"US News" Ranks Valley, Snubs City

Once again, a national publication misses the mark on Napa. Would you leave the Left Bank out of a guide to Paris?


The good news: Napa Valley has been voted number one in the "16 Best Honeymoon Destinations in the U.S." rankings on the US News & World Report Travel website, well ahead of also-rans like Hawaii, Sedona and the Virgin Islands.

The not-so-good news: The US News listing virtually ignores the the city of Napa, which gets the briefest of mentions as the departure point for the .

Apart from that, the closest US News gets to Napa is , out in Carneros. The rest of the listing touts several Upvalley wineries and a state park in Calistoga. Not even our Zagat-rated or the white-hot eateries of star TV chefs and made the cut.

Di Rosa is also the only nod to culture in the US News report, which includes the open-air art collection as a "refreshing option" for "when you tire of wine-tastings."

Because visiting Napa is all about wine, gushes the site:

(V)ineyards are the things that separate verdant golf courses, soothing spas and gourmet restaurants. So plan for days overflowing with Cabernets and Sauvignon Blancs and prepare for an intoxicating trip.

How about this for a refreshing option, travel writers: Open your eyes, and your readers', to the real Napa. Sure, we have wine and luxury accommodations, but there's a lot more to discover and you don't need to get intoxicated to enjoy it.

For one thing, leaving the city of Napa out of your Napa Valley travel coverage is like leaving the Left Bank out of a guide to Paris.

More than half the county's population lives here, many in historic neighborhoods: Preservationists estimate some 3,000 architecturally significant homes from earlier times still stand inside the city limits.

In old buildings and new ones alike, restaurants, wine bars and tasting rooms create a lively scene both downtown and in north Napa, where karaoke singers make music at and burger aficionados have almost too many choices.

Public art is everywhere, from whirling sculptures to reimagined shop windows; you can even learn the cha-cha from a sidewalk diagram. You can even buy art to take home from one of our downtown galleries.

We have nightclubs, too, both and , and a gem of an restored to its 19th-century glory and operated by a non-profit to bring quality entertainment to the community.

Music-loving couples could plan their wedding trip to coincide with Napa Porchfest, when live music rings out from dozens of neighborhood porches the last Sunday in July.

And what honeymooners wouldn't care to wander hand-in-hand along our riverfront promenade, and sample the goodies at ?

So c'mon, travel writers: Unfold that map, discover the real Napa and send us some visitors who are interested in more than wine.

Steve Sando December 15, 2011 at 09:14 PM
Did you see the December Bon Appetit article on Napa? It more than made up for this. And cooler people read it than US News1
Tom Emmons December 16, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Agreed, Steve. Who reads US News to find out about travel stuff? Who cares?
Mj Schaer December 16, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Some mention is better than no mention... any positive PR, large or small is better than none at all... no matter what the outlet
Scott Yeager December 19, 2011 at 05:01 PM
The more Napa does to keep revitalizing down town will help turn the image around that the city has nothing to offer. It's only in the last couple of years that things have started changing.


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