Art Lover's Guide to Napa Valley

Advisor - Lisa Gentile
Curated By

Lisa Gentile

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  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • Luxury Travel

  • Napa Valley

  • California

  • Local Culture

  • Shopping

  • Vineyard

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Curator’s statement

A visit to Napa Valley with an eye for art brings this storied collection of wine towns into fresh focus. And, yes, that includes the arts of wine and food.

The Fora Difference

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Killer perks

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Napa Valley

Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection

Experience the epitome of wine country luxury at Stanly Ranch in Napa, where vineyard views and exceptional hospitality create an unforgettable retreat.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Archer Hotel Napa

A refreshingly low-key boutique in walkable, downtown Napa.

The Cottages of Napa Valley

Discover rustic charm and luxury at The Cottages of Napa Valley, where vineyard views, private cottages and exceptional wine experiences create an unforgettable wine country retreat.

Advisor - Lisa Gentile

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Things to do in Napa Valley

credit to St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery
St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery

Art walks

The Yountville Art Walk takes you past the many creations of local artists. Learn about the artists and their work through a Free Self-Guided Audio Tour, a Docent Led Art Walk Tour, and a printed Art Walk Map. Every time I stroll between galleries, restaurants, and wine lounges on Washington Street, conversation sprouts from the Rock Mushrooms.

Napa Art Walk is a biennial rotating exhibition of art in public places.

The Napa Lighted Art Festival is a winter celebration of creative arts, technology, lights, and supports innovative techniques using light and light technologies as a growing art medium. This walkable outdoor experience is free.


Villa CA’ TOGA in Calistoga is the residence and retreat of Carlo Marchiori, an artist born in Rossano in 1937. The villa's interiors are covered with murals complete with typical Palladian trompe l'oeil. Seek out the Greek temple and Roman pool on the grounds. The villa is open for tours weekly on Saturdays from May to October.

Check the Open Studios Napa Valley calendar for the weekends when artists throughout the valley open their doors to the public. It’s an opportunity to ask the artist’s what inspires them, study a work in progress, and purchase a piece that charms you.

Galleries & museums

The Napa Valley Museum in Yountville celebrates Napa Valley’s history, environment, and culture. Past exhibitions include More Compassionate Action, a discussion of how to turn our individual compassion into positive action, and “Sally Schmitt: Six California Kitchens”, a look at the life and legacy of acclaimed Yountville chef Sally Schmitt, a pioneer of California cuisine who with husband Don founded the iconic restaurant The French Laundry. 

Visit Art Gallery Napa Valley in the city of Napa for an introduction to dozens of local talents, working in a variety of media, from jewelry to oil paintings.

Jessel Gallery in Napa hosts fundraisers for not-for-profit organizations, salons, and classes surrounded by paintings and sculptures.

The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, just west of Napa, engages the community with art and nature through its permanent collection of Northern California art, contemporary exhibitions, and educational programs. An art park and nature preserve located on the traditional lands of the Patwin, Wappo, and Coast Miwok Peoples the center is committed to working with and learning from indigenous peoples.

Wineries with art installations and galleries

Perched atop Mount Veeder just west of Napa, the Hess Collection Winery and Contemporary Art Museum offer a panoramic view of the valley as well as the Hess-Perrson family’s stunning collection of work by some of the world’s most important modern and contemporary artists: Francis Bacon, Anselm Kiefer, and Robert Motherwell, among others. The museum is available for free self-guided tours by reservation. Visitors can opt for tasting + art experiences and even a tour of the museum with Director of Art, Robert Ceballos.

The Jessup Cellars Tasting Gallery in Yountville features contemporary abstract, figurative, and landscape art by local and international artists on the walls of the tasting and adjacent rooms. The gallery stroll is included with the price of tastings.

At Cliff Lede Vineyards in Yountville the swanky Backstage Lounge is a private tasting room and art gallery that celebrates icons of rock and roll and also has artworks for purchase by the likes of John Lennon, Grace Slick, and Jerry Garcia. Also notice the permanent collection of structures from artists including Kim Dine and Boaz Vaddia on the winery grounds.

Turnbull in Oakville is a landmark for lovers of architecture, design, and art, thanks foremost to its architect founder William Turnbull Jr., notable for his work on Sonoma County's iconic Sea Ranch. The tasting rooms and garden show off an incredible collection of photography, including one of the country's largest collections of Ansel Adams images.

St. Supery in Rutherford is a French countryside-inspired estate — purchased by Chanel in 2015 — where visitors can view the second-floor art gallery.

Brasswood Napa Valley in St Helena has it all: a winery, restaurant, bakery, event space, and even an art gallery of rotating exhibits—previous displays have included works by Salvador Dali and the famous animal sculptures of French artist Cévé. The gallery is open to all visitors.

The iconic 35-foot tall Bunny Foo Foo leaping out of the Hall Vineyards in St Helena is just one more than 30 whimsical contemporary pieces you’ll see on a wander through the grounds. Reserve the Wine and Art Exploration experience. 

One of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, Larkmead Estate in Calistoga displays the artwork of proprietor Kate Solari Baker, who grew up in Napa Valley. She’s known for her multimedia art and pastel landscapes.


Feeling inspired? Turn your visit into an art retreat with these classes or book studio time.

Nimbus Arts is on a mission to give the Napa Valley Community access to art. A wide range of programs, classes, and studio time is available for all ages.

Napa Valley Art Workshops host painting, mixed media, and printmaking classes.

Acrylic and watercolor classes at Jessel Gallery.

Clay and glass classes at Art Association Napa Valley’s Clay and Glass Center. Already experienced? You can also book studio time and work alone.

One of the many experiences available at Stanly Ranch is a plein air watercolor lesson.

Alila offers a sip-and-paint class with an experiential twist includes artful wines and an expert guide from local cooperative Nimbus Arts. Hosted in the Acacia Barn or outside, depending on the season, it’s the perfect way to unwind with friends or make new ones during an afternoon of creativity.

Private customizable tours

Make the most of Napa Valley’s art bounty with a customized, private tour. Your guide will collect you at your hotel for a journey to approximately three wineries of your choice. Enjoy the art, wine tastings, and lunch in a vineyard setting. I’ll be happy to make the arrangements for you.

Places to eat & drink in Napa Valley

Credit to St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery
St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery

With such a robust agricultural palette, farm-to-table meals are art in Napa Valley.

Just as in everyday French life, Bistro Jeanty in Yountville is the neighborhood restaurant where they greet you warmly and serve you satisfying foods that change with the seasons. Everything here is always sumptuous, but I go for the braised rabbit or authentic cassoulet.

While in Yountville, visit the original Bouchon Bakery for a selection of artisanal breads, classic desserts, and savory items inspired by Chef Keller’s memories of life in France. The long queue moves quickly and they give you plenty of time to browse once you’re inside. It’s all magic. 

Hop across the street to Kollar Chocolates in the market building. Their truffles, bon bons, and other confections are “art and alchemy”.

Farmstead Restaurant in St Helena celebrates ingredients fresh from the Hall family farm, ranch, and vineyards. Flavors reflect the rugged mountain terrain, mineral-rich riverbed, and cool coastal air.

Stanly Ranch offers a Grange Harvest Dinner series. Held in the chef’s garden, each meal “honors the infinite connection between the land, ingredients, makers and farmers by focusing on a single, exceptional seasonal ingredient.”

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Lush Refuge in the Nicoya Peninsula: A Costa Rica Itinerary for 7 Days.

Advisor - Lisa Gentile

Travel Advisor

Lisa Gentile

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Napa Valley and our longer series on travel to California.