Exploring The City of Napa, California

I’ve had you over in Croatia with me for the last few blog posts, so now I think it’s time to stay somewhere a little closer to home. In this case, the White House! But not the one you’re thinking in Washington D.C., but in the city of Napa, California.

More on that soon, but first, let’s start with exploring everything that Napa has to offer.

Things To Do In Napa, California

Enjoy the wine: Napa is right in the heart of the famous Napa Valley, where people from all over the world come to explore and the taste the wine from the region. So, to go wine tasting is a given of course. And the best part is that you can do a lot of that right in the city of Napa. In fact, there are more than 20 wine bars and tasting rooms that you can try without leaving town.

I’d recommend St. Clair Brown Winery + Brewery because of their awesome greenhouse tasting room where you can tase 4 wines for $35/person or 3 beers for $15/person. Which is perfect, if you’re exploring with someone who doesn’t necessarily like wine! It’s the best of both worlds.

If you are looking to get out of the city for the day, then drive along the Silverado Trail, where you’ll find all kinds of wineries along the way. It’s dotted with pretty oak trees and world-class wineries, so you can’t go wrong!

Check out The Riverfront: I think what was most surprising for me was how unassuming Napa was. I had been in and out before, so I hadn’t done much exploring, but in just a few minutes of walking around, it became very clear to me that the city of Napa is SO cute.

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In fact, the first thing I did was head to The Riverfront area. And this is mostly where I fell in love with the city. Here, you’ll find lush gardens, an alleyway decked out with flowers and ivy, cute restaurants, and more! You’ll want to take the Riverfront Promenade where you’ll walk along the Napa River. I started from the south end.

Make sure to stop at the Napa General Store and snap a picture of their pretty yellow wall with blue shutters.

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And then you’ll find a cute little courtyard (Riverbend Plaza) that you should absolutely walk into because there you’ll find an entrance to a little alleyway that you’ll want to take. Overhead you’ll see the Napa Mill, and just before the alleyway entrance, you’ll find a beautiful mosaic water fountain that I adored.

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But better yet, walk through the canopied alleyway. It makes for a great photo op. Especially at the end (or beginning depending on where you started) with the arch.

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And then just keep walking around the Promenade and head into the main hub of the city (on Main Street). There are a ton of restaurants and shops here, along with a little Memorial Park if that suits your fancy.

Take a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train: Cross the river on 1st Street and pick up your ticket at the Wine Train station. You’ll want to do this online and early if you’re planning on making a trip. I did this for my birthday last year and it was so cool! You travel back in time as you take a 3-hour train ride through Napa Valley.

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We got tickets to the Champagne Vista Dome, which I highly recommend. You’ll sip on wine, eat a four-course meal, and enjoy the views of the Valley. It was rainy/overcast on the day I went, so I’ve been wanting to take another trip. I can only imagine it’s incredibly beautiful when the sun’s out!

Explore Oxbow Public Market: This was also one of my favorite things to do. A variety of food vendors come in so you can pick up all kinds of different things, from local produce, cheese, chocolate, seafood, and more!

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I browsed a bit, but then when straight back to Hog Island Oyster Co. Get there a little early for lunch, because it fills up quickly. You can sit up at their raw bar or head out to the riverside deck.

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I got the clam chowder soup and a few different beers. The soup was phenomenal! You have to get it, even if it’s an app before a larger meal.

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And of course, if you’re into oysters, order them on a half shell with some champagne (especially if you’re celebrating!).

Where To Eat in Napa, California

For breakfast, brunch, or lunch head to the Napa General Store. Their outdoor patio is the perfect spot to hunker down for a few hours right in front of the river and enjoy good food and drinks.

Remember that little alleyway I was telling you about? Well tucked away in that alleyway is Celedon, which has great ratings if not the loveliest entrance.

As mentioned earlier, Oxbow Public Market is a great spot to grab some food. I also think it would be a great place to pop into for picnic supplies. Especially if you’re going to wineries that allow you to bring food in.

I’ve been to Allegria two times now. Once for lunch and once for dinner. It’s right in that main hub of Napa close to Main Street. The cool thing is that the building was once a bank so there’s seating that you can reserve in an old bank vault! And the small patio is a great little spot if it’s a nice day. Which in Napa, that’s usually a yes.

Plus, if you’re looking for dessert, there’s a frozen yogurt place right across the street that you can duck into!

Where To Stay In Napa, California

There are a lot of great places to stay in Napa Valley, but if you want a cute spot right in the city if Napa, you’ve got to grab a room at the White House Inn.

As per its namesake, you’ll easily find the inn when driving down Brown Street. Because it will be the only big, beautiful, white house on the block.

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Once you pull down the driveway to park, you’ll get a closer look at the sprawling 17-room white mansion turned charming inn. As you walk up to the entrance, the first thing you’ll notice is the lawn out front and the small deck with its Hampton-vibe curtains.

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And even though I love the rustic chic vibe, I also appreciated the modern decor and amenities. Each room comes equipped with a USB charging station, flat screen TV, an electric fireplace, an iPad for your own use, and more!

And I loved the polka-dot carpet that greets you as you open the door to your room.

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I had the King Deluxe room on the first floor, which included a King-sized bed, a desk, a large shower and updated vanity, along with toiletries from Lather.

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The common areas are even more charming. I especially loved the vibe of the living room/dining area where you can grab breakfast in the morning and wine and appetizers in the evening.

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And just off the French doors, a small deck will lead you down to the resort-style pool area surrounded by lounge chairs.

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The best part – It’s heated! So you’ll be able to enjoy it on cooler days! There’s a hot tub, too, if that strikes your fancy. It’s tucked into a little nook under a canopy of trees, which I thought made it feel very private and romantic.

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If you’re staying in June, you’ll also get to enjoy the scent of Jasmine while you’re lounging around the pool. In fact, if it’s in full bloom, you’ll see a beautiful white canopy of Jasmine with the most heavenly scent.

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More perks to staying at the White House Inn in Napa:

  • I loved the location! It’s in a quiet neighborhood, but it’s just a quick five minutes walk to the bustle of The Riverfront area and Main Street.
  • You’ll get a complimentary breakfast in the morning. Yum!
  • You’re given an iPad when you check-in, that comes preloaded with activities and restaurant suggestions.

There are spa options, too, which is why I think the White House Inn makes a great spot for a romantic getaway, a staycation if you just need a quick reset, or a girls’ weekend with your bestie.


Like I mentioned early in my post – I hadn’t really explored the city of Napa before. I’ve been in and out, but I had never stayed in the city and took the time to explore. Which is why I loved this trip so much, because I was able to see Napa as I never had before. It’s a such a lovely little spot in the heart of the famous Napa Valley, and you should absolutely consider staying if you’re looking to make a trip to the area.

Let’s go places,
Sarah

Exploring Napa California Blog Post Pin

All photos on this blog are mine. Feel free to share but please credit me with a link back to the blog. Much appreciated and thank you for your support!

I have collaborated with the White House Inn for this post, but all opinions are mine.

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