Cities Journal

Top 21 Small Cities In California

12. St. Helena

This Napa Valley town is surrounded on every side by sprawling, hilly vineyards that lead to tree-dotted mountains. It isn’t exactly a best-kept secret, if you run in the literary crowd, since St. Helena’s probably your own version of Hollywood.

It’s also a go-to getaway when intellectuals don’t want to deal with the trappings of vacations in more glamorous coastal towns and villages. According to the city’s official website, hiking trails and picnic spots take advantage of the green, sunny land just as much as the vineyards do.

Luxury cars roll over those same streets now, where the architecture of St. Helena’s homes and historic buildings still reflect and preserve the past. You can buy everything from hardware supplies to bath products in downtown shops and boutiques, all of which were once elegant Victorian homes.

Sprawling parks welcome visitors who come here to taste the many diverse wines from hundreds of area vineyards. The City of St. Helena invites visitors to complete the indulgent experience and “pamper” themselves in St. Helena’s luxurious spas.

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