FORBES - If you're planning on doing Napa Valley right, do yourself a favor and make your home base Downtown Napa. The main reason? No need for a designated driver because everything in this eclectic, charming hub is walkable. The picturesque Riverfront looks like something out of a storybook. Moreover, the river itself is peaceful and calming, making it an ideal stroll for any time of day, especially in the early morning or at sunset.
The Riverfront is lined with boutique shops filled with handcrafted items, clothes and jewelry; eateries that include the local favorite, Napa General Store (set up an appointment for a blind wine tasting for a unique experience!), and upscale Japanese restaurant, Morimoto Napa; bars serving local brews and award winning wines; unique places to grab sweets and baked goods; and more.
Nearby is the 40,000 square foot Oxbow Market, a food hall and marketplace filled with local food vendors, artisan cafes, produce, eateries and specialty merchants. It's a foodies' dream thanks to the sheer size and variety of offerings. From Hog Island Oyster, Gott's Roadside and Napa Valley Distillery to Kara's Cupcakes, Three Twins Ice Cream and Anette's Chocolates—you won't be leaving hungry.
Back to the main event. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Downtown Napa is home to a whopping 35 tasting rooms, pouring up some of the Valley's best wines. Make a stop at the Napa Welcome Center to buy a Napa Wine Tasting card for $15 which gets you half off nine tasting rooms in the area.
Another big draw of being in the Downtown area? The live music! Don't miss out on these venues during a night out on the town.
Lawn Hour at The Village at Vista Collina Resort is a weekly Saturday event, think happy hour, featuring live music, lawn games and a stunning setting ideal for sipping the afternoon away at nine tasting rooms on property.