Silverado Trail

The historic and beautiful Silverado Trail is one of the great Napa scenic drives. The road runs along the eastern side of Napa Valley and is less busy than the well-known Highway 29 route. While Highway 29 runs right through—or close to—the downtown area of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga, the Silverado Trail travels along the outskirts of most of the towns. You can therefore expect a quieter, more tranquil landscape for your drive. Lined with excellent vineyards and wineries, the Napa Valley Silverado Trail is a lovely way to enjoy the beauty of the valley while exploring renowned wineries.

Today, the Silverado Trail is one of the popular Napa scenic drives, but the road also has a place in Napa Valley history. The road's name is derived from its past use in the local quicksilver (mercury) industry. The Silverado Trail led to Mt. St. Helena's Silverado Silver Mine and was once used to transport quicksilver from mines.

Another important piece of Napa history is also on the Silverado Trail: the Stag's Leap winery, one of the most famous Napa Valley wineries. In 1976, Stag's Leap famously put Napa Valley on the wine map when a Stag's Leap Cabernet beat out some of France's famous wines in a blind tasting. Located north of the Chimney Rock winery, Stag's Leap is a great place to immerse yourself Napa history while also enjoying excellent wines.

Stag's Leap is by no means the only fine winery on the Silverado Trail. Numerous excellent wineries are located on or close to the Silverado Trail. For sparkling wine and beautiful valley views from an outdoor patio, head to Mumm Napa Valley. Another of the Silverado wineries is Rutherford Hill, which offers tastings, cave tours, and areas for picnicking, and also on the trail are Duckhorn, Quintessa, Sterling, Plumpjack, and Clos Du Val. Like Rutherford Hill, many of the Silverado wineries have picnic facilities. If you didn't pack a picnic lunch, the Soda Canyon Store offers a delicatessen and other picnic supplies.

Wineries aren't the only thing attraction of the Silverado Trail, however. The Silverado Resort is one of the prime options for Napa Valley lodging. Located on 1,200 acres, the resort includes a 1870s mansion, 280 cottages, a spa, nine swimming pools, and nearly two dozen tennis courts. This Napa Valley resort is also a great place for golfing in Napa—there are two championship 18-hole courses that were designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. In addition, the Silverado Resort makes all parts of your stay effortless; not only do the cottages have full kitchens, but there are also restaurants onsite. Of course, Napa Valley is known for its excellent cuisine, so you may be tempted to stray elsewhere to sample the offerings at Michelin-starred restaurants such as The French Laundry in Yountville.

Lined with world-class Silverado wineries, the Silverado Trail is one of the best Napa scenic drives, and it is a great way to explore the valley in a quieter, more tranquil way. Try it—you won't be disappointed!

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