What’s New in Downtown Napa

Springtime in Napa may be our favorite time of year. The weather is often sunny with highs in the low 70s, the flowers are blooming and events kick into gear.


The arrival of spring also ushers in the growing season for wine grapes, a truly exciting time for both winemakers and growers as they work toward creating the perfect bottle of wine. Visitors enjoy the season as well, as wine tasting rooms host tastings, special events and more to highlight the magic and beauty of Napa Valley.

Following is a brief look at what’s new in Napa this spring 2024, and a few tips when spending time in our beautiful region.

JaMSession

 

LIVE MUSIC IN NAPA THIS SPRING

Enjoy an incredible and diverse weekend of music, food and wine during one of the area’s most popular festivals. Held May 24-26, BottleRock Napa Valley, Presented by JaM Cellars, will take place at the Napa Valley Expo. Artists scheduled to perform include Stevie Nicks, Megan Thee Stallion and Nelly (May 24); Pearl Jam, Maná and Tower of Power (May 25); and Ed Sheeran, Norah Jones and Queens of the Stone Age. Taste food from some of the top chefs and restaurants, as well as a selection of wine and beer from local establishments. Be sure to book your stay soon and check out our BottleRock tips for the weekend.

The music doesn’t stop when the sun starts to set. BottleRock AfterDark will showcase a fantastic lineup of musicians, starting before the festival with Mike Snow and Akira Galaxy on May 23 at the JaM Cellars Ballroom in Napa. The Garden by Tannery Bend Beerworks will host Chris Shiflett and special guest Grace Bowers, also on May 23.

The Record Company, along with Forrest Day, will perform at The Garden on May 24, while Cold War Kids and Mondo Cozmo take the JaM Cellars stage. Enjoy the jazzy sounds of Norah Jones on May 25 at the Uptown Theatre Napa. Con Brio and The Takes perform on May 25 at The Garden, or you can rock out with Chevy Metal and The Alive at JaM Cellars. Wrapping up the festival weekend are The Wailers at The Garden on May 26, and St. Vincent with Momma at JaM Cellars.

Some of the hottest Latin music artists – featuring genres from bolero to pop – will perform at BottleRock’s inaugural Festival La Onda, also held at the Napa Valley Expo. From June 1-2, you can see performers like Maná, Fuerza Regida, Alejandro Fernández and Junior H, as well as two dozen other acts sure to keep you moving to the music. Regional Latin cuisine and specialty beverages will be available, and a spa, dance club and silent disco are part of the festivities.

WHAT’S NEW IN NAPA

Oxbow Public Market is a favorite stop for locals. The marketplace is home to a variety of vendors, offering everything from food and beer, to books and flowers. EmpressM, a fine dining establishment offering seasonal food and Chinese traditional cuisine, recently kicked off a six-month residency at Oxbow, so you can enjoy an excellent Asian meal in the midst of a shopping trip. Moro, offering Moroccan street food, has also just opened at Oxbow and is definitely worth checking out.

Children of all ages – grown-ups too – will delight in the Napa Toy Museum, a wonderful collection of hundreds of toys from the past, as far back as the late 19th century. Located in Downtown Napa, the museum will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Looking for the perfect gourmet gift? Napa Sonoma Supply, a charming retail store situated in a restored Victorian house, is now open and offers a variety of foods, fine wines and holiday items that celebrate the Napa and Sonoma regions of California. Located just a couple of minutes away is Yoga West, a new location that features classes ranging from power flows to restorative meditations.

Tuesdays are about to get a little bit better as the Napa Farmers Market, one of the largest in California, will begin opening from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays (starting April 2), along with year-round markets on Saturdays. In addition to high-quality locally harvested goods, the market showcases local artisans, chef demonstrations, children’s activities and more.

HERE’S THE NEWS: UPDATED & NEW BARS & RESTAURANTS IN NAPA

Some of the area’s most popular establishments have recently made changes. Be Bubbly, the only dedicated champagne and sparkling wine lounge, added new cocktails and an improved bistro menu. Two of the Meritage Resort and Spa’s Grand Reserve spots will transform into Sora Napa, a bubbles bar, and Ember Steak Restaurant, featuring an elegant, comfortable atmosphere. Both are expected to open in April.

Menu updates include global-inspired street taco choices at C Casa, such as Asian-inspired ahi tuna and Wagyu steak with chimichurri. Gott’s Roadside, near Oxbow Public Market, will offer monthly specials in honor of its silver anniversary, and Sweetie Pies Bakery, located at the historic Napa Mill, has a new lunch menu that runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Get ready for some fun and creativity at Barnhouse Napa Brews. New special nights include Sip and Paint every other Wednesday, Bingo every other Monday and Trivia Tuesdays. Not to be outdone, Compline Wine Shop recently introduced Turntable Trivia every Sunday evening. Every correct answer earns the contestant 5% off wine by the glass.

NEW CULINARY EXPERIENCES IN NAPA

There may not be a better way to experience the taste of the region than a Gourmet Napa Food and Wine Tour. In addition to dinner tours on Thursday and Friday, a dinner tour will now be held Sunday night and a brunch tour will be held most Saturdays. An experienced Napa guide will make sure your journey is a memorable and tasty one.

It’s tea time at the Ackerman Heritage House. At 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on April 20-21 and May 11-12, take part in the Social Afternoon Tea Ceremony in the 1889 Victorian estate curated by Lauren Ackerman. Tarts, bites and more will be served along with premium teas.

Everyone’s considered family at JaM Cellar’s Spring JaMily Dinner Party, held from 6-8 p.m. on April 26. Space is limited for this multicourse dinner, which will be paired with wine from the vineyards of John and Michele (the J and the M in JaM).

NEW CLASSES IN NAPA

If you always wanted to know how to mix the perfect cocktail in a fun atmosphere, CIA at Copia has classes just for you. On March 28, beverage director Traci Dutton will present “Bitter Love: Amaro Cocktails from Classic to Contemporary.” She will also host “A Celebration of Bourbon and Cocktails from the New South” on April 25.

Whether you’re creative or just want to be, you’ll enjoy the Sip & Paint classes on April 7, May 5 and June 2 at Azur Tasting Lounge in Downtown Napa. Local artist Erin Genow will present the three-hour classes, which include a glass of rosé and all the art materials needed.

Renowned food writer Janet Fletcher will host the 12th annual World Cheese Tour classes at Winston’s Café. On April 16, she will present “April in Paris,” where participants will learn about seven lesser-known cheese selections. On May 21, sample several two-milk cheeses and more during “Tasty Twosomes.”

NEW EASTER EVENTS IN NAPA

The whole family is invited to a free First Street Napa Egg Hunt from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 30. Held at the First Street Napa Plaza, the event includes live entertainment, holiday treats, visits from Napa Bunnies and, of course, the egg hunt!

The Meritage Resort & Spa is the place to be on Easter Day! Egg hunts for kids up to age 13 will be held throughout the day in the Carneros Ballroom, along with carnival games, face painting, live music, a petting zoo and an appearance by the Easter Bunny. Enjoy a wonderful Easter brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Meritage Ballroom (reservations required).

SEE YOU SOON

There’s plenty to see and do in Napa. If you haven’t been here in a while, you’ll have an abundance of new things to do and see, and if you’ve never been here, make sure to plan a getaway soon. There’s an excellent selection of lodging and a variety of activities that will make this a truly memorable time.

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