Looking for things to do in Napa? You’re in luck, Andy and I just returned from Napa, California, and I’ve been on my toes to share the re-cap with y’all! We don’t take kid-free vacations very much, so it was AMAZING to have an entire 2 days together to slow down and experience Napa. I wish we would have had a few more days to finish my list of places to visit in Napa Valley, but we’ll definitely go back. Full disclosure, though it’s one of its claims to fame, Napa has so much more than just wine. If you are looking to visit Downtown Napa anytime soon, then we’ve got you covered on all things, and places to go, in Downtown Napa!
Best of Downtown Napa, California
Downtown Napa is the ultimate foodie destination. Whether you’re looking for fine dining or a quick snack, you’ll find it here. You can also find an awesome selection of shops like clothing boutiques, antique emporiums, and home furnishing stores! And of course, Downtown is the perfect place for all your wine needs, with 25 different tasting rooms for you to try! More than just the wine and food, there are so many places to hike, or bike in the beautiful city. There are so many great places to go in Downtown Napa! You can explore with great events and community gatherings like the Napa ARTwalk, CIA at Copia, and Oxbow Public Market. DoNapa‘s website is also an amazing resource for finding the best places to go in Downtown Napa.
Things To Do In Napa Valley
There were seriously so many things I wanted to do while we were in Napa Valley, but some things we just couldn’t squeeze in (like fly fishing). One of the things I was SO happy we were able to see was the Napa Lighted Art Festival. It’s an art festival based on innovative light technology that lights up the streets and buildings of downtown Napa with animated artwork after dark. This also includes the Hot Air Balloon Show where several balloons will light up the sky at Oxbow Commons during the light festival. And ofcourse there are so many amazing wineries to visit too!
Best Restaurants In Downtown Napa
Southside was one of our favorite eating spots in Napa. We ordered Horchata lattes, grilled strawberry toast and several other plates, but the breakfast dish that had a housemade chorizo gravy was my favorite. Andy and I are STILL craving it as we speak! ;) Everything was seriously SO good that you can’t go wrong with anything you order here. They even play vinyl records throughout the whole shop! It’s a must-stop anytime you visit Downtown Napa.
Perfect Fine Dining In Napa
ZuZu Tapas was actually highly recommended from the owner of Southside, and we ended up canceling our dinner reservation at another place. With Spanish style cuisine, I was so excited to see what their menu had to offer! Their staff was so welcoming and my foodie husband went CRAZY over every dish they brought us. Andy is hard to impress these days, and he seriously LOVED ZuZu Tapas. He already cannot wait to go back! The roasted spaghetti squash with goat gouda and apple cider syrup was my personal favorite dish of night! You won’t regret putting this on your to-do list.
Best Shopping Downtown Napa
Oxbow Public Market is a local gathering place with 40,000 square-feet of shops and a scenic outdoor deck along the river. Oxbow Public Market is very similar to New York’s Chelsea Market. Surprise, surprise! Kara’s Cupcakes was one of the places I was MOST excited to visit! Kara’s carrot cake cupcakes are my #1 favorite, plus they have the most amazing sugar cookies! 3 Twins Ice Cream was also a must stop for us! I got 2 scoops because it was the weekend, so why not? ;) Hands down, the honey and milk was my favorite out of every flavor I sampled.
Best Burgers in Napa
As much as I love trying new things when we go on vacation, there are also times where I just want a really good burger! Gott’s Roadside has AMAZING burgers and other dishes like soups, paninis and a few asian twists like ahi poke tacos! Their Instagram page makes me so hungry just looking through all their photos. Norman Rose is also well known for their 5-star burgers, but they have some other fan favorites like mac n’ cheese and fish n’ chips. Napkins Bar & Grill is another american cuisine favorite. You can choose from Bbq, seafood, and burgers. Plus, they have amazing nightlife in the heart of downtown Napa.
Best Napa Restaurants
Allegria Ristorante Italiano had the best noodles with cream sauce I have ever had! Andy ordered the spaghetti and the roasted chicken and loved it (apparently he’s eating for 2!) ;) Morimoto is a restaurant owned by one of the guys from Iron Chef and serves the freshest seasonal raw fish selection with locally grown fruits and vegetables! Their tuna pizza is what caught my eye. Eight Noodle Shop had seriously amazing ramen and was just featured on the Food Network with Guy Fieri. So, obviously I wanted to visit here!
Napa Wine Tours
The Bounty Hunter is known for their beer can chicken and located in the heart of downtown napa. And if you don’t get a chance to do some of the traditional Napa wine tasting, they have over 400 wines on their menu so it’ll still feel like you got to do a fancy wine tasting. ;) There are so many wineries in Napa. The Napa General Store is a great place for a quick stop in between adventures for some delicious food. Plus, they serve brunch all day on weekends! If you are in the mood for some authentic Mexican, then Gran Eléctrica is your spot! I seriously couldn’t get over the fresh garden they have growing on their outdoor patio.
Napa Bakeries To Try
Looking for sweet treats or the best bakery to try in Napa? Anette’s Chocolates is a local favorite where you can do chocolate tastings! They even have truffles flavored with wine! Model Bakery has an assortment of pastries and food, including english muffins that were featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things. Monday Bakery is the place to go for seriously good cake by the slice! Nation’s is a great drive-in chain where we picked up a cheesecake for the road. I really needed to go to all of my favorite sweet spots this trip! ;)
Perfect Dining in Napa
One of the other places that was high up on my list of to-dos was to visit the Archer Hotel. My brother highly recommended Charlie Palmer Steak, inside the hotel, as one of the places we had to stop. And he was totally right, they make amazing steaks and fresh seafood! The Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar was one of the places we couldn’t go to due to rain when we visited, but we totally plan to go next time we’re in town, as I was so sad to miss this one since their Instagram is AMAZING! They have live rock music play on the rooftop 2 days each week. This hotel seriously hits it out of the park!
Best Napa Hotels
We stayed at Vista Collina Resort for our stay and LOVED it! It’s a new hotel with very stylish and spacious rooms. They have a gorgeous spa you can visit to get your relaxation started. Plus, the whole hotel overlooks the vineyards and includes nine different tasting rooms for you to visit without even leaving your hotel! It was a very peaceful stay, and not just because it was kid free! ;)
Perfect Napa Vacation
I am SO happy we were able to take this little vacay to Downtown Napa! We were able to eat and shop some of my must-see places of Napa Valley, even in our short amount of time. If any of you are planning a trip to Napa, I would love to hear some of the spots that are on your must-go list! There are SO many things to do in Napa. Let me know down in the comments if you have any other amazing places that Andy and I should visit on our next little getaway!
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by DoNapa. Thank you so much for supporting the brands who support this blog.