Napa Valley is a dream destination in California. Sitting to the north of San Francisco, it’s blessed with rolling hills dotted with vineyards, long stretches of road with beautiful views, and award-winning wineries and cuisine. Add all of this to the warm, perfect weather, and you have the kind of destination that travellers spend a lot of money to experience.
Yep – it’s not cheap here, folks. The Napa Valley is famously expensive, which is why you might have trouble working out where to stay in Napa on a budget. Don’t stress, though – we’re here to help.
This Napa neighbourhood guide will tell you where to stay in Napa with a focus on the options that are a lot more budget-friendly and much easier on the wallet.
- Where to Stay in Napa
- Napa Neighborhood Guide
- Napa’s 5 Best Areas to Stay in
- 1. Yountville – Best Area to Stay in Napa for your First Visit
- 2. American Canyon – Where to Stay in Napa on a Budget
- 3. St Helena – Best Place to Stay in Napa for Families
- 4. Napa Town – Where to Stay in Napa for Nightlife
- 5. Calistoga – The Coolest Place to Stay in Napa
- Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Napa
Where to Stay in Napa
Ready to make a quick decision on your Napa accommodation? Here are our top picks.
Best Budget Airbnb in Napa: Napa Valley View
Located in one of Napa’s central neighbourhoods, this is a great, inexpensive choice for your trip. It’s a contemporary cottage with its own entrance, offering complete privacy for two guests. The Airbnb feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere but is just one-and-a-half miles from the famous Oxbow Public Market.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Napa: Sonoma Winemakers Cottage
This lovely cottage is close to the local wineries and the gorgeous Sonoma Plaza. It’s suitable for three guests and has lovely, open, fresh decor and a garden with views of the nearby vineyard. It also has a full kitchen, free parking, and laundry facilities.
Best Hotel in Napa: UpValley Inn & Hot Springs
This hotel in Napa offers comfortable, modern rooms with stylish There’s no getting around the high prices of the Napa Valley, but we reckon this hotel offers great value for money. It’s got modern rooms with all the usual amenities, but also boasts an on-site pool and hot tub that are heated by an underground hot spring. It’s close to the Old Faithful Geyser, as well as other top attractions.
Napa Neighborhood Guide
Yountville is in the heart of Napa Valley, and it’s probably the prettiest town in the region. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive areas, and there are good reasons for that.
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Napa on a budget, then look for your accommodation in American Canyon. This city is where road trippers tend to stay when they’re in this part of the world, and it’s also filled with attractions that will keep everyone in your family happy during the trip.
St Helena has a little of everything. It’s famous for its wineries, and there are thousands of acres of vineyards around the city, but it also has amazing shopping and is surrounded by green spaces. This is what makes it the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Napa for families.
Napa Town is basically the capital of the Napa Valley, so this is where you’ll find the greatest concentration of shops, restaurants, and bars. It also has a great riverfront promenade where you can people watch, shop, eat, see some art, and have a cocktail at the end of a long day.
Calistoga is one of the smaller towns in the Napa Valley. It’s also one of the best areas to stay in Napa if you want to relax and rejuvenate during your holiday. Calistoga has its own natural hot springs and mud baths and is famous for its wellness scene.
The Napa Valley is filled with rolling hills and small towns dotted throughout the green landscape. Some of these small settlements are pretty budget-friendly and offer great access to the wineries, food, and outdoor activities that this part of the world is famous for.
Yountville is the best place to stay if you’re deciding where to stay in Napa for your first visit. This pretty town is close to some of the best wineries in the region, and it also has a rural vibe that will make your stay even more relaxing.
Those travelling California on a budget should check out American Canyon for the cheapest accommodation in the region. It’s well-connected to San Francisco, wineries, and nature reserves, so you’ll have plenty to keep you busy.
While American Canyon is a popular destination for families, we recommend looking at St Helena if you’re travelling with kids. With its variety of attractions from shops to wineries and even a chocolate factory, there’s plenty to keep everyone busy. It’s a generally relaxed neighbourhood, great for returning to after a day of exploring.
If you’re travelling for the nightlife, and who wouldn’t when it comes with a distinct Napa Valley flavour, then you should base yourself in Napa Town. This is the buzzing capital of the region and is where you’ll find amazing bars and restaurants.
The final area to look at is Calistoga, an unapologetically cool part of the region. It’s filled with spas and other attractions to help you relax and recharge during your holiday.
Napa’s 5 Best Areas to Stay in
You’ll need to do a bit of searching to find budget-friendly accommodation in Napa Valley. To help you out, we recommend checking out these areas…
1. Yountville – Best Area to Stay in Napa for your First Visit
Yountville is in the heart of Napa Valley, and it’s probably the prettiest town in the region. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive of the ‘cheap’ areas, and there are good reasons for that. Yountville has more Michelin stars per capita than any other town in America, so you can expect some sublime food when you stay here.
There are also some popular wine cellars around the Yountville area, but it’s the relaxed, rural vibe that is the real star. Yountville is conveniently close enough to other towns but still feels secluded and secret, the perfect combination for a tranquil holiday.
Best Cottage in Yountville: The Barn at Yountville
If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay in Napa for a group or family, then this is your answer. The remodelled 1880s cottage retains many of its rustic features and has space for four guests. It also has a private yard and is within walking distance of some of the best eateries in Napa.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Yountville: Yountville Wine Country Gem
Suitable for up to seven guests, this is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Napa on your first visit. It’s a short walk from Yountville’s downtown and local vineyards and sits in a quiet local neighbourhood. The house has its own patio for enjoying the outdoors as well as a full kitchen, laundry facilities, and a bathtub.
Best Hotel in Yountville: Petit Logis Inn
This is one of the best places in Napa to stay if you want to be close to everything. It’s just moments from local restaurants and attractions and has comfortable and cosy rooms. Each room has its own bathroom with a patio, fireplace, and spa bath. The accommodation is also surrounded by beautiful gardens that add to the homey atmosphere.
Things to See and Do in Yountville:
- Learn more about the history of the area at the Napa Valley Museum.
- Try some local wines at the Silver Trident Winery or the Hill Family Estate.
- Dine on rustic Italian dishes at Bottega Napa Valley or wood-fired pizzas at Ciccio.
- Play a round of golf at Vintners Golf Club.
- Head a little way out of town to explore wineries like the Hoopes Vineyard or Dillon Vineyards.
- Got a little more cash to splash? Take to the skies in a hot air balloon ride over the valley.
2. American Canyon – Where to Stay in Napa on a Budget
This is the best place to stay in Napa if you’re travelling on a shoestring budget. Located at the southern end of the Napa Valley, it’s a popular base for road trippers and travellers wanting an affordable base from which to explore. It’s also filled with attractions that will keep everyone entertained.
The city offers a good mix of outdoor and indoor activities. And of course, like most areas of Napa Valley, it’s close to some fantastic wineries.
American Canyon is the closest area to San Francisco, making it the best place to stay if you’re planning a quick weekend trip to the valley.
Best Guest Suite in American Canyon: Very Private Suite
This reasonably priced suite is one of the best places to stay in Napa on a budget. It sleeps three guests and has a private entrance and courtyard area, the ideal place to crack open a bottle of expensive wine.
Best Luxury Airbnb in American Canyon: Beautiful 5 Bedroom Napa Valley
This large, two-story house sleeps up to eight guests and has a clean, contemporary design. It’s located near a park and is a short drive downtown, making it a great base for exploring the area. It has a large secured backyard, giving you complete privacy while you enjoy the beautiful outdoor scenery. It also has a full kitchen, modern amenities, and free parking.
Best Hotel in American Canyon: Fairfield Inn and Suites
This hotel offers a great mix of a good location, top amenities, and a great price. It has an outdoor pool, gym, hot tub, barbecue facilities, and a business centre on-site. The rooms are comfortable and simple but have fridges, microwaves, and work areas. And, to top it off, there’s a free continental breakfast offered each morning.
Things to See and Do in American Canyon:
- See the valley on horseback with the Spirit Horse Riding Center.
- Put on your hiking boots and take a picnic to the Lynch Canyon Open Space or the Newell Open Space.
- Play a round of golf at one of the most loved courses in the region at the Chardonnay Golf Club.
- Enjoy a meal at the Thai Kitchen or LASO.
- Try your luck at the tables at the Napa Valley Casino.
- Relax with a drink at The View Bar & Grill or the After Hours Cocktail Lounge.
- Check out Six Flags Discovery Kingdom for rides, junk food, and wildlife experiences.
3. St Helena – Best Place to Stay in Napa for Families
St Helena has a little of everything. It’s famous for its – wait for it – wine, but it also has amazing shopping and is surrounded by green spaces. This is what makes it the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Napa for families.
As if that wasn’t enough, St Helena is also home to some interesting art galleries and a chocolate discovery factory! It’s a charming and laid back area to be in, making a great base for exploring the rest of the region.
Best Budget Apartment in St Helena: 2 Bedroom Flat in Downtown St Helena
This is one of the best places to stay in Napa if you want to be in the middle of everything. The condo sleeps four guests and has a private entrance and parking area. If you want to explore further afield, Napa Town and Yountville are just a short drive away.
Best Luxury Airbnb in St Helena: Large Wine Country Getaway
Able to sleep up to 10 guests, this large home is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Napa for families. It’s a brand new home with high-end finishes and overlooks the vineyards. The outdoor space at this property is perfect for a group meal in the beautiful outdoors, and the open-concept kitchen is perfect for entertaining as well.
Best Hotel in St Helena: Wydown Hotel
This welcoming hotel sits in one of Napa’s best neighbourhoods for great food and wine. The rooms are warm with luxurious extras like plush linens and each room has a private bathroom. Free breakfast is provided at the hotel every morning, and there are wineries and restaurants within walking distance.
Things to See and Do in St Helena:
- Learn about the past at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum.
- Immerse yourself in the city’s creative soul at the Caldwell Snyder Gallery or the Dennis Rae Fine Art Gallery.
- Stop in for a meal at Market for American comfort food or Gott’s Roadside for burgers and tacos.
- Let the kids burn off some energy at Crane Park.
- Sample the local wines at Navone Family Wines or the Andrew Geoffrey Vineyard.
- See what’s on at the Cameo Cinema.
- Explore the Ghirardelli Chocolate Discovery Center.
4. Napa Town – Where to Stay in Napa for Nightlife
Napa Town is basically the capital of the Napa Valley, so this is where you’ll find the greatest concentration of shops, restaurants, and bars. It also has a great riverfront promenade where you can people watch, shop, eat, see some art, and have a cocktail at the end of a long day. It’s this mix of entertainment options that make Napa Town the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Napa for nightlife.
As the largest city in the area, Napa Town also has the best range of accommodation, from the most expensive to cheaper options. It’s a great place to stay for people travelling on any budget.
Best Vacation Rental in Napa Town: Cozy Hillside Home with a View
This house is an inexpensive gem located right in the heart of Napa Town. It sleeps two guests and is set back from the road for privacy, but is within walking distance from downtown. It also offers free parking, as well as a hot tub to kick back in.
Best Luxury Airbnb in Napa Town: Casita Rosa
Suitable for four guests, this is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Napa with kids. It’s a Spanish-style bungalow built in 1927 and is located right in the centre of Napa’s historic downtown. The home is beautifully decorated with lots of light, and it has a full kitchen, patio, and laundry facilities.
Best Hotel in Napa Town: Napa Discovery Inn
This hotel provides some of the best budget accommodation in Napa. It’s both wallet and environmentally friendly and is a short walk from Napa Town’s best attractions and shops. The rooms are comfortable and simple, offering fridges and microwaves. You can dive into a free continental breakfast each morning, which is a great way to cure a hangover.
Things to See and Do in Napa Town:
- Rent a kayak and paddle along the Napa River.
- Go hiking, biking, or horse riding in the Skyline Wilderness Park.
- Spend an afternoon wandering, shopping, eating, and people watching on the riverfront promenade.
- Try the local cuisine at Fume, Boon Fly Café, or JuJu’s Mediterranean Kitchen.
- Enjoy the wine at the Trinitas Cellars or the Artesa Vineyards & Winery.
- Check out the Oxbow public market for local goods.
- Calling all wine lovers: The Napa Valley Wine Train is definitely a worthy day out.
5. Calistoga – The Coolest Place to Stay in Napa
Calistoga is one of the smaller cities in the Napa Valley. It’s also one of the best areas to stay in Napa if you want to relax and rejuvenate during your holiday. The area is famous for its wellness scene and has its own natural hot springs and mud baths. If you’ve ever wanted to do yoga and then have a dip in mineral pools overlooking natural scenery (because why not?), this is a great place to do so.
Of course, Calistoga also has its own collection of famous vineyards and restaurants where you can undo all that healthy work you’ve done (life’s all about balance, after all). It’s also surrounded by the natural scenery that this part of the world is famous for, so you’ll have lots of opportunities to exercise in the outdoors.
Best Cottage in Calistoga: Cozy Queen Cottage
This adorable cottage is one of the coolest places to stay in Napa. It’s close to everything, but we wouldn’t blame you if you spent most of your time sipping wine on the private decks. The indoor space is cosy and welcoming, making a gorgeous retreat for two guests.
Best Luxury Bungalow in Calistoga: Charming Calistoga Garden Bungalow
This lovely bungalow sleeps four guests and is just two blocks from the city’s main street. It has all the modern amenities but still retains its unique charm and character and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. It also has a detached social room with a pool table and foosball so you can socialize with style!
Best Hotel in Calistoga: Best Western Plus Stevenson Manor
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Napa for one night or for a longer visit, this hotel is superb. The rooms are large and have air conditioning, a microwave, and a fridge as well as a private bathroom. The hotel serves a daily free breakfast and has a garden, steam room, and a dry sauna room that you can use to relax during your stay.
Things to See and Do in Calistoga
- Hike through Robert Louis Stevenson State Park to the top of Mount Saint Helena for views over the valley.
- Check out the Old Faithful Geyser of California, Napa’s alternative to Yellowstone.
- Spend some time at historic vineyards like Vincent Arroyo Winery and Chateau Montelena.
- Learn about the local history at Villa CA’TOGA or the Sharpsteen Museum.
- Have a meal at Evangeline, Sushi Mambo, or Sam’s Social Club.
- Check out redwood trees that were petrified by a volcano around three million years ago at the Petrified Forest.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Napa
The coolest places to stay in Napa have a little bit of everything, easy access to outdoor activities, and of course, wineries. It’s the perfect place to get outdoors during the day and reward yourself with an indulgent meal in the evening. Whether you’re just passing through on a road trip through California or are planning a longer visit, you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained.
If you’re still not sure where to stay in Napa on a budget, you can’t go wrong at American Canyon. Here, you can spend less money on accommodation, and more on day trips, activities, and wine.
And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
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