Get Outside: Explore Al Fresco Adventures in Napa

Napa Valley is beautiful year-round, especially during the spring and summer seasons. With highs during the days in the 70s and 80s and brisk mornings and evenings in the 50s and 60s, conditions are perfect for enjoying the outdoors. 


Downtown Napa offers an additional bonus: Napa Valley’s most walkable city. With more than 50 wine tasting rooms, 30+ restaurants, plenty of shopping and so much more – Downtown Napa is the perfect location to experience on foot. Leave your car wherever you’re staying – there are numerous lodging options, from budget-friendly inns to luxury resorts – and enjoy everything the area has to offer. 


Tours that showcase the area’s culture and heritage have emerged as a growing travel trend. There are a number of walking tours centered around Downtown Napa that provide a close-up look at the region’s past. 

Discover the fascinating history behind more than a dozen buildings in the area during a 90-minute guided walking tour presented by the Napa County Historical Society. Tours will be held on the second Friday of the month at 11 a.m., as well as the second Sunday at 3 p.m. 

Camera buffs – or those with a cellphone camera – will enjoy a stroll through the historical Abajo neighborhood. Featuring Victorian homes dating back to the 1850s, lovely gardens and incredible views, the photography tour – led by master photographers Janna Waldinger and Lowell Downey – offers a unique perspective of Downtown Napa’s past.  

Learn about the colorful characters that inspired this region during the Napa Drunken History Tour. The tour includes three stops at local establishments, where you’ll learn how to taste wine the right way and sample food and wine pairings. 

Downtown Napa also has its share of offbeat tours too, such as the Napa Downtown Ghost Walk – Ghosts of the Red Light District and Main Street. Hear stories of Downtown Napa’s early days, and perhaps you’ll meet ghostly versions of people of yore. Ghost-hunting equipment is available for guests.  

For those who enjoy games and puzzles, the Napa Scavenger Hunt is the answer. During this interactive walking tour of Downtown Napa, participants will follow clues on their smartphones to solve a set of challenges, while discovering major attractions and lesser-known highlights of the area. 



In addition to walking, there are other ways to experience the great outdoors. Water lovers will enjoy hearing the history and the sights of the Napa River while traveling by kayak, or enjoy some wine and music as you travel by gondola. You can get a little exercise while enjoying the scenery by traveling on a paddleboard, with both guided and self-guided tours available. Or see Napa Valley in a most remarkable way by taking a hot air balloon ride, an adventure unlike any other.  

The Napa Valley Wine Trolley and the Napa Valley Wine Train are perfect ways to see the area and enjoy the bounty of Napa Valley. The trolley ride is a casual tour with stops at several wineries or tasting rooms, with lunch provided. The train is a restaurant on wheels, as chefs will create gourmet meals on board while guests enjoy the spectacular wine country views. 


Biking offers a fun time for all ages, and several shops around Downtown Napa offer cruiser and e-bike rentals for a few hours or all day. Others deliver your bikes to your hotel. The Napa Valley Vine Trail – a walking and biking trail system that will span 47 miles when completed – currently offers 12-plus miles for bikers to enjoy.  

However, during your time here, you won’t want to miss out on riding the Pedal Crusher. This 15- or 16-person bicycle is powered by its passengers and operated by a captain. It’s a great way to see the sights while socializing with friends or making new ones. 


Skyline Wilderness Park is a one-stop do-it-all park with 25 miles of multiuse trails. In addition to a number of hiking and biking trails, the park offers an 18-hole disc golf course, a “secret fishing hole,” a variety of wildlife, RV and tent camping sites and equestrian facilities, such as a staging area and an obstacle course. Other nearby nature hikes and trails include Westwood Hills Park and Alston Park.  



If you’d prefer to leave the exercising to others, Napa Yard at Oxbow Gardens is the place to be. Relax in the spacious outdoor beer garden, enjoy food dishes with ingredients sourced from their culinary gardens, drink cocktails developed by the onsite distillery or bring a group and take part in Napa Yard’s “Experiences,” such as wine and spirits tastings, a paella party, a pig roast and more. 

There are other great outdoor patio spaces in Napa that offer a chance to relax. Sky & Vine on the roof of The Archer Napa is one such place. The spot offers beautiful sunset views along with the chance to sip one of 100+ whiskey varieties at The Whiskey Bar. Other great patios include Napkins Bar & Grill, C Casa, Angele and many, many others.  


Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon is when you should visit the Napa Farmers Market, a year-round showcase of the freshest fruits, vegetables, meat and more. Local farmers, producers and artisans will be on hand to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. 

Evenings in Downtown Napa are pleasant, but Thursday nights in June are even better. “Shop, Sip and Stroll” on First Street features wine tastings, shopping specials and fun activities throughout the area. 


The Oxbow Riverstage at Oxbow Commons is the place for a variety of summer concerts. From Charlie Wilson and Chaka Kahn to Widespread Panic, weekends in Downtown Napa never sounded so good. Food and drinks will be available during the outdoor festival-style concerts. 

For a truly unique music experience, attend the free one-day Porchfest on July 30. Napa Valley musicians will play their music on a variety of house porches in and around the historic Fuller Park neighborhood. Streets will be closed off to vehicles, so stroll, skate, bike ride or dance from porch to porch and listen to a variety of music.  

Whether you experience Downtown Napa on foot, bike or gondola, you’ll have the time of your life in one of the most pleasant cities in California. Let us help you plan your itinerary or do it yourself, but make sure you get here this summer for a truly good time. 

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