McDonald Mansion (Mableton)

Just a short drive from Napa, Calif. is the charming city of Santa Rosa. One of the most opulent mansions, the McDonald Mansion, also known as Mableton, stands here. Staying in Santa Rosa in an inexpensive hotel, and learning of Mableton’s history, will give you more time to explore and get a feel for turn-of-the-century architecture and settlers.

Built in 1877 as a summer residence for the McDonald family, the mansion today is available on occasion for fund-raisers. The original home experienced a multimillion dollar face-lift, and the McDonalds probably wouldn’t recognize it. Colonel McDonald traveled west as wagon train captain with a vision, hence roadways, the first library, and the first steam railroad.


Samuel Brannan Cottage

If you decide to drive to Calistoga, there are plenty of cheap hotels in Napa and nearby landmarks to explore. Samuel Brannan arrived in Napa in the 1850’s with a dream of creating Saratoga in California. He realized his dream by building cottages in a scenic area. Additionally before the massive Grand Opening, he had planted palm trees planted to line the streets. Today, the Brannan Cottage is the only one in existence.

Old Town 1840

Old Town is just that, old. Residents built the town in 1840. During development, builders plotted and placed interesting architecture and great buildings, making for an old town which served the community. In the 1950’s, with the impending Gold Rush, the town became prosperous when mining of the Silverado began. A hot spot today for antique and boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes, Old Town is still thriving. Find a place to stay in Napa, and enjoy the times of yesteryear.

Petaluma Silk Mill

Hurry to see this one before it’s demolished or changed by developers! Current investors have proposed condominiums or a hotel on the old silk mill site. Without any approvals, the building may undergo demolition by neglect. A sad fate for a historic building from 1892. The Petaluma Mill housed a silk vault, a dye room, and a boiler room, and made silk thread and sewing products. By having silk manufacturing, California had its first industry.

Unfortunately, the old textile building is still vacant, boarded up, and closed off.


Santa Rosa Creek

Along the central coast is the Santa Rosa Creek Reservoir. There you will experience a hiking trail that is adventurous, mysterious, and full of nightly creatures and insects. Beyond the trail, hike along beaches and bluffs, and go through woods, creeks, and meadows. Be sure to take photos for future memories. You can find lodging nearby, and have enough to explore for a few days.

So, when is the best time to visit? According to the Huffington Post Travel, the best time to visit Napa, Calif. is in October and November.

If you have traveled to Napa, Calif. and have some interesting places you visited, tell me about them in the comment section below.


Author Bio: Linda Manning lives in trendy Newport, Rhode Island, with her husband, Paul, and young English springer spaniel Brooklynn. She is a licensed boat captain and certified diver who loves to travel. She is a freelance writer for travel sites such as At home, Linda loves gardening, cooking, entertaining, art, museums, and all Newport has to offer.