Although the population of Yountville is under 3,000, this tiny community in the California Wine Country is home to some of the world’s best dining, shopping and luxury accommodations. Not everyone may be able to dine at The French Laundry, a two-time winner of “Best Restaurant in the World” or spend a few nights in elegance at the world acclaimed Bardessono, but there are plenty of other, more affordable attractions worth visiting, all within walking distance of each other. During the summer months and especially on weekends, traffic and parking can sometimes be a challenge. Yet, perhaps the vast majority of travelers to the Wine Country may not even realize the little town just north of Napa on Highway 29 is worth the trouble of visiting, let alone realizing it’s a world class mecca for exceptional dining and lavish accommodations. The following is a walking tour to five of Yountville’s most well-known and most popular spots.

(credit: Randy Yagi)

6526 Yount St.
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 204-6000

Listed as one of the world’s best places to stay from travel sites like Travel and Leisure, Forbes, Condé Nast and Andrew Harper, Bardessono is an exceptionally designed, 62-room luxury hotel and spa. Also awarded Trip Advisor’s 2013 Most Romantic Hotel in the U.S., Bardessono is just one of three hotels in the country awarded highest honors in energy efficiency. Led by rising star Executive Chef Victor Scargle, the award-winning Lucy Restaurant and Bar serves moderately priced meals all day, with many of the world’s finest wines and organic vegetables harvested on-site in Lucy’s Garden. Guests can also enjoy the stunningly beautiful rooftop swimming pool and luxury spa services are available in every guest room suite.

Related: Take a One-Tank Trip to Downtown Sonoma

Bouchon Bakery (credit: Randy Yagi)

Bouchon Bakery
6528 Washington St.
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 944-2253

Less than a five-minute walk from Bardessono is the acclaimed Bouchon Bakery, under ownership of the French Laundry’s Executive Chef and multiple James Beard award-winner Thomas Keller. Easily one of the most visited places in Yountville, there always seems to be a number of eager customers lined up outside the French bakery as they await their chance to savor the bakery’s many delectable selections, but all seem to agree it’s well worth the wait. Among the most sought-after items from the bakery’s generously priced menu are mouthwatering croissants, pastries, confections, cookies and even fabulously crafted special treats for man’s best friend. Adjacent to the bakery is the similarly popular Bouchon Bistro, serving traditional French bistro fare.

The French Laundry (credit: Randy Yagi)

The French Laundry
6640 Washington St.
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 944-2380

One of just two three-starred Michelin restaurants in California and one of just 10 in the entire country, The French Laundry has frequently been mentioned as the “best restaurant in the world.” Housed within an historic stone building built in 1900, the restaurant only seats 60 guests and reservations are accepted up to two months in advance. Owner and Executive Chef Thomas Keller leads a prestigious staff that also features Dennis Kelly, one of just 190 people in the world to earn status as Master Sommelier, and Pastry Chef Milton Abel II, who previously worked at Keller’s other three-starred Michelin restaurant, Per Se in New York City. The French Laundry serves two unique nine-course tasting menus prepared with the upmost perfection, along with an extensive wine list worthy of being noted as among the world’s finest.

Jessup Cellars
6740 Washington St.
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 944-8523

For wine lovers, a visit to the California Wine Country must include a visit to a wine tasting room. Just a three-minute walk from the French Laundry is Jessup Cellars’ wine tasting room. Known for its handcrafted, small-production Napa Valley red and white wines, Jessup Cellars only sells its selections online or at its location in Yountville. Among the tasty, yet surprisingly affordable wines are Cabernet Sauvignons, Syrahs and Merlots, all from the Napa Valley. Staffed by knowledgeable wine aficionados known for stellar service and recommendations for wine pairings, the wine tasting room is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

V Marketplace’s Wine Cellar (credit: Randy Yagi)

V Marketplace
6525 Washington St.
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 944-2451

Just across the street from Bouchon Bakery is V Marketplace, located within the historic, 143-year-old Groezinger Winery property, replete with cobblestone walkways and ivy-covered brick walls. Once simply known as Vintage 1870 and location of one of Napa Valley’s first wineries, the upscale shopping center features a collection of specialty shops, galleries featuring works from Wine Country artists, wine tasting and dining. One of the center’s most prominent establishments is Bottega Ristornate, another of Napa Valley’s high-profile restaurants, led by Emmy Award-winning celebrity Chef and Vitner Michael Chiarello. For chocolate lovers, Kollar Chocolates, led by internationally recognized chocolatier Chris Kollar, is the place in Yountville for indulgent selections of truffles, such as the incredibly delicious fennel pollen milk chocolate ganache and poppy saffron bar, both gold medal winners at the International Chocolate Salon, the world’s premier event for chocolatiers. For wine tasting, the boutique wine store V Cellar has an extensive collection of affordable Napa Valley wines, a full tasting bar and lounge, wine club and all-access sommelier services.

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on