Napa Guides: Where to Go, What To Do For Every Type of Traveler

  • Guides
  • by FREELANCE
  • on OCTOBER 5, 2016
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Napa Valley is full of diverse activities, making it a great destination for many types of travelers. If you’re wondering what to do on your trip to Napa Valley, we have some ideas: whether you’re looking for an outdoors adventure, a food-filled vacation, a romantic couple’s trip, or a weekend in the city, Napa Valley’s abundance exceeds far beyond the wine.

For the Outdoors Enthusiast

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Where to Stay

The boutique Napa Winery Inn is a fine place to base during your outdoor adventures. This lovely inn is right next to the Vine Trail, a jogging and biking trail that goes throughout Napa Valley. If you want to cool down after your bike ride, you can take a dip in their pool.

Where to Get Breakfast

Grab breakfast at the rustic Napa General Store. They offer dishes made from local ingredients, including breakfast scrambles, brioche French toast, and build-your-own omelets. If it’s a nice day, ask to be seated outside on their patio.

What to Do in the Morning

After breakfast, rent bikes at Napa Valley Bikes and hop onto the Vine Trail. You can ride this trail through downtown Napa and up to Yountville, and if you’re hoping to check out some wineries, the trail will take you past plenty, including St. Clair Brown in downtown Napa and Jessup Cellars in Yountville.

Where to Get Lunch

For lunch, try Gott’s Roadside in Napa. This restaurant offers inventive burgers, including a kimchi burger and a green chili cheeseburger. They also serve classic milkshakes and soft serve ice cream.

What to do in the Afternoon

In the afternoon, go kayaking on the Napa River. If you need to rent a kayak, head to Napa Valley Adventure Tours in downtown Napa. Then, take your kayak over to one of their three launch sites: Oxbow Market, Kennedy Park, and Moore’s Landing.

Where to Get Dinner

For dinner, head to The Pear Southern Bistro in Napa’s Riverfront. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to New Orleans as you try the gumbo, voodoo stew, shrimp and grits, or oyster po’ boy. For dessert, be sure to try the warm pear tart.

What to do for Nightlife

End your day at Silo’s in downtown Napa. This small, intimate club is modeled after a speakeasy, and there’s live music every night of the week, in addition to a hearty selection of small craft beers and local Napa Valley wine. They also serve 1920’s-inspired cocktails and small plate dishes.

Insider tip: Channel your inner child and swing over the valley. Check out Westwood Hills eastern ridgeline path where you’ll find an awesome(and secure) rope swing tied to a large Coast Live Oak.

For the Foodie

napa-valley-guide-2 Where to Stay

The 1801 First is a great landing spot for a foodie tour of Napa Valley. This luxury inn is located in downtown Napa, walking distance from many of the city’s best restaurants. The inn offers deluxe suites, and it also has private cottages available.

Where to Get Breakfast

Begin your culinary tour of Napa at Oenotri. This Southern Italian restaurant serves a delicious brunch, with 80 percent of their food harvested from their own garden and the Napa Chefs Co-Op Garden.

What to do in the Morning

After breakfast, head over to Oxbow Market and check out Uncorked. This cozy tasting room is located in a historic bungalow, and it offers Ahnfelt, Carducci, and Provocative wines with chocolate and cracker pairings.

Where to Get Lunch

For lunch, check out Angele. This bistro has a beautiful patio right on the Napa River, and it serves rustic French cuisine, including nicoise salad, quiche, and a croque monsieur sandwich.

What to do in the Afternoon

In the afternoon, go for a tasting at the Vintner’s Collective. This tasting room is shared by more than 20 boutique wine producers in Napa Valley. You can choose between two tasting options: three of Vintners favorite wines, or a customized tasting with six wines to fit your palate.

Where to Get Dinner

When you’re ready for dinner, head to Miminashi. At this contemporary Japanese restaurant, you’ll find Izakaya-style Japanese cuisine, including yakitori dishes, ramen, and okonomiyaki. For dessert, get a scoop of their homemade ice cream.

What to do for Nightlife

After dinner, take a short walk over to La Taberna for classic tapas, including jamon iberico, patatas bravas, and crispy pig ears. They also have a sizable drink menus, with local wines and sherries, and cocktails including rebujito, sherry mule, and porto tonico.

Insider tip Join Oxbow Market for Locals’ Night starting at 5 pm every Tuesday when many of their merchants have special items and offers on the menu.

For the Romantic

napa-valley-guide-3 Where to Stay

During a romantic couples’ trip to Napa, stay at the White House Napa Valley Inn. This boutique hotel has 17 modern-styled rooms, each of which is decorated with bright green chairs, a white desk and bedspread, and a dark blue carpet. They also all have lovely electric fireplaces that make the room feel warm and cozy.

Where to Get Breakfast

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the White House Napa Valley Inn. From 8am to 10am, the White House Napa Valley Inn offers delicious small plates of hot food and baked goods. Their menu changes frequently, and it often includes seasonal items.

What to do in the Morning

After breakfast, sign up for a couples’ massage at White House Napa Valley Inn’s spa. White House Napa Valley Inn offers deep tissue massages, heated stone massages, massages with facial treatments, and more.

Where to Get Lunch

For lunch, opt for one of the most romantic dishes. Some of the best oysters in Napa Valley are served at Hog Island Oyster Bar in Oxbow Market. Their menu always includes fresh-caught oysters from around the West Coast, and they also offer small salads, shrimp dishes, and mussels.

What to do in the Afternoon

After lunch, head to Mark Herold Wines to sample wines paired with chocolates. Located next to Oxbow Market, this small tasting room features eclectic decorations and paintings from local artists. Order the wine flight and chocolate pairing that comes with six chocolates, and get ready for a delicious experience.

Where to Get Dinner

For an easy, intimate dinner, it’s hard to beat the Italian fare offered at Azzurro Pizzeria & Enoteca. This Italian restaurant is housed in a modern brick-walled building, and it has unique art displayed on the walls. If you’re a pizza lover, be sure to get an authentic Neapolitan pie to share. For dessert, try a scoop of organic gelato.

What to do for Nightlife

End your night up high at the Andaz Hotel’s rooftop bar, the Mercantile Social. Choose from a list of hand-crafted, seasonal cocktails made from local spirits, or pick one of Mercantile Social’s innovative wines or craft beers. Cozy up next to the fire pits, and toast to a wonderful, romantic day in Napa Valley.

Insider tip:At Ca’Momi Osteria, try the spinach gnudi (gnocchi)—it’s a patron favorite.

For the Urban Adventurer

napa-valley-guide-4 Where to Stay

The Westin Verasa is the perfect place to base yourself for your city tour. Located in downtown Napa, the Westin is within walking distance from many of Napa’s most popular restaurants and shops, including the Oxbow Public Market and Napa’s Riverfront.

Where to Get Breakfast

Begin the day with breakfast at the Bank Café in the Westin. The chic café offers breakfast on the weekdays and brunch on the weekends, and almost all of their produce, meat, and eggs are locally sourced, providing the freshest meal possible.

What to do in the Morning

After breakfast, head over to Jam Cellars for a wine tasting. The owners of Jam Cellars combined their love of music and wine to create a unique tasting room that features vintage “Rolling Stones” covers on the wall, a state-of-the-art-sound system, and music-themed wines.

Where to Get Lunch

For lunch, walk over to Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ. This restaurant serves some of the tastiest barbeque in Napa Valley, including their famous beer-can chicken. The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, with brick walls and communal tables with wine barrel bases.

What to do in the Afternoon

Once you’ve had your fill of barbecue, walk to the Napa Valley Distillery to try some local craft beer. To see how Napa Valley Distillery makes their beer, sign up for a 45-minute distillery tour, and afterwards, try to sample some freshly brewed beer in the grand tasting salon.

Where to Get Dinner

For dinner, head over to Torc. Torc is housed in a modern, airy room with stone walls and an open kitchen. They serve farm-to-table dishes with global influences, including pakora, jamon ibercio, lobster risotto, and much more.

What to do for Nightlife

End your day at the Cadet Bar. This wine and beer bar offers local craft beers and wines from throughout Napa Valley, served in a bright, modern room with large windows that give great views of downtown Napa. If you’re feeling hungry, you can get a cheese or salami plate with your drink.

Insider tip: Check out Napa ARTwalk, an outdoor museum with sculptures located throughout Downtown Napa. You can pick up a map showing all of the sculptures’ locations at the Napa Valley Welcome Center. No matter what your travel style is, you’ll find a variety of exceptional activities in Napa Valley, structured for outdoor enthusiasts and city dwellers alike. The above itineraries are pretty thorough, but don’t forget to make some room for the surprises you’re sure to find along the way.


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