciate the rolling hills and wildflowers that line the route. Also any runners who share the love for wine will undoubtedly rank the Napa Valley Marathon one of the best marathon cities for travelers. Finally, when you cross the finish line, celebrate with a glass (or two) from some of the valley’s finest vineyards. […]

  4. Hipmunk Hotels: Top 5 Boutique Hotels in Napa, CA - Go4Travel Blog

    […] guests with a fireplace and kitchenette or fully outfitted kitchen. The Silverado Resort in Napa Valley has ten outdoor pools, a full-service health spa, three restaurants, and two golf courses. Plus, […]

  5. Top Things to Do in San Francisco - Go4Travel Blog

    […] number of great places to visit outside such as Yosemite National Park, Muir woods & Sausalito, Napa Valley famous for the it’s many vineyard’s and the scenic drive down Monterey Coast/Camel is […]

  6. Top Filming Locations in the World - Go4Travel Blog

    […] why wouldn’t you? The Pacific Ocean borders the city to the west, with the hills and valleys of California’s Napa and Sonoma to the north. The picturesque skyline of San Francisco, its cable cars, and its […]


Leave a Reply