The Andaz Napa has all the conveniences of a new luxury hotel, but it’s in the center of old downtown Napa. It also has an outdoor bar with terrific views of the Napa hills.
Bistro Don Giovanni has been around for 20 years. The service is meticulous, and there are always seasonal Italian dishes on the menu. Order the fettuccine alla Lina, a recipe for veal-and-pork ragù that’s from my grandmother’s housekeeper.
The happening bar in Napa is at Morimoto. In winter, I order their Negroni. In the summer, out on the patio, I like a glass of rosé, chilled and on the rocks. I learned that from my grandfather.
If you’re into cooking or barbecue, Shackford’s Kitchen Store is the best place. Mr. Shackford runs it with his daughter, and they have every good knife, device, appliance, espresso machine—everything (707.226.2132).
Hike to the top of Mount St. Helena at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park and bring a nice picnic lunch. It was one of [Scottish novelist] Robert Louis Stevenson’s favorite areas, and 99.5 percent of the people who visit Napa are not even aware of it.