Amtrak Getaways: Things to Do in Downtown Napa

di rosa preserve

The word “Napa” conjures images of delicate grapevines in neat little rows, whiffs of “cherry layered with tobacco and a spicy accent,” the magical sensation that overcomes the whole body when a crisp, fruit-forward white is paired with a friendly sun and just a hint of a breeze…

Yes, the valley’s famed wines are worth experiencing many times over. But they aren’t all of Napa. Not even close. It’s true that wine can (and should) be part of any visit to Napa, but on a recent visit to the area, we chose to make vino the “pairing” as opposed to the main event.

Here, a few non-wine things to do on your weekend in Napa.

What to do
1. Explore Downtown Napa, home to incredible eats, historic buildings, and a lively scene that holds its own against sprawling country roads lined with vineyards. Don’t miss the sculptures that line First Street, Napa’s ArtWalk.

2. Amble through the bucolic and inspiring di Rosa Preserve, a 217-acre nature preserve adorned by a vast collection of contemporary art (5200 Carneros Highway,

3. Catch a show at the historic Uptown Theatre (1350 3rd Street,

Where to eat
1. Graze gourmet at the Oxbow Public Market. The airy open-market-meets-gourmet-food-court is an homage to local foods (610 & 644 First Street,

2. Make a night of it, paring great wines with live music and delicious dishes at SILO’s wine bar and jazz club (530 Main Street,

3. Get pumped at the Iron Chef’s Morimoto Napa (610 Main Street,

Where to sleep
1. Sink into luxury and historic allure at the Napa River Inn (doubles from $249), a sumptuous property set in Napa’s beautiful mill (500 Main Street,

2. Feel like family at the Old World Inn (doubles from $119), a quintessential, family-run B&B with friendly service, sweet homey touches, and an incredible breakfast (1301 Jefferson Street,

3. Hunker down three blocks from downtown at the sweet Best Western Elm House Inn (doubles from $108), a cozy spot with a serene garden—and made-to-order waffles (800 California Boulevard,

Take an Amtrak train to Martinez and transfer to an Amtrak Thruway bus to the Napa stop.

Photo: affinity

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