THE ULTIMATE WEEKEND GUIDE TO DOWNTOWN NAPA
I recently had the opportunity to visit Downtown Napa and had the most romantic little getaway with Shahzeb! Downtown Napa is only about an hour drive from San Francisco, making it perfect for a day trip or a relaxing weekend away.
On Friday night, Shahzeb and I drove to Napa, checked into our hotel and spent the weekend eating and exploring to our hearts’ content! If you’re planning a visit, here is my quick guide on where to stay, eat & play!
Where to Stay
The Andaz Napa is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Downtown Napa. Our stay was seamless, complete with a complimentary glass of red or white wine on check-in! The location was perfect since it was walking distance to all the things we wanted to do, see and eat. They even had a lovely terrace, with a bar and fire pit to wind down in the evenings or to grab a quick cocktail before hitting the town for the night. We loved the hotel so much, we cozied up in the evenings to watch a holiday movie (if we’re being honest, maybe it was three holiday movies). There’s just something so satisfying about staying in bed when you’re on vacation!
Where to Eat
Napa Valley Coffee Roasters: I stopped in three times over the weekend. If you love supporting local businesses like I do, skip the Starbucks across the street and come here! Shahzeb and I started our mornings off with coffee here each day and if you’re here around the holidays, they make a killer peppermint mocha with almond milk!
Alexis Baking Company: Another local spot with a delicious brunch menu. We ordered the chilaquiles and a half order of the French toast. They also had a huge selection of baked goods - I wanted to try everything!
Model Bakery at Oxbow Public Market: I came here to try the famous English muffins and they did not disappoint! We ordered the veggie breakfast sandwich and an additional English muffin with blackberry jam + cream cheese. I’m craving it again just writing about it!
Gott’s Roadside: If you love burgers and shakes, definitely stop in at Gott’s. It is located next door to Oxbow Public Market and is a local favorite! They have indoor / outdoor seating, so grab a spot at the picnic tables outside while you wait for your order.
Allegria: I was craving Italian so we stopped in for lunch at this former bank turned upscale Italian restaurant to try their Pappardelle Allo Zafferano.
Tarla Mediterranean Grill: One of my favorite meals in Napa was at this Michelin-guide-recommended establishment just steps outside our hotel. If you like octopus, I highly recommend the Grilled Octopus Salad — it was hands-down the best seasoned/cooked octopus I’ve ever had. We also ordered the Hummus and Pan Roasted Branzino Fish, which was amazing!
Zuzu: This was by far my favorite meal of the entire weekend. Spanish tapas are always so much fun because you get to try so many different things! We ordered Gambas al Ajillo (the shrimp came in a lovely sauce!), Salmon Ceviche and Arros Negra (the black paella with clams, shrimp, mussels, calamari and a daily fish). I’ll definitely be stopping by her again on my next visit to Napa just so I can try a more dishes on their menu!
Where to Play
Oxbow Public Market: Located in the vibrant Oxbow District, Oxbow Public Market is one of Napa’s biggest treasures filled with great food, delicious wine and exciting shopping. We love to treat ourselves with a cupcake from Kara’s whenever we visit!
Napa’s Riverfront: Located in the heart of Downtown Napa, the Riverfront was the perfect place to stroll and enjoy the beautiful river, shops and restaurants. The colorful buildings along the riverfront made me feel like I had escaped to a little European city!
Spa Day @ Spa Terra in The Meritage Resort: This was definitely Shahzeb’s favorite part of the entire weekend. We were both in need of a massage, so starting off our Sunday morning with a spa day at this epic resort was just what we needed. Named one of the “Top 100 Spas in America,” Spa Terra is located beneath the vineyards inside an underground Estate Cave, offering a completely unique spa experience. After our Couples Swedish Massage, we spent some time relaxing in the pool & hot tub. The entire property was so beautiful and the service was incredible!
Wine Tasting Rooms: What's a trip to Napa without a little wine tasting? Downtown Napa is home to 25 tasting rooms. Many offer exclusive Napa Valley wines you won’t find anywhere else! The rooms are all within walking distance of one another, which make it super convenient to hop around to different tasting rooms. I used the Taste Napa Downtown Card to visit Acumen Wine Gallery and tasted wines for only half price!
Shopping & Boutiques: Downtown Napa is filled with delightful shops. It is a veritable treasure hunt with clothing boutiques, antique emporiums, home furnishing stores and a number of fabulous places to find gourmet food and wine!
CIA at Copia: One thing I wish we had more time for was this a cooking class at CIA. They offer cooking and beverage classes taught by CIA experts, curated tasting events & festivals. I'd love to come back and take a cooking class next time around!
Explore Outdoors: The City of Napa is more than just amazing wines and delicious eats. Since we opted for more R&R on our mini vacay, we skipped it this time around, but visitors can hike, bike or kayak along the beautiful Napa River! I’d love to revisit in the summer and enjoy some outdoor adventures in Downtown Napa.
Napa Art Walk: If you're into art, you should definitely check out the Napa Art Walk. It's a biannual, rotating exhibition of juried sculptures created by artists from the Western US - all of which are displayed in Downtown Napa.
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Thank you Downtown Napa and Andaz Napa for hosting me during my stay.
As always, all honest opinions are my own.