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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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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