This national park is the preserved home of one of the United States' most famous naturalists and conservationists, John Muir. Muir, who passed away in 1914, founded the Sierra Club and is considered the father of the National Parks system. The site consists of Muir's 17-room Victorian mansion and surrounding fruit ranch, his gravesite, the Martinez Adobe, and the recently added Mount Wanda area that features the John Muir Nature Trail. Take the self-guided tour of the grounds. There are special events around Christmas and on John Muir's birthday, April 21.
This restored grist mill, originally built in 1846, is still functional and visitors can see its massive millstones in action, where millers grind flour out of local wheat. Guided tours of the mill are highly recommended, and flour produced here can also be purchased as a souvenir. The verdant surroundings are a great addition to the historic charm of this site, with winding trails adding to the outdoorsy appeal of this park.
The Schramsberg winery was established way back in the year 1862 by German immigrants, and a century later it became the first winery in America to attempt the production of sparkling wines. Today, it produces eight varietals of sparkling wine—they are made primarily from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and all of them are bottle-fermented. For a taste, you can visit this historic winery by appointment.
The Jack London State Historic Park is a beautiful site that covers about 47.5 acres (19 hectares) of land area. Many of Jack London's works were written during his time at the cottage located here, and the author's legacy and life have been preserved in the form of riveting exhibits and displays at the House of Happy Walls Museum. Visitors can also embark on explorations of the surrounding parkland through picturesque trails, or unwind at scenic picnic sites while basking in the beauty of the environs. The park also includes Jack London's burial site, and the ruins of what was intended to serve as the writer's house.
Historic architecture, open-air markets, clothing boutiques, antique stores, gourmet food shops - all surrounded by fabulous vineyards and wineries - this is downtown Napa. Buy quality clothing from the Mustard Seed Clothing Co., hunt for treasures at Antiques On Second, and don't forget to stop into one of the dozens of award-winning cafes and restaurants to refuel. Just a few miles away on Factory Stores Drive you will find the Napa Premium Outlets, the number one spot in the area to find designer brands such as BCBG Max Azria, DKNY, and Coach, at heavily discounted prices.
The Sonoma State Historic Park, home of Mission San Francisco Solano, is an interesting stop during any visit to Sonoma. In addition to the mission, it features the Blue Wing Inn, Sonoma Barracks, the Toscano Hotel, the Servants Quarters, and Vallejo's Home, each steeped in local history and culture. Explore the grounds, visit the museum and gain a deeper insight into the place of origin of the symbolic Bear Flag of the state through informative exhibitions.
The First Presbyterian Church at Napa in California is a historical church site located on Third Street, Napa. Constructed in 1874, it has adapted the magnificent Gothic style of architecture as evidenced by its tall bell tower, mullioned windows and arched doors. Damaged during the 2014 earthquake, the church has been renovated and is once more open to visitors. This beautiful church features on the National Register of Historic Places and its definitely worth visiting while in Napa.
The majestic Mont La Salle Chapel has served as a city landmark since the year 1932. A fine specimen of Mission Style and Spanish Romanesque architectural styles, it radiates calm and serenity and has been used for a number of educational and religious purposes ever since it was founded. The chapel complex also boasts of a well-designed conference venue, while the chapel itself remains an idyllic spot for wedding receptions, concerts and other events.
Swiss millionaire Donald Hess displays a portion of his magnificent art collection at the Hess Collection Winery. The original stone structures built in 1903 were retained in the new facility, which also includes an audio-visual room, a 13,000-square-foot (1207-square-meter) art gallery and an upscale store. While the wines are simple by Napa standards, they are both decent and affordable. The winery produces two varietals, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Although the Rockville Cemetery Stone Chapel was built in 1856, its story begins in 1850 when the pioneers who resided here were introduced to the gospel. People traveled long distances to attend the camp meetings that were held along the Suisun Creek before the chapel was established. Funded by generous donations, the chapel soon came to be at the center of the community's religious and spiritual lives. After the civil war the church fell into decline and became ruinous in condition although the premises continued to be used for worship by the families for those buried in the cemetery. In 1940 the church was finally restored and is a popular choice for wedding ceremonies even today. While this humble church may not be elaborately adorned or impressive in size, its simple charm is undeniable. The chapel continues to hold a place in the hearts of the people of Fairfield and is revered for its place in the town's history.
Blue Wing Inn is believed to be one of the first hotels in the county. This adobe structure was built in the 1800s and was said to have first been used to house miners and soldiers. Over the course of its existence, the inn has hosted several notable figures of the 19th century. After changing hands several times, the inn was sold to the State of California Division of Beaches and Parks. Since then the building has been used as a local history museum.