Experience each part of Napa Valley on foot, beginning with this 3-day itinerary covering Downtown Napa, the trails and arts district, and the Oxbow District.
Founded by Nathan Coombs in 1847, Napa is considered Napa Valley’s commercial center. The historic town features more than 25 wine tasting rooms; many luxury hotels and inns; two live entertainment venues; and a downtown art walk. A wide variety of shops, boutiques, and restaurants are in, or within, walking distance of one another, while outdoor enthusiasts may choose from four parks and numerous trails open to equestrians, mountain bikers, hikers, and, those wishing to log their daily steps.
With its temperate climate, any time of year is perfect for exploring Napa Valley by foot to reach the goal of walking 10,000 steps, or, approximately five miles, per day.
Day One: Downtown Napa
An urban hike around Downtown Napa is a great way to soak up all that the town has to offer. Don’t be fooled by this fun route – walkers will still get plenty of steps in by strolling by shops, restaurants, and wine tasting rooms.
Begin the day at the Napa Valley Welcome Center at 600 Main St. for a map of downtown and some insider tips on what to see and do. Just a few steps way, consider a visit to Sweetie Pies for coffee and, perhaps, a pastry. Once fully fueled, take a walk along the Napa Riverfront, followed by exploring the numerous shops and boutiques located downtown. Once you’ve reached your goal, or for a break in between steps, enjoy a glass of wine, or two, at a downtown tasting room.
Day Two: Trails and Art
After a hearty breakfast, make your way to the Napa Valley Vine Trail, which currently consists of 12.5 miles connecting Napa to Yountville. Eventually, the trail will stretch 47 miles long and connect all of Napa Valley wine country.
The Napa Valley Vine Trail leads to the Rail Arts District (RAD) Napa, a public art display that encompasses two miles (more than 4000 steps) of the Vine Trail, running parallel to the Napa Valley Wine Train tracks. The RAD effort, which launched in January 2017, is transforming this semi-industrial stretch into a contemporary cultural corridor.
Next, take a stroll through Downtown Napa to see the impressive display of Napa ARTwalk pieces. The biannual, rotating exhibition of juried sculpture, created by artists from around the Western U.S., is on display throughout the downtown area. Art enthusiasts (and walkers) may take a self-guided tour by downloading the free smartphone app – Otocast – available through the Apple Store or Google Play. Search for “Napa ARTwalk” and select which sculpture is of most interest.
Day Three: The Oxbow District
The Oxbow District of Downtown Napa is situated along the Napa River and Napa River Trail and adjacent to the Oxbow Preserve and Oxbow By-Pass Commons. Oxbow Commons, a popular outdoor event space, is also a walking trail which roams throughout Napa’s scenic Oxbow Preserve, and is just steps from the Oxbow Public Market, home to artisanal vendors for shopping, as well as a cold beverage and bite to eat.
Discover how to experience 10,000 steps in the other towns in the Napa Valley.