St. Helena, CA
- Known as the heart of Napa Valley, this city has a rich and historic winemaking culture that still continues today. The excellent wineries and wine-tastings are a must-visit.
- Aside from the world-class wineries, St. Helena also offers exceptional hiking trails, state-of-the-art sports facilities, Michelin star restaurants, well-curated art galleries, and many more.
- The homes for sale in St. Helena include luxury estates, resort-style homes, and ranch properties. Vacant lots are also available for those building their luxury home from the ground up.
St. Helena is a lovely city that blends the rich history of Napa Valley with its present-day distinction as a region of world-class wineries. You’ll be enchanted by St. Helena’s 19th-century charm, beautiful sprawling vineyards, vibrant art scene, special gourmet treats, and Instagram-worthy sights.
St. Helena is around 66 miles north of San Francisco and is found right at the heart of Napa Valley. More than 6,000 people call this city home, according to figures from the U.S. Census. Easy access to the area from the Bay Area via Interstate Highways 80 and 680 makes it a wonderful Napa Valley destination for an unhurried getaway.
Wine, dine, shop, stroll, relax, enjoy – all these you can do and more here in St. Helena, especially if you decide to settle here soon!
A brief history of St. Helena
Even before settlers arrived during the days of the California Gold Rush, the Wappo Indians have already realized the richness of the land in Napa Valley. They were the Valley’s earliest-known inhabitants.
Spanish and Mexican colonizers entered the Valley starting in the mid-1700s. After the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt, California was declared independent and became the 31st state of the U.S. in 1850.
By the mid-1800s, Napa Valley began making its finest wines. St. Helena was among the first communities to have vineyards. By 1860, the area was going full blast into wine production. As the vineyards here flourished, so did the town. Thus, St. Helena was officially incorporated in 1876.
However, disease struck the Napa Valley vineyards at around the onset of the 1900s. Add to that the impact of World War 1 on wine imports, as well as the imposition of the “Bone Dry” Amendment which considered illegal the sale and consumption of alcohol. Recovery of the vineyards was slow after the said amendment was repealed in 1934. It only picked up after World War 2.
Today, St. Helena is at the center of commerce in Central Napa Valley, thanks to its vineyards and wineries. It has also successfully preserved its Old-World charm which residents continue to fight for in the light of modernization. In fact, several blocks of the downtown district are now officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
St Helena, CA Homes For Sale
Imagine waking up each day surrounded by breathtaking views of sprawling vineyards and the rich smell of the woodlands. This is just one of the perks of living in Napa Valley – and St. Helena is right smack in the middle of all this splendor.
Niche.com notes that St. Helena offers residents a sparse suburban feel with homes located in massive lots and situated relatively a good distance from each other. Most of the properties here are owned, not rented, and are considered to be among the most deluxe estates in the region.
Those who desire a more cosmopolitan feel of this suburban area can live near Main Street, where most commercial and business establishments are located. But for those who prefer life away from the hustle and bustle of the city, homes along the countryside make the most ideal properties.
Homes here display distinctive architectural designs, including Spanish Mediterranean, French chateau, modern farmhouse, and contemporary. The more upscale mansions have up to 7 bedrooms, 9 baths, a chef’s kitchen, and a wine cellar. As for amenities, you will find spacious walk-in closets, separate guest suites, outdoor kitchens and dining patios – and for that resort-like feel, a spa, gym, and infinity pool.
Here’s an overview of property types you’ll find in this lovely suburban area:
Luxury estates and resort-style homes
The good life doesn’t get any better when you consider purchasing any of the lovely luxury homes for sale in St. Helena. The land is either filled with vines producing well-known varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, or it may be vast farmland for agriculture and raising horses.
Fancy living the charmed life in a chateau or do you desire the rustic atmosphere of a ranch home? These are among the many homes to choose from in St. Helena. Even single-family homes here take luxury to the next level with spectacular valley views, special amenities fit for a resort, and open-floor layouts that give a seamless flow from the indoors to the outdoors.
Vast acreage for building your luxury home from scratch
Perhaps it is your desire to build your very own estate – you have the opportunity to do so in St. Helena. The countryside has massive vacant lots just waiting to be discovered! The fertile richness of the landscape, the majestic vistas all around, and the relative proximity to the Bay Area and other cosmopolitan venues are what make these properties the pinnacles of Napa Valley real estate.
Living in St. Helena, CA
St. Helena is considered to be among the best places to live in the country today, making properties here and the overall cost of living higher than the rest of California and the national average. However, considering the median household income here which is 86% higher than the national average, residents can afford the luxurious life that this slice of Napa Valley offers. This suburban paradise basically has everything one can ask for in terms of community amenities but despite the modern comforts, it manages to retain its small-town feel.
St. Helena is an important business center for the country’s wine-making industry. This is why most employment opportunities here are in agriculture and manufacturing. The city itself also provides venues for employment.
As the wineries here flourish, so does the local tourism industry. In fact, quite a number of lodging houses and luxurious B&Bs have been opened to accept tourist arrivals in the area. This has also resulted in many more tourism-related job openings.
You can always look forward to a wonderful Mediterranean climate in St. Helena that’s perfect for growing grapes. The best times to visit the area are in April, May, and October when temperatures are just right for sunny treks along St. Helena’s nature trails and wine tasting in the many vineyards situated here. Temperatures peak in July with the average set at a still-comfortable 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
St. Helena, as well as nearby cities, are served by the St. Helena Unified School District. Listed here is the breakdown of public schools under the said district:
Primary – St. Helena Primary School
Elementary – St. Helena Elementary School
Middle School – Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School
High school – St. Helena High School
The St. Helena Unified School District also boasts special education classes to specifically cater to the academic requirements of students with special needs. Niche.com ranks this district as No. 5 among the safest school districts in California.
Napa Valley has its own transport system – the VINE Transit – that brings locals to other parts of California. St. Helena happens to be along two of its routes – Route 10 and Route 29. Buses on Route 10 can go as far as Oakville from Calistoga but Route 29 buses bring travelers up to Vallejo where they can ride the ferry to San Francisco.
Those who want a more personalized touch to their travels can take the St. Helena Shuttle which operates on-demand and can pick you up at a set time between 9 AM and 6 PM on weekdays.
Life cannot get any sweeter than in St. Helena, especially since it is in the epicenter of California Wine Country. But more than wine-tasting and taking in the sights, there are many other great things to do in this lovely suburban area.
Parks and recreational activities
St. Helena has several amazing hiking spots and large swaths of green open spaces to cater to your adventurous spirit.
- Crane Park is for outdoor fun and engaging in your favorite sports. The 12–acre pack offers sports facilities from tennis courts to baseball fields. Only the playgrounds and the picnic areas are closed due to COVID-19 measures. All Fridays of October, meanwhile, are for visiting the St. Helena Farmers Market which is situated here.
- The Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park is home to the last-surviving water-powered mill in California. Currently closed in the light of the ongoing pandemic, the park can still be visited via their virtual tours that showcase the mill’s history, the awesome landscape of the property, and the present-day operation of the mill. Check these out here.
- Moore Creek Park is an adventurer’s paradise, especially with the rugged landscape and the presence of an abundant array of wildlife. It’s a great place for hiking, cycling, or horseback riding. Access to the park is through the Moore Creek Unit to the north or the Lake Hennessey Unit to the south.
St. Helena has dining spots that serve the finest cuisine on this side of Napa Valley, some of them with Michelin star distinctions. Name it, St. Helena has it: casual eateries, farm-to-table fare, fine dining, and cozy bistros, to mention a few.
Here are some of the highly acclaimed restaurants in the area:
- The Restaurant at Meadowood is a 3-Michelin-star restaurant that offers contemporary, bold cuisine in a relaxed setting. Best to be seated by the chef’s counter where you can watch the kitchen staff preparing meals from farm-fresh produce and other local ingredients
- Patrons of Goose & Gander always take note of the clubby vibe that this lovely gastropub exudes. Here, you can enjoy their food and drinks via takeout or in their basement bar, dining room, or garden.
- Caffe della Valle is where coffee enthusiasts can savor a rich cuppa Joe at any time of the day. It’s also the perfect spot for a hearty breakfast, lunch, or afternoon break. Gelatos here are to die for.
- Can’t go out in this time of COVID? Not to worry: Brasswood Bar + Kitchen is bringing the world-renowned wines of Napa Valley to you with its virtual tasting event from October 7 up to the end of the year. You can also visit for a taste of delectable cuisine c/o Executive Chef David Nuno from Chicken Piccata to Herb-infused Pappardelle and Short Rib Sugo.
Fancy shopping for artisanal goodies? St. Helena is brimming with lovely shops for your kind of retail therapy. Check out the following local commercial establishments:
- Acres Home and Garden isn’t just a gardening shop but a treasure trove of items from home décor to reading materials. They even have a pantry section for locally sourced specialty foods.
- Allison [in Wine Country] is actually the second branch, the first of which is in Manhattan Beach, CA (Allison [by the Beach]). If you’re looking for fashion that exudes casual chic, their clothing, accessories, and bags are for you.
- Napa Soap Company is a great place for handcrafted bath and body products made from natural and organic ingredients. Their wine-scented soap is a popular gift!
- Chocoholics among locals and visitors come to Woodhouse Chocolate for the store’s extensive array of chocolates and other sweet treats. They also have chocolates for special occasions, as well as choice assortments for corporate giveaways.
Arts and culture are very much alive in St. Helena, with well-curated galleries scattered around the city. Get some artistic inspiration by visiting the following galleries below:
- Caldwell Snyder Gallery is a contemporary art gallery specializing in European paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures. Apart from the St. Helena gallery, it also has branches in San Francisco and Montecito.
- Meuse Gallery features the vibrant paintings of its artist-in-residence, the award-winning, British-born, Simon Bull; as well as the mixed media artworks of Amy Donaldson, another celebrated artist whose works were showcased in London, Paris, New York, and even Australia.
- Nimbus Art is a community-owned, non-profit organization founded in 2005 with the mission of giving the Napa Valley community access to art.
There’s so much to see, places to visit here in St. Helena. Check out some of these great attractions for your next travels:
- Get cooking at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. This academic institution for culinary arts and wine management also provides tours of their historic facility. Once it’s safe to reopen their St. Helena branch, you can dine at their in-house restaurants and find fresh cooking ingredients at their marketplace anew.
- Book an appointment for food and wine tasting at Merryvale Vineyards. This is the first winery built in Napa Valley. Care for burgers and wine? How about Pinot and pizza? This is what to expect in their extraordinary food and wine tasting events.
- Marvel at filmmaking greats in Cameo Cinema. This single-screen movie theater has reopened and is back with a selection of wonderful mainstream and independent films that you can watch complete with Dolby Atmos Surround Sound.
- Go on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Tentatively opening by November, this experience is not to be missed. Onboard this luxury train, you can wine and dine, or even solve a murder mystery complete with a multi-course gourmet meal.
Enjoy the vacation lifestyle 24/7 in St. Helena, CA
Take your pick among the lovely homes and magnificent estates here in St. Helena and savor your daily dose of vacation living.
- St. Helena is about wine – and more. We already established that this suburban area in Napa Valley is home to some of the most established vineyards and wineries in America. But more than that, it has never lost its tranquil, small-town vibe. You can lose yourself in the quiet majesty of the beautiful landscape and the unhurried way of life here.
- St. Helena is a healthy place to live. Whether you prefer to walk in the parks, hike the scenic trails, or bike along the vineyard hillsides, you’ll find many recreational activities that keep your mind and body healthy. There are plenty of wellness centers to rejuvenate your spirits.
- St. Helena is a happy community. The locals are friendly, hospitable, and are used to tourists coming and going in their respective neighborhoods. Moreover, the laid-back lifestyle you sought for weekends is something you can enjoy every day here.
Realize your dreams in the heart of California’s Wine Country
If you want to find your dream home in St. Helena, choose a real estate agent who understands the real estate market climate here and who is willing to go above and beyond in helping you reach your real estate goals. That would be Carolyn Roberts, a licensed real estate broker with a degree from the Realtor Institute. She is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and a Previews Property Specialist – a top designation by Coldwell Banker Realtors given to exemplary brokers and Realtors.
Trust Carolyn to be your best friend in real estate, especially in these times when the current health crisis is making an impact on home buying and selling . Despite the challenges, Carolyn is determined to negotiate the best price for you and to provide the services and information that will enable you to make informed decisions.