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“Affordable and conveniently located” is a paradox when it comes to Wine Country lodging. To be real, you’d probably have better luck finding Two-Buck Chuck on tap than finding a place to stay that’s under $250 per night in August. So how does one indulge in a Wine Country summer weekend without schlepping it back to the city or throwing down a week’s rent to stay the weekend?
Answer: One of three brand new yurts tucked in an idyllic forest—and they’re surprisingly suave, especially for $60 per night. That’s basically the cost of an Uber from the Sunset to Downtown. It’s like a lodging option somewhere between camping on the dusty ground and a room at Auberge (but probably closer to the camping end of the spectrum) and it’s one of the valley’s newest secrets. On a tiny plot of land halfway between St. Helena and Calistoga, the miniature-sized Bothe-Napa Valley State Park sits tucked to the west of Highway 29, out of site from the tourist traffic, yet basically at the doorstep of dozens of wineries.
Each yurt is 21 feet in diameter—enough space for two people to comfortable stay for the weekend, and unload their luggage (you could probably fit an air mattress for the kids, too). They have hardwood floors, so no need to worry about your summer wardrobes getting dirty, and a queen-size bed with a mattress, but bring your own sheets, and flashlights or lanterns—there’s no electricity. There is, however, your own fire pit for s’mores and ghost stories as well as a table for splaying out picnic goods and wine hauled in from St. Helena (Dean & Deluca, Olivier).
Who knows, with miles of quiet meandering trails and peaceful streams trickling through the park, even a Native American garden, you may decide to pass on the crowded tasting rooms anyway.