Napa Valley is a popular destination for good reason. Its wineries produce some of America's best wines, and its scenery in as attractive as anywhere else in California. Some people will even tell you that a visit to Napa is as memorable as visiting some of Europe's great wine regions (such as Tuscany or the Loire Valley).
Here's the problem: Napa Valley can get crowded. People coming to experience the rustic charms of this region might end up being disappointed by the sheer number of other wine-loving tourists. This can also be an issue if you are planning to host a wedding in the valley. You want "quaint California," but instead you get a lively tourist scene. This type of scene is great if you want to socialize during vineyard tours and wine tastings, but if you are trying to tap into the rural side of Napa, it can be frustrating.
Like any popular destination, this area has plenty of quiet corners that see less visitors than the main tourist areas. If you are looking to travel Napa's wine trail, these out-of-the-way places are not usually on your map, but if you want to host a special event away from the beaten path, these hidden spots are absolutely ideal.
One such venue is the Triple S Ranch. This rustic piece of California paradise is located a short distance away from the spa town of Calistoga. Calistoga, a village of 5,000, protects its natural feel with regulations that actually ban chain restaurants and require that only two-lane roads lead into the town. In addition to the nearby wineries, the town has thermal springs and mud baths. Other features, like a cricket grounds that actually hosts matches, really give this place a frozen-in-time feel.
The Triple S shares that kind of timeless atmosphere. This vacation estate and events venue is located a few miles outside of Calistoga. Originally built in the mid 19th century, it has been restored over the years. However, the renovations were carefully done so that the original feel was not changed. The centerpiece of this estate is a Victorian-style building known, fittingly, as the Grand Victorian. This three-bedroom, three-bath mansion is decorated with period antiques, and has lovely common areas where guests can relax and revel in the classic ambiance.
The Triple S is perfect for larger events because it has 10 cottages on its grounds. Each of these unique dwellings can be rented out to host guests who come for your special celebration or event. Some of the cottages are perfect for couples, while others have full kitchens and multiple bedrooms and are ideal for families. Additional accommodations are available in Calistoga. In all, 30 guests can stay overnight on the property.
The ranch's "restaurant," housed in a converted barn, can host special events for up to 200 people (150 if you want to have a dance floor). With antique bars, a fireplace and rustic wood beams, the restaurant really brings the kind of setting that people often come to Napa looking for. They are usually only able to find this kind of vibe when they travel off the beaten path to places like the Triple S Ranch. Outdoor patios and "celebration spaces" on the lawns and under the Triple S's stately and towering trees make it possible to have a wedding ceremony outside before heading indoors for the reception.
Of course, this is wine country. A number of wineries are within a short distance of the Ranch. Guests who are staying overnight could easily take a tasting tour by themselves or as part of a group tour.
Do know any quiet corners in Napa Valley where you can take a vacation or host a special event? Use the comments section to let us know...