Winning: Downtown Napa, Revitalized

By Chris Gray Faust

Napa Valley has been such a big tourist destination for so many years that it’s often dismissed by travelers who are always seeking newer (grape) stomping grounds. But with so many vineyards – more than 400 – and the countless restaurants that accompany them, Napa Valley will always have something surprising for the wine-loving tourist. I’ve made at least six trips to Napa (and several to Sonoma) – and have yet get bored.

The biggest surprise that I’ve noticed on two recent visits is how cool downtown Napa has become. Even five years ago, tourists would gravitate toward Yountville, Rutherford and the northern end of the valley when they visited. But in recent years, hot restaurants, hotels and galleries have opened in Napa itself, revitalizing the downtown and turning it into a worthy destination. You can even take a tour on the Napa River (perhaps the only way to see some of the city’s fabulous riverside homes).

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