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A Day in Napa Valley: Sensational Spa and One Romantic Castle

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Napa Valley is one of only a handful of spots in the United States dedicated so completely to the finer things in life.

The sprawling viticulture, spas and fresh food makes Napa California’s second most-popular destination for one good reason: relaxation and romance.  No offense to Disney Land, but it’s a bit difficult to gaze into your sweetheart’s eyes atop Splash Mountain.

Hot spring spas, secluded camp sites and a fairytale castle vineyard, now that’s a romantic destination!

First things first, melting away the stress built up back in the real world at one of Napa Valley’s mineral-rich hot springs.  There are many Napa hotels and resorts that claim to have mineral baths, but very few have true spring-fed pools.  The hotel and resort baths can be great, but nothing beats the real thing.

Harbin Hot Springs is one of the most secluded hot springs in the area.  Sitting on some 5,000 acres of land, the resort is a rare spot in Napa Valley, let alone California. The resort is ideal for camping and hiking, but a day pass is all any RV traveler needs to loosen up a bit.  The six-hour day pass allows visitors to soak in any of the resort’s springs — hot, warm or frigid cold.  The resort also offers couple’s massages as well as “Watsu,” an in-water shiatsu massage.

One note on Harbin Hot Springs and many authentic hot springs in the area, the sunning and soaking is clothing optional.  Guests are typically conservative, but more modest travelers and families should be warned.

What better way to keep unwinding than with a little vino?

Viticulture has long been a major part of Napa Valley. Grapes grew alongside pears and prunes since the mid 1880s.  Grape blight and prohibition all but decimated the industry, but you wouldn’t know that while driving down the vineyard-flanked St. Helena Highway.

Castello di Amorosa went all out to create a memorable, romantic haven — just a few minutes off the wine super highway.  The “Castle of Love” is a must visit for anyone passing through Napa Valley.  Built in 2007, the structure is a painstaking recreation of a Tuscan castle including some 850,000 bricks imported from Europe and brightly colored fresco wall paintings.  The wine isn’t bad either!

Visitors can spend an entire day on the grounds, touring the vineyards, strolling through the castle or indulging in a decadent meal paired with wine created on site. General admission runs $18 for adults and includes a tasting of five wines; kids are also welcome for $8, including juice.  Castle tours run $33 per person –$23 for kids.

Those who know their wine can also take the Wine Aficionado Tour to get a taste of several high-end reserve wines at a formal castle tasting.

What better way to end the day than parking the RV and enjoying some local wine and cheese beneath the stars?

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is a quiet, secluded gem a few miles off the busy wine super highway.  Sites are well spaced with towering trees and orchid-sprinkled underbrush.

Trailers and RVs up to 24 feet are welcome.  RVs up to 31 feet are welcome at group campsites, but groups must number nine or more. Anyone staying at the park should reserve ahead of time, as space can get tight during the summer months.

Looking for another day’s worth of activities?

Head on over to our sister site MotorHome for another day in Napa Valley.

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