Welcome to Napa
The heart of California’s world-famous wine country
Not far from the San Francisco Bay lies Napa, California. A bustling, yet friendly community, Napa is also conveniently located not far from Lake Tahoe, making weekend getaways a breeze. However, many residents don’t feel the need to run away every weekend; life in Napa is peaceful and leisurely. Despite its close proximity to Silicon Valley, Napa’s downtown is well-known for its architectural styles from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Traveling to nearby vineyards from downtown’s riverfront promenade is easy; train rides are offered to and from the various wineries of the area in old-fashioned Pullman cars.
Napa was first inhabited by Native Americans before the establishment of the town in 1847. The first business was a saloon, with a general store added a year later. The nation’s first commercial winery was opened in Napa in 1859. A decade after, Napa’s Main Street rivaled those of larger cities, with as many as a hundred horses tied to the fence posts on any given day. In modern times, Napa is well-known for its world-famous vineyards north of town and the many tasting rooms and cellars nearby.
What to Love
- Napa’s downtown is one of the most charming in California, reminiscent of previous times
- World-famous wineries and vineyards; visitors from around the world come to learn about wine, the growth and fermentation process, and to sample the multiple variations
- The Fortinet Championship, part of the PGA Tour, takes place here each fall
- An easy drive from both San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, making weekend getaways easy
Napa citizens enjoy an overall higher standard of living. Life is peaceful and leisurely. Downtown is popular for its riverfront promenade and the many loved shops, restaurants, and bars along the water. A hot vacation spot, downtown is also home to luxury hotels and spas, giving locals year-round access to world-class massages, facials, and other treatments. Days off are also spent at one of the local parks, many of which come with scenic views of Northern California. Of course, Napa is famous for the many vineyards north of town and the booming wine economy. The Napa Valley Wine Train offers visitors a ride to the vineyards from town in one of their old-fashioned Pullman train cars.
Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping
While Napa is most famous for its wine, much more is left to be sipped, savored, and experienced. Food in Napa is gourmet, fresh, and oftentimes, award-winning. Whether you’re cooking at home or stepping out for the night, there really is no wrong choice.
One of Napa’s best eateries is Cole’s Chop House, a steakhouse serving the best of American classics. Special occasions are celebrated with house favorites such as black Angus ribeye, lamb chops, and lobster tails. Make sure you save room for dessert; their bananas Foster is flambeed table-side and provides the perfect show to end dinner.
For fresh, California-style Mexican cuisine, C CASA is an ideal choice. Re-imagined classics like tacos filled with duck and crab are served alongside breakfast and brunch. For mornings spent cooking at home, a quick trip to the Napa Farmers Market is essential. Open Tuesdays from April-December and year-round on Saturdays, the Napa Farmers Market has been voted as the best in the state of California with fresh produce, other homemade goods, and live chef demos.
A short drive outside of Napa leads to Farmhouse Inn. Located inside of the Farmhouse Inn Hotel, the restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star for its dishes paired with seasonal ingredients sourced directly from Sonoma County. Located inside of a restored weatherboard farmhouse from 1873, some of their specialty creations include rabbit, octopus, and chocolate souffle.
Things To Do
BottleRock Napa Valley is a three-day festival of music, food, wine, and brews held each May. Past headlining acts have included Stevie Wonder, Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5, and Imagine Dragons. Another highly-anticipated event is the Fortinet Championship, part of the PGA Tour. This professional tournament is the kick-off to the regular golfing season and attracts golf fans from across the globe. More quiet days can be spent at Skyline Park, an 850-acre park offering campsites, a hike/bike/equestrian trail, and sweeping views of the Napa Valley.