A Day Out in Downtown Napa

Sky & Vine, the Archer Hotel’s rooftop bar (courtesy of the Archer Hotel)

Downtown Napa is brimming with historic charm, irresistible boutiques, delightful eateries and, of course, some of the best tasting rooms in Napa Valley (and there are plenty to choose from). While there is no question you are smack dab in the middle of Wine Country, there is a distinct urban vibe that begets a laid-back nightlife, rooftop bars ideal for warm summer evenings and even a few top-notch breweries.

Take advantage of the abundant free parking, because everything from the trail that runs along the Napa River to Oxbow Market is walkable. Whether you are a day-tripper or making a weekend of it, downtown Napa has it all. 

Archer Hotel
Situated in the midst of everything, the Archer Hotel is a great option if you want to stay overnight. Don’t miss the hotel’s rooftop bar Sky & Vine — with its open-air panoramic views of the valley, weekly specials and enticing lineup of live music. 

Charsaw Farms
This family owned (and insanely charming) lavender farm is a must-visit. Located a few miles from downtown, it’s well worth the short drive for the u-pick lavender experience, wreath-making classes and farm shop that offers everything from honey and hand sanitizer — all infused with lavender,
of course. 

The CIA at Copia
What better way to take in the bounty of one of the most revered foodie destinations in the world than by taking a Culinary Institute of America cooking class? Choose from Spanish, Italian, French or plant-based cuisine, or go niche and opt for classes dedicated to flatbreads or dim sum. So many classes, so little time. 

The Yard by Feast It Forward
The Yard by Feast It Forward is set to open in the Oxbow District in August. The new concept aims to channel an open-air, festival-like experience with wine tasting, pop-ups, food trucks, music, shipping container lounges and much more. It promises to offer endless Instagrammable moments, so have your camera at the ready. 

Oxbow Public Market
This bustling market is chock full of interesting finds including places to sip wine, eat oysters, nibble on cheese and grab some goodies to take home. Fans of Fieldwork Brewing Company will be thrilled to hear that this location is expanding with a new European-style beer garden this summer. Live music is returning to Oxbow Riverstage as well, with lots of performances starting in mid-August. 

Silverado Vineyards
If you are itching for a vineyard tasting experience, the iconic Silverado Vineyards is well worth the short drive from downtown. One of the most recognized names in Napa Valley, the winery is fourth-generation family owned and oozes laid-back Wine Country elegance. Book a table overlooking the valley and prepare to be wowed.  

Stone Brewing
Located on the Napa River and walking distance from anywhere downtown, this devilishly good brewery is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The on-site, 10-barrel brewing system allows Stone to make the creative craft beers they are known for, which pairs well with the decidedly barbecue-heavy menu.  

The Dutch Door
You might walk right by this small eatery, but that would be a huge mistake. Orders are placed at the Dutch door (literally) and enjoyed at one of the small sidewalk tables or down by the river. The menu is comfort food at its best — don’t miss the plant-based options.

The George
Once a single-family home (commissioned in 1891 by George E. Goodman Jr., the son of one of Napa’s most prominent businessmen), this recently opened boutique hotel is a destination in itself. Each of the nine rooms is unique with modern touches and conveniences that celebrate the inn’s history. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the canopy of trees in the garden.

Downtown Napa riverfront
Napa River waterfront (courtesy of Go Napa)