Foodies will find a little slice of heaven in Yountville. With more Michelin stars per capita than any other place in North America, this little village could keep you happily munching for days—if you didn’t care about calories. But who cares—this is what vacations are all about: beautiful settings and incredible food.
The man who really put Yountville on the culinary map is the incomparable Chef Thomas Keller. He may have a worldwide empire of restaurants now, but his The French Laundry, which he took over in 1994, was a breakthrough, a true destination restaurant in Napa wine country. It’s still outstanding, earning a coveted three Michelin stars, and requiring reservations several months in advance. (Try for lunch and you may have a better chance.) Today, you can practically call the town “Keller-ville”: he has also opened his more relaxed but also excellent Bouchon, as well as the forget-the-calorie-counter Bouchon Bakery. Other amazing restaurants include Redd, Etoile, Bistro Jeanty, and Bottego, where celebrity chef Michael Chiarello focuses on ultra fresh and Italian.
Also visit in-town tasting rooms; try Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley, sample wines from more than 20 vintner partners on the back patio of the historic stone building, and you’ll feel like you’ve slipped away to Provence. Wines are great, but if you want to switch things up, sip a poolside cocktail at the Dive Bar at Bardessono, an ultra-swanky (and LEED-platinum certified) boutique luxury resort. (Parties are held the last Thursday of the month, June to August).