Five Things To Know About Napa’s Downtown Retreat

By Forbes Travel Editor Laura Janelle Downey

Image Source:The Westin Verasa Napa

You’ll rest easy after checking into The Westin Verasa Napa. The 180-room luxury hotel is situated in the perfect downtown Napa location and offers a one-stop-shop experience. No matter what your specific needs are, this contemporary property on Mckinstry Street has you covered.

We’ve picked out our five best reasons for why you should stay here, from the property’s Running Concierge program to La Toque Restaurant, its tasty dining establishment.

1. Downtown Napa is walkable from the hotel. Thanks to the hotel’s prime locale, downtown Napa will be at your fingertips from the moment you step through The Westin’s glass doors. Just a quick five-minute stroll down the street and you’ll find yourself at the popular Oxbow Public Market, where snagging breakfast at resident Catherine Bergen’s C Casa is a must-do. Her gluten-free taqueria menu abounds with delicious plates, including our favorite — the C Casa breakfast (two eggs cooked any style with a side of roasted fingerling potatoes and two soft white corn tortillas).

When you’re done, stop at a few other spots in the vicinity. Some choice places include Lucero Olive Oil, where tasting everything from its Three Star Blend cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil to the strawberry white balsamic vinegar will leave your taste buds very happy. Plus, a visit to the family-owned Trahan Winery is in order. You can’t help but love owner Chuck Custodio’s 2009 Sadie’s Red Wine, which was named after his German shorthaired pointer who recently passed away. This particular vino is a flavor combo of plum, grape jelly, mocha, black currant, blackberry, vanilla oak, grape Jolly Rancher, watermelon and more. And last but not least, be sure to saunter along Main Street on Napa’s Riverfront (near Marie Lyall Shoes) for a quick lesson on how to do the cha-cha. Just look down toward the sidewalk for the silver-plated numbered footprints and move your feet to the beat. Just remember, it’ll be extra difficult to get moving in the right direction after stopping by a few tasting rooms.

2. Go for a run with Sara Southam. If you’d like to take a jog through one of the neighborhoods but just aren’t sure where to go, let Sara Southam, The Westin Verasa Napa’s owner relations and property manager (and running concierge) be your guide. She’ll meet you in the lobby of the hotel with a towel and bottle of water in hand before accompanying you for a run. Now, if this sounds enticing but you forgot to pack your sneakers or gym clothes, don’t worry. The Westin brand has a partnership with New Balance so you can borrow a pair of kicks (foot inserts are changed after each person), a T-shirt, shorts and socks before hitting the pavement (for just $5 during your stay). And although moving about at a rapid pace in nearby Alta Heights can be energizing, should you want to slow things down a bit, a brisk walk around Lakeview Park’s trail will do the trick. Whatever you’re in the mood for, Southam will oblige. One of the perks of tagging along with her is that when people walk out of their front doors, everyone says, “Hi, Sara!” Southam’s friendly face is known about town, and it’s reassuring to have a local like her lead the way.

3. Stop by the lobby for a snack. You won’t want to miss out on the property’s Westin Unwind event, which takes place daily from 5 to 7 p.m. in the lobby. Depending on which night you show up, a representative from any of the local wineries (think Robert Mondavi Winery and Duckhorn Vineyards) will be there for you to sample a variety of vinos alongside tapas prepared by the chefs at La Toque. It’s a great way to meet other guests and exchange chatter about your favorite Napa haunts. Grab a seat on one of the comfy dark brown couches with vibrant lime green cushions or step outside and lounge poolside with your glass of wine.

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