Downtown Napa is the perfect destination to explore on foot. Visitors will find a slew of tasting rooms, local breweries, boutiques, restaurants, and more spanning several buzzy blocks, and you can spend an entire day strolling around and exploring the many new additions. Don’t miss public art sculptures displayed throughout downtown, and give yourself bonus points for being a sustainable traveler and using your own two feet for eco-friendly transport!
Start your morning off in Downtown Napa’s Oxbow District and fuel up with a breakfast sandwich at Model Bakery. While there, stroll through Oxbow Public Market, grab a pour-over at Ritual Coffee, and shop local merchants such as Napa Bookmine, The Napa Valley Distillery, The Olive Press, and Whole Spice.
What the Fork
Head next door to the CIA at Copia and take a walk through the expansive outdoor culinary gardens. Stop for a selfie with the giant fork sculpture, “Fork,” by local artist Gordon Huether. Fork is primarily inspired by the culinary arts and well-established food culture in the Napa Valley. Using over 8,500 recycled forks to build this gigantic fork also emphasizes the region’s focus on sustainability and the farm-to-table movement.
Things are Brewing
Optional stop - we know not everyone is down for beer before lunch, but we certainly don't judge those who are- after all, you're on vacation. Thirsty? Before heading across the river, pop into Fieldwork Brewing, Trade Brewing, or Stone Brewing Co for a quick beer tasting flight on the patio. You can also bookmark these spots for later if you’d rather do a pre-dinner beer tasting.
Looking for Lunch
Walk over the First Street bridge and continue along First Street. Ready for a lunch break? For a convenient grab and go bite, hit up The Dutch Door, Contimo, or First & Franklin Market and then find a seat at the community tables at Dwight Murray Plaza. If you want to sit down for a more leisurely lunch, head to Norman Rose Tavern, Grace’s Table, or Eiko’s, all of which offer outdoor patio seating as well as indoor dining.
Stroll & Shop
Now that you’re all fueled up, walk off those calories consumed with a little retail therapy. First Street Napa is the go-to spot for shopping, and you’ll find a handful of new shops that have opened up in the past year including Riza Plants, C’est La Paire for chic boots and handbags; The Bennington Napa Valley for vintage finds; and Copperfield’s Books. Honey Whiskey Boutique as well as nearby Tay & Grace offer up beautifully curated women’s clothing and accessories that capture the Napa Valley lifestyle. Don’t forget to stop at the Napa Valley Welcome Center for souvenirs to take home (and get some local insider tips for how best to explore the Valley's other charming towns while you're at it).
Time for Wine
Luckily for you, there are more than 30 tasting rooms in the downtown Napa area, all within easy walking distance of one another. Pro tip: Many tasting rooms in downtown Napa are open Thursday-Sunday, so check hours ahead of time. For outdoor tasting options on this side of the river, make an appointment at:
Quilt & Co
Spots for Snacks
If you’re hungry but not quite ready for dinner at this juncture, grab a seat on the patio and have a quick snack at Compline (try the duck fries, you won’t regret it), Bounty Hunter BBQ (the pimento cheese dip is out of this world), or Napa Palisades (chili-dusted fried cheese curds? Yes, please!).
Downtown Dinner Options
Whatever cuisine you crave, it’s pretty likely you’ll find it in downtown Napa. If you’re looking to go all-out, level up with alfresco sushi and seafood overlooking the river at Morimoto, surf and turf at Cole’s Chop House, French delights at Angelé, or farm-to-table global fusion at Torc. For a more casual vibe, try delicious Italian at Oenotri, California cuisine with a Napa Valley twist at AVOW, or authentic Spanish tapas at Zuzu.
The sun has gone down, but you’re not quite ready to call it a night. While Napa Valley isn’t necessarily known for nightlife, downtown Napa has some awesome spots where locals and visitors can keep the party going. Head up to the rooftop bar at Sky & Vine and enjoy reverse happy hour starting at 9 pm, or pop into the Terrace at Andaz for live music and cocktails on the weekend. Downtown Joe’s is open late and even brews their own beers.
Looking for a guided walking tour?
Experience Napa like a true local on Paper Napan Walkabout's unique walking tours through the heart of the city. Guests can opt to explore Napa's public art murals on the RAD (Rail Arts District) Tour, which includes visits to two urban boutique wineries and a hip brewery, all of which serve light snacks; a second option takes visitors behind the scenes to explore Napa’s historical homes, follow the city’s Art Trail for a few blocks, and then visit two wineries for tasty food and wine pairings.