Downtown Napa: Everything you need to know

Published: Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 6H
Last Modified: Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 - 2:45 pm

DOWNTOWN NAPA

From Sacramento: Take Highway 80 west to the Highway 12/Napa/Sonoma exit near Fairfield. Turn right on Highway 12 and follow for 7 miles to turn right on Highway 29. Bear right toward Downtown Napa/Lake Berryessa, and continue on the Napa Vallejo Highway for 4 miles. Turn left onto Third Street, and left onto Main Street to take you to the heart of downtown Napa.

OUTDOORS

• Walking tours: 500 Main St. (707) 694-5097. www.napawalkingtour.com. Explore downtown Napa on a two-mile walk – with plenty of time for rest and wine tasting – with historian and actor George Webber.

• Napa ARTwalk: (707) 257-2117. www.artscouncilnapavalley. org. Take a stroll through downtown Napa while admiring sculptures and public art.

• Napa River Adventures: 644 McKinstry. (707) 224-9080. www.napariveradventures. com. Two-hour cruises down the Napa River are offered twice daily, starting at Kennedy Park Boat Launch.

• Napa Skatepark: 1210 West St. Whether you're an old-school shredder, or need a diversion for the kids, check out this popular skate park.

SHOPPING

• West End Napa: 1460 First St. (707) 254-9500. www.westendnapa.com. A hot spot for furnishings in the west side, a growing section of downtown Napa, which includes salons, restaurants and lodging.

• Napa Town Center: 1290 Napa Town Center. (707) 253-9282. An outdoor shopping mall that also includes a Napa visitors center.

• Napa Premium Outlets: 629 Factory Stores Drive. (707) 226-9876. www.premiumoutlets.com. Located just outside downtown Napa. You'll find 50 outlet stores including Guess, Barney's and J. Crew.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE

• Carpe Diem: 1001 Second St. (707) 224-0800. www.carpediemwinebar.com Get the evening started, or wind it down at downtown Napa's "it" wine bar, with bold but accessible small-plate foods and fun atmosphere.

• Bistro Sabor: 1126 First St. (707) 252-0555. www.bistrosabor.com. Run by the family behind Ceja Winery, this taqueria whips up tasty and affordable Latin eats. Free salsa dancing on Saturday nights.

• Morimoto: 610 Main St. (707) 252-1600. www.morimotonapa.com: A must-stop for fans of "Iron Chef" Masaharu Morimoto, with a menu of contemporary Japanese food and perhaps the most chic dining room in the entire Napa Valley.

• Napa Valley Opera House: 1040 Main St. (707) 226-7372. www.nvoh.org. A 130-year-old venue that showcases classical, jazz, dance, blues and much more.

• Oxbow Public Market: 610 & 644 First St. www.oxbowpublicmarket.com. Like San Francisco's Ferry Building Marketplace, the Oxbow Public Market is a must-visit destination for foodies with its array of artisanal cheeses, produce, meats, wine and much more.

• Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin' BBQ: 975 First St. (707) 226-3976. www.bountyhunter winebar.com. Locals and tourists alike flock to Bounty Hunter for the beer-can chicken and 18-page wine list.

• Uptown Theatre: 1350 Third St. (707) 259.0123. www.uptowntheatrenapa.com. This historic theater boasts great sightlines and an array of concerts. Upcoming shows include Jackie Greene (April 7), Squeeze (April 18) and Chris Isaak (April 27).

LODGING

• The Inn on First: 1938 First St. (707) 253-1331. www.theinnonfirst.com. Decompress in downtown Napa at a quiet and cozy bed-and-breakfast that's an easy walk to downtown attractions.

• Napa River Inn: 500 Main St. (707) 251-8500. www.napariverinn.com. An historic building with lodging in the heart of downtown Napa's river walk area.

• Napa Valley Hotel & Suites: 853 Coombs St. (707) 226-1871. www.napavalley hotelandsuites.com. A former Travelodge, this hotel offers downtown lodging at affordable rates and includes discounts for booking online.

• Avia Hotel: 1450 First St. (707) 224-3900. avianapa.hyatt.com. Now owned by the Hyatt, this swank hotel still features plenty of boutique charm.

• Best Western Elm House Inn: 800 California Blvd. (707) 255-1831. www.bestwestern.com/ elmhouseinn. Though about a half-mile from the heart of downtown Napa, the hotel features fairly affordable rates.

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