Napa For A Weekend Offers Many Things To Do

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Napa For A Weekend Offered So Many Different Experiences

Our 3 week road trip in California brought us such an amazing variety of sights. The towns we visited offered lots to see and do. When we visited Napa for a weekend, we planned an awesome wine tasting experience. But we found so many other interesting sights as we wandered around Napa.

On our last road trip around California, we had a great visit to Napa. So we were happy to be back. When we walked along the Napa River, we found so much to see. There was art in the streets everywhere we looked. Local market offered entertainment and local products. And there was no shortage of great food to eat in Napa. Even if you do not go wine tasting, a weekend in Napa is a lot of fun.

Our friends Amber and David from WineTravelEats set were great hosts during our stay. We were treated to smaller, more intimate and personal wine tasting experiences. And great suggestions for things to do in the Napa area.

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It Does Rain In Southern California

When we travelled to Palm Desert and again to Temecula for wine tasting, we ran into days of rain. It made me think of the song … “it never rains in Southern California”. On our travel day to Napa from our stay in Monterey, we again hit torrential rainfall. In fact, the rain was so bad in parts that we heard an emergency broadcast alert beep on the car and on every electronic device we had with us. We did not recognize the emergency area. But hoped we would not pass through it. While we got rain, we also got pretty rainbows.

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Napa Rainbow.jpg

As we travelled around for our wine tasting experience in Napa Valley Area, we saw water soaked fields. It made navigating some of the smaller roads a bit of a challenge. But we again were delighted when we were rewarded with rainbows. And we were sure that the rain would green up the fields. And mean an awesome wine harvest.

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Napa Rainbow.jpg

A Great Base On The Napa River

We continue to chase hotel loyalty stays and status. But when we head into smaller spots, we like to enjoy the local boutique hotels. The Napa River Inn was located right in town. And had a view out over the Napa River.

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Napa River Inn View.jpg

Napa River Inn View.jpg

The hotel was expensive, especially for the weekend that started with Valentine’s Day and ended with President’s Day. But since we were out most every day, we certainly did not get our value from this stay. Something to consider if you have busy days scheduled for a wine tasting experience in Napa Valley area.

Art Surrounded Our Hotel

We always look for art in the street when we travel. As we walked around the hotel, there were lots of colourful and unusual pieces to be found. We first found a fish, a hummingbird and another sculpture called “Solar Flare” made with bicycle wheels.

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Hummingbird Napa River Inn Art - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Solar Flare Napa River Inn Art - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

But then we saw the most amazing tile mosaic art. Alan Shepp’s creative piece called is “Ars Longa Vita Brevis” or “Life is brief But Art Endures”. We followed the river of tile up to art piece. And then spent a long time looking at the tile stories on the fountain that talked about the history of Napa in the development of the west.

Waterfall Ars Longa Vita Brevis Napa River Inn Art - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Waterfall Ars Longa Vita Brevis Napa River Inn Art - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Waterfall Ars Longa Vita Brevis Napa River Inn Art - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Waterfall Ars Longa Vita Brevis Napa River Inn Art - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

We didn’t have to go far from our hotel to find beautiful art when we visited Napa for a weekend.

Art All Around Town

A stroll over to the Oxbow Market gave us a view of the CIA At Copia building. There was an interesting statue perched on the edge of the roof (“Is That Bob And Margrit?” by Gordon Huether). And a colourful mural on the wall.

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When we drove around the country for our wine tasting experience in Napa Valley area, we often pulled over to catch images of art that decorated the wineries. Hall Wines had some of the most unique pieces. Definitely worth a stop even if you are not trying their wines.

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Halls Winery Silver Ball Napa Art - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

When we walked in town, we found a plaque on the ground that showed us the Cha Cha Cha dance steps. Unfortunately, that did not help David at all. Another funky statue showed “Rock Paper and Scissors”. Even the local Starbucks had an interesting mural on the side wall.

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All of the interesting art in the street reminded us of the art we found when we explored Palm Desert. It was certainly great to find beautiful art when we visited Napa for a weekend.

Enjoying The Town Of Napa

From our hotel room, we had a view out over the Napa River and the railway lines. We often caught sight of the Napa Valley Wine Train as it went past. Again on this visit, we did not get the chance to take this unique way to visit wineries in the area. Strolling along the riverfront, we often stopped to enjoy the sunshine and the sights.

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Napa Riverfront - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

The Napa River Inn stands on the site of the former Napa Mill. In the complex, there are several restaurants. And the Napa General Store. We found so many interesting wine souvenirs when we browsed in the shop.

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Whenever we travel, we liked to visit local markets. So on this visit, we could not miss the chance to wander around the Oxbow Market. There was a great variety of local products. Chocolate taste testing drew us in. And interesting labels made us stop to look. Since we are in wine country, we were not surprised to find they produced olive oil too. And sold it in such a great range of infused flavours. There were cheese and meat shops. Had we stayed in a place with a kitchen, we might have stocked up on so much.

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 Oxbow Public Market Napa.jpg

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We were tempted when we saw the great pizza oven. But then David got drawn to the Fieldwork Brewery corner. They had a great wide range of beer selections for beer flights. But they also had a dark hot chocolate beer. Of course we had to taste that one too. And take home a custom-filled can of beer. We were sorry we could not take home a whole growler of beer.

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Fieldwork Brewery Oxbow Public Market Napa.jpg

Fieldwork Brewery Oxbow Public Market Napa.jpg

When we were not wine tasting our way around the region, we found lots of see and do in Napa for a weekend.

We Ate Well In Napa

In addition to our food grazing at the Oxbow Market, we found lots of other great food in Napa. Our first stop on this trip was to visit Amber and David in another wine region close to Napa. After a great lunch at their friend’s Napa Deli, we headed off for the first of many wine tasting for this trip.

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Our room at the Napa River Inn came with a continental breakfast or a $10 voucher that could be used at the Sweetie Pies Cafe on the property. While it would have been nice to enjoy breakfast in our room, Sweetie Pies had a good selection of breakfast items. And so many tempting treats.

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Napa Sweetie Pies - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Napa Sweetie Pies - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Napa Sweetie Pies - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Napa Sweetie Pies - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

We enjoyed a great pizza from Velo Pizzeria in our room one night after our wine tasting tour. The day had exhausted us and we could not face sitting in a restaurant. On our last night in town, we went out for dinner with Amber and David. We started with drinks at the crowded bar. And then enjoyed the most delicious meat fest at the Galpao Gaucho Brazilian Steakhouse.

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When you are in Napa for a weekend, you will find so many great restaurants. We did not hit all the ones that Amber recommended. But that just means we need to return again.

A Wine Tasting Experience In Napa

Amber set up a number of wine tasting sessions around Napa. We loved the chance to see unique wineries that many visitors who just show up in Napa might miss. We really saw that there was more than one great wine region (or AVA). The wines and wineries were all so varied.

We started at Keller Estates for a wine tasting. Not only did we get some great wines, we found the greatest collection of cars and car statues.

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Keller Estates Wine Tasting - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

A stop at Domaine Carneros provided us with some bubbly sampling. And then we moved on to see the wines created by the Clif Family (of Clif Bar fame). We tasted our way through the Clif Family wine list. And had a gourmet lunch from the on-site food truck Bruschetteria.

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Clif Family Winery Wine Tasting - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Our Napa region wine tour finished up at the Luna Vineyards. We sampled an interesting variety of wines during our tour. But at Luna we got some old world wines to try.

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We were so happy that Amber set up such an amazing wine tasting experience. It was the highlight of being in Napa for a weekend.

When We Visited Napa For A Weekend We Found So Much To See And Do

We tried the wines in the Napa area on our last visit. But on this return visit, we got the most amazing wine tasting experience in the Napa Valley area.

Our 3 days in Napa sped by. We did enjoy some time to just explore the town of Napa. The art was fun and colourful. Local markets tempted us with products and great food. But we definitely need to plan a return trip. Napa for a weekend is just not enough.

The sun shone bright as we headed to our final stop in San Francisco. But we could not leave Napa without a pic of the iconic Napa sign. We got lucky and found the spot empty when we got there. But before we left several buses had pulled up. Timing is everything!

Napa Valley Wine Valley Sign - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Napa Valley Wine Valley Sign - Napa For A Weekend Things To Do.jpg

Have you visited Napa for a weekend? Did you find lots of things to see and do in addition to wine tasting?

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Napa For A Weekend We Found So Much To See And Do.jpg

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28 Comments

  1. It is so cute to see you having a great time in Napa valley. The pictures have come really good. I would love to spend a weekend there and pamper myself with all that good food and beautiful views.

    • Shreya, Napa is a great place to visit for the weekend. Even if you do not go for wine tasting, there is lots to see and do. And some great spots for food. If you can visit during the week, it would be less crowded. Linda

  2. It’s been 30 years since I have last been to Napa. Time to go again! It looks like the culinary and art scenes are hopping. Our dream is to take a bike tour through Napa so we can burn enough calories to indulge in the evening.

    • Jenn and Ed, A bike tour through the Napa area would be a great way to get around. Definitely a good way to burn off some of the food and wine you will find. Hope you get to return soon. Linda

  3. As many times as I’ve driven from Southern California to the Bay Area, I’ve never stopped in Napa. It sounds like it kept you busy and happy for 3 days — that’s a great recommendation. I would love to take this trip!

  4. I love visiting Napa- from LA, it is a great escape. I really enjoy all the wineries there, but the next time I go I will be sure to check out Oxbow Market, and the river per your recommendations!

  5. What a fabulous place to visit. I would go just for those mosaics. Such colour and the caption “Life is brief But Art Endures” is perfect. Thank you for sharing.

    • Karlatta, We were indeed surprised by how much great art there was when we walked around the town. The mosaic had so many great little details. You can spend some time and see the history of the town. Hope you get to visit. Linda

  6. Napa is such a beautiful place to explore! I think a lot of people forget that there is more to do then just wine tasting, there is amazing art and food as well! xo – Kam

  7. Such art filled cities are so rare. I am thrilled at the photo opportunities in the city. I would love to do a similar trip.

  8. I missed the mosaic art! It looks so pretty. The food in Napa is so good, I don’t think there is a bad meal to be had in the city. There are so many wineries to visit, I would struggle to make a decision where to go if not on an organized tour!

    • Sherianne, We were very lucky to have our wine tasting visits set up for us. So we got a great selection. But too much wine and pairings meant we at at fewer of the restaurants than we had on our list. A great reason to go back. Linda

  9. I don’t drink wine, so I’d never considered exploring Napa. But you’ve talked about a lot of things I would enjoy…all the art, great restaurants, boutique shops, and historical buildings. I didn’t even know there was a train, and that would be super fun, too!

    • Tami, I was glad that I could show you all the other things to do in Napa besides wine tasting. Even the wineries are great to visit for art and food. I hope you get too visit. Linda

  10. Napa is definitely just another word for wine! I really love this detailed information that you shared. I’m a bit surprised though that Napa offers so much more than it’s classic wine tasting tours. Those art are lovely! That mosaic and huge sculptures are beautiful and carefully crafted. Napa proves that art and wine is a great combo!

  11. Napa always has a very luxurious feel. Guess my references is to the fiction books and movies. However, your visit does prove that I am not very off. I love the captures of the mosaic work here. That does seem quirky and creative.

    • Ami, There is a little something for everyone in Napa. We loved all the street art we found. And wish we had more time to explore the great restaurants that were recommended to us. A great spot to visit – even if not wine tasting. Linda

  12. Wow! Those photos of the rainbow are gorgeous! People would be surprised at how much it rains in Northern California! But there are still so many great things to do, especially in Napa. Even if you aren’t a wine drinker!

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