Taste, Sip and See Napa Itinerary: Downtown Napa

There’s no better remedy for a stress-filled workweek than a relaxing trip to the City of Napa. Downtown Napa is the first stop for visitors as they travel up Highway 29 through Napa Valley, which means less time in traffic, and more time for wine, food and fun!

Day One:

Start your day early with some pastries and coffee at the one and only Model Bakery. The shop is known for having the best breads around with more than 17 varieties. Try an English muffin (featured on the Food Network), the chocolate “rad” cookies or cinnamon morning buns.

Since you’re up early, take advantage of the beautiful Downtown Napa scenery in the morning by taking a hot air balloon ride around town. Sip on some sparkling wine while taking in the picturesque hills, valleys and beautiful vineyards of Napa. This is certainly one of the most memorable ways to kick off your trip.

If you’d rather enjoy the Napa Valley scenery from the ground, hop aboard the elegant, fully glass-topped 1947 Pullman Vista Dome Dining Car. The Napa Valley Wine Train is one of the most distinctive restaurants in the City of Napa, offering an authentic and memorable experience that echoes the glory days of train travel. Experience their signature three-hour excursion with meals freshly prepared in the Vista Dome Car’s own specialized kitchen.  Enjoy the four-course lunch and a welcome glass of Napa Valley’s premier sparkling wines as you survey the manicured vineyards and unique architecture of Napa Valley’s wineries.

On your way back to rest up at your inn or hotel, take a stroll through Downtown Napa and stop by the Oxbow Public Market and enjoy delicious cheese selected by expert cheesemongers. Or choose from a boutique assortment of wines from artisanal producers all around the world.

Next, cap off your day with a visit to one of downtown Napa’s wine-tasting rooms where you’ll find rare and boutique wines from Napa Valley and around the world, along with experts who will tell you about them. But first, stop by the Napa Valley Welcome Center and pick up a Downtown Napa Wine Tasting Card for $15, which gives you half-price tastings at 12 local tasting rooms. While at the Welcome Center, make sure to pick up a walking tour map, which will help guide you around town during your trip.

After relaxing in your room for a few hours, get ready to dine at one of Downtown Napa’s famous eateries. Experience a range of world-class cuisine from a variety of restaurants like La Toque in the Oxbow District known for its French cuisine and Michelin Star to southern Italian at Oenotri on the west end of town. At the Riverfront, you can relax by the riverside on Restaurant Row while enjoying Japanese cuisine at Morimoto Napa. You may even recognize Chef Morimoto from the Food Network’s Iron Chef. He’s been featured on the network three times! If you’re looking for some good old fashioned American comfort food, head to Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie and Wine.

To cap off the night, head to Blue Note Napa and enjoy some live entertainment. Dating back to 1879, this beloved and beautifully restored historic site is the place to be for nightlife in the City of Napa. Enjoy a play, comedy act or musical performance in the theater’s intimate setting.

Day Two:

After you sleep in a bit, enjoy a delicious breakfast or brunch to begin day two of your trip. Head over to Grace’s Table for a unique brunch experience. With a globally-inspired menu featuring items such as daily quiches, homemade donuts and chilaquiles, this Napa bistro is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Get ready for a little wine tasting and purchasing of some of the best wines in Downtown Napa. Back Room Wines is a fine wine shop for “the wines you can’t find back home.” The Square One tasting room is in the Napa Town Center. It features several wines from some of Napa’s larger, more prominent, and often historic wineries including Beringer, Etude, Stags Leap Winery, Raymond and St. Clement. Mark Herold Wines features out of this world Rhone and Spanish blends and a small selection of cult style Cabernets.

After some wine tasting, you’ll probably be ready for an afternoon lunch. Head to Gott’s Roadside, a tried-and-true local favorite. For anyone who craves delicious, high-quality fare in a welcoming, down-to-earth spot, Gott’s Roadside is all that and more. They serve juicy cheeseburgers, 100% beef Fearless Franks, beer-battered onion rings and hand-spun shakes alongside crispy Ahi Poke tacos, Chinese chicken salad, and a sushi-grade Ahi burger.

Next, take a walk and soak up some downtown Napa history. One of the area’s best-kept secrets is that Napa is home to the most pre-1906 structures in the Bay Area. Use your walking tour map from the Napa Valley Welcome Center and explore the city! Make sure to stop by the Napa ARTwalk on your way to see the unique exhibition of juried sculpture created by artists from the Western US.

Before you head out, get some chocolates to go at Anette’s Chocolate Factory located in the heart of Downtown Napa. Anette and her brother Brent have worked together for more than 19 years creating exquisite truffles, rich creams and caramels, roasted Beer Brittles and decadent Chocolate Wine Sauces.

Taste, sip and see in Napa today! We look forward to having you here. Book your trip today!

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