Donapa Itineraries

A Culture-Curious Guide to Downtown Napa

The City of Napa is home to an incredibly diverse population of artisans and artists, resulting in a vibrant cultural scene you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Musicians, visual artists, culinary experts and, of course, vino virtuosos. If you are the type of traveler to really dig into a destination’s local flavor, use this itinerary to guide your culture-centric stay in Downtown Napa.


An Artistic Awakening

Your Art-filled morning

For the culture-focused, we recommend planning your stay so that you are able to attend the Napa Farmer’s Market, which takes place on Tuesday and Saturday mornings from 8am to 12pm. There, you can shop a wide variety of locally-made goods and gift items, as well as fresh produce from producers around Napa Valley. Plan to spend a few hours there, so you have plenty of time to stroll through each booth — you don’t want to miss any hidden gems! Once you’ve stocked up on handcrafted souvenirs, stop for a bite to eat at Petit Soleil. This intimate brunch spot offers all your classic breakfast staples against the backdrop of a handpainted mural, perfect for a mid-morning photo op.

After your morning brunch, take a stroll to the Rail Arts District, a two-mile stretch running parallel to the Napa Valley Vine Trail and Napa Valley Wine Train tracks. RAD Napa includes murals created by world-renowned artists. A selection of some 400 artists can be seen along the RAD with more to be added in the coming years. Once you’ve admired the works along RAD, head further into Downtown, where more fascinating art pieces can be found. Depending on when you visit, you’ll be able to see exhibits from the Napa ARTWalk, a biannual exhibition of sculptures created by a variety of artists from the Western U.S. These rotating exhibitions remain on view for 24 months, and during this time, community members are encouraged to vote for their favorite sculpture to award it a People’s Choice Award. Even the utility boxes around here are works of art! Thanks to the Napa Wrap Art project, which turned thirteen utility boxes into art installations, you can find art on every corner of Downtown.


Shops, Art and History

From Grape to Gallery

If your shopping appetite isn’t quite sated, Oxbow Public Market is a great stop for anyone looking to peruse the offerings of local artisans. Check out shops such as the Napa Bookmine, a curated independent bookstore selling gifts, Napa-themed items and, of course, the latest page-turners.

Next, head to Quent Cordair Fine Art. The gallery offers a variety of contemporary Romantic

Realism in painting, sculpture and drawing. Open six days a week, the gallery’s collection emphasizes themes celebrating moments of happiness and success — perfect for a midday mood boost. For a look at an artist in action, you can also check out the studio of renowned artist Gordon Huether, famous for large-scale art installations in places such as the Salt Lake International Airport and even places as far as Germany. Just a little outside of Downtown is the Jessel Gallery, which was voted the best gallery in Napa Valley. There, you can peruse fabulous artworks by over 40 well-known artists, collected over almost four decades.

For history buffs, the Napa County Historical Society is a great stop to learn about some of the region’s history. Discover the truth behind inspiring figures of the past, embark on a walking tour to dig into the past of Downtown’s landmarks or hear a guest speaker regale you with tales of times gone by.

Winemaking is an art in and of itself, and Downtown Napa, as the Wine Tasting Room Capital of the World, features many wine bars serving up exquisitely crafted sips. Combine the best of both worlds and check out a few of these wine tasting rooms that double as art galleries, like Feast it Forward Studio. Sip your way through the varietals offered at their multi-winery tasting room, explore the live film studio and simply take in the art that makes up every facet of this eclectic, vibrant studio. Another option is ÆRENA Galleries & Gardens, which offers a personalized gallery and wine experience guided by a dedicated art consultant.


Culture and Cuisine

Turn your attention to Napas culinary offerings

As the day winds to a close, turn your attention to the culinary offerings, sure to please even the most discerning of palates, available here in Downtown. The Grove, the restaurant of the CIA at Copia, features a stylish blend of art, history and, of course, food. Before dinner, you can stroll through the Chuck Williams Culinary Museum and take a look at its massive collection of historical culinary artifacts. Then, as you sit down for dinner, you can catch a glimpse of the culinary gardens, where many of the restaurant’s ingredients are grown and harvested. The Mediterranean-inspired menu showcases seasonal flavors, all prepared by the expert hands of CIA graduates.

Before you call it a night, you may have time to catch a live performance at Blue Note Napa, an intimate jazz club and bar that holds performances several nights a week. Or, check the performance schedules of the Uptown Theatre or the Oxbow River Stage, two larger venues that often house concerts, comedy shows and more. If you’re here any time in January or February, a must-see Downtown after dark attraction is the Lighted Art Festival, an annual tradition that celebrates the dazzling intersection between technology, art and innovation.

Where to Stay

There is truly nowhere else like Downtown Napa, and that is evident in the town’s unique culinary scene. Here, you can experience global flavors prepared with Michelin-level expertise, menus focused on seasonal harvests and exquisite wine pairings, all under one roof. Consider extending your stay to explore the full scope of gourmet offerings provided by Downtown Napa. We’ll be waiting, ready to toast to your culinary adventure.