27 Best Things to Do in Napa | 2024 (with Photos)

Nataša Obradovic

Nataša Obradovic - Travel Writer

Published: September 28, 2023

Hello there! I'm Natasha, your guide to the 27 best things to do in Napa. Get ready to explore this incredible destination and make the most out of your trip with my carefully curated list of recommendations. Enjoy your adventure in Napa!

Best Things to Do in Napa

Napa Valley in Northern California is known for its stunning vineyards and award-winning wines. However, there's more to this picturesque region than just wine.

Whether you're a wine lover, outdoor enthusiast, or just seeking a weekend getaway, Napa Valley has something for everyone.

From hot air balloon rides to hiking trails, Michelin-starred restaurants and fine art to farmer's markets, the possibilities are endless.

We've compiled a list of the best things to do in Napa that will help you make the most of your visit and create unforgettable memories. So, put on your walking shoes and let's explore Napa Valley together.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Wine Tasting.

Top Choice Hotel

Napa River Inn

Our Top Choice Restaurant

The French Laundry

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Whiskey Tip

Best Time to Visit

Ideal weather conditions, stunning vineyards, world-class wine tasting.

Average Temperature

Mild climate with warm summers and cool winters.

Transportation Options

Car rentals, taxis, buses, trains, bicycles, rideshare services

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Napa & Sonoma, located in the United States of America, is a charming destination perfect for wine lovers and food enthusiasts. Indulge in the region's renowned winemaking, exploring picturesque vineyards and tasting exquisite blends amidst stunning landscapes.

Immerse yourself in the essence of Napa & Sonoma by embarking on a leisurely bike ride through rolling vineyards, relishing the gentle breeze and breathtaking views. Savor exceptional culinary experiences, treating yourself to farm-to-table delights created by talented local chefs using fresh, local ingredients. With an abundance of wineries and tasting rooms, you can spend your days discovering unique varietals, learning about wine production, and even engaging in interactive wine blending sessions. In the evenings, unwind in luxurious accommodations and reminisce about the day's adventures over a glass of world-class wine.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Comfortable walking shoes
  2. Sunscreen and hat
  3. Light clothing for warm weather
  4. A jacket or sweater for cooler evenings
  5. Camera or smartphone for capturing memories
  6. Travel-sized toiletries
  7. Power adapter for charging devices
  8. Travel guide or map of the area
  9. Cash and credit cards for expenses
  10. Water bottle to stay hydrated.

What Not to Miss

  1. Vineyard tours and wine tasting experiences.
  2. Exploring the charming towns of Napa and Sonoma.
  3. Hot air balloon rides over the picturesque landscapes.
  4. Cycling through the vineyards.
  5. Enjoying a relaxing spa treatment or massage.
  6. Visiting the Old Faithful Geyser of California.
  7. Discovering the art and culture scene at local galleries and museums.
  8. Sampling gourmet cuisine at the region's top-rated restaurants.
  9. Day trips to nearby attractions like Muir Woods or San Francisco.
  10. Don't miss the chance to attend a local wine festival or event.

What to Avoid

  1. Heavy traffic during peak hours
  2. Overpriced tourist traps
  3. Crowded wineries/tasting rooms
  4. Neglecting to make reservations for popular attractions/restaurants
  5. Falling for scams and dishonest tour operators
  6. Ignoring safety precautions while hiking or biking
  7. Disrespecting local customs and etiquette
  8. Leaving valuables unattended or unsecured
  9. Underestimating the cost of wine and other expenses
  10. Neglecting to check the weather forecast before outdoor activities.

1. Ride the Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa Valley Wine Train

The Napa Valley Wine Train is a unique way to experience Napa Valley's beautiful scenery and world-class wines. The train journey takes you on a 36-mile round trip through the valley, passing by stunning vineyards and rolling hills.

Along the way, you can enjoy a gourmet meal with a selection of Napa's finest wines. The train's vintage Pullman cars are beautifully restored to their original glory, providing an elegant atmosphere. 

The train also offers special events and themed excursions, such as the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater and the Santa Train.

2. Visit some of the best Napa Valley wineries

Andretti Winery

Visiting wineries is a must-do activity when visiting Napa Valley. 

The region is home to more than 400 wineries, each with its own unique style. You can explore the vineyards, taste a variety of award-winning wines, and learn about the winemaking process from the experts.

Many of the Napa wineries also offer tours, wine tasting, and food pairings, making it a great way to indulge in a culinary adventure. 

The wineries often host special activities, such as live music, grape stomping, and harvest festivals, providing a unique experience during your Napa Valley trip.

3. Enjoy a Napa-style wine-tasting experience

Beringer Vineyards

Wine tasting is one of the primary reasons that visitors flock to Napa Valley. The region is renowned for its world-class wineries and picturesque vineyards, which produce some of the finest wines in the world.

Visitors can take part in guided tours and Napa-style wine tasting at some of the region's most famous wineries, such as Robert Mondavi Winery, Beringer Vineyards, and the O'Brien Estate Winery.

With breathtaking views and unique tasting rooms, Napa's wineries provide a memorable experience and earn their top spot among the most popular things to do in Napa.

4. Go on a hot air balloon ride

Napa Valley Aloft Hot Air Balloon Rides

A hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley is one of the best ways to enjoy the stunning scenery of the region. You can soar above the vineyards and hills, enjoying panoramic views of the valley from a unique perspective.

As you float above the valley floor, you'll feel a sense of serenity and enjoy a perfect romantic or family adventure.

Many hot air balloon companies also offer sunrise and sunset flights. Most tours include champagne and breakfast, making it an indulgent experience during your Napa Valley trip.

5. Pick up some local produce at the Oxbow Public Market

Oxbow Public Market

The Oxbow Public Market is a vibrant marketplace in downtown Napa, offering artisanal food, craft beer, and handcrafted wines. 

It features over 20 local food vendors, offering their own unique products. You can also try fresh oysters at the Hog Island Oyster Bar.

The market also hosts a weekly farmers' market, providing access to fresh, locally-grown produce, as well as craft breweries, great wine bars, and specialty shops, making it a great place to explore and discover new tastes.

6. Visit the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is an inspiring destination in Napa Valley, showcasing the works of Northern California artists. 

The outdoor area is dedicated to a lovely 35-acre lake, an olive grove, and an interesting sculpture meadow park.

The center features an extensive collection of contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations, all housed in a beautiful setting surrounded by vineyards and hills. 

The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is a must-visit destination for art lovers visiting Napa.

7. Relax in a mud bath in Calistoga

Golden Haven Spa LLC Mud Bath

A mud bath in Calistoga, Napa Valley, is a unique experience that draws many visitors to the region. The mud used in the bath is a special blend of volcanic ash, peat moss, and hot spring water, which is known for its healing properties.

The mud bath experience is both relaxing and rejuvenating. Many spas in Calistoga offer additional services such as massages, facials, and body wraps, making it a perfect place for a spa day.

If you're looking for an indulgent experience in Napa Valley, the mud bath in Calistoga is definitely worth a visit.

8. Visit the Napa Valley Museum

Napa Valley Museum

The Napa Valley Museum is a top destination for anyone interested in the history, culture, and art of Napa Valley. 

The museum features a variety of exhibits that showcase the region's rich heritage, from the Native American tribes to the early settlers and the wine industry.

The museum also offers educational programs and events, making it a great place for families and individuals alike.

The Napa Valley Museum is a cultural gem in the heart of the valley and is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking to deepen their understanding and appreciation of this beautiful region.

9. Enjoy the Napa River

Napa River

The Napa River is a scenic waterway that runs through the heart of Napa Valley and flows into San Pablo Bay. A visit to the river offers a unique opportunity to witness the diverse wildlife and natural beauty of the area.

Kayaking, paddle boarding, and boat tours are popular ways to explore the Napa River, and visitors can enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding hills and vineyards.

If you're not much for water sports, you can just take a walk and stop for a picnic lunch. The Wetlands Edge Trail is also a popular one, especially among birdwatchers.

10. Swim in Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa

Lake Berryessa is one of the largest freshwater lakes in California and offers a variety of recreational activities, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can enjoy boating, kayaking, and swimming in crystal-clear waters.

The lake is surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains, providing a picturesque setting for a picnic or a hike. The area also boasts numerous wineries and restaurants.

If you're looking for an outdoor adventure in Napa Valley, a visit to Napa Lake Berryessa is a must.

11. Explore Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is a beautiful natural oasis in the heart of Napa Valley and the only state park in the area. It offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and swimming.

The Bothe-Napa Valley State Park also features a swimming pool and picnic areas, as well as nice walking trails.

The most popular trail here is the Coyote Peak Trail leading all the way up to a peak with lovely views. The park's location near several wineries makes it a great starting point for a wine-tasting adventure.

12. Take a day trip to Jack London State Historic Park

Jack London State Historic Park

Jack London State Historic Park in Napa is located on the former ranch of author Jack London, and visitors can explore the ruins of his dream home, which was destroyed by fire before it was completed.

The park also includes hiking trails, picnic areas, and a museum that showcases the life and work of Jack London, including his writings, photographs, and personal belongings.

The park's location in the heart of Sonoma Valley makes it a great starting point for a day trip to explore the region's wine and food culture.

13. See the iconic Grape Crusher statue

Grape Crusher Statue

The Grape Crusher statue, located close to the town center, is an iconic symbol of Napa Valley's wine industry. It depicts a grape crusher, a key tool used in the wine-making process.

The statue is a popular photo opportunity for visitors and has become a beloved landmark in the region.

It also serves as a reminder of the rich history of the wine industry in Napa Valley and the hard work and dedication of the farmers and winemakers who helped to build it.

14. Go to Yountville for a fine dining experience


Yountville is a charming town in the heart of Napa Valley that is known for its gourmet food and vineyards. The town has a quaint, European feel, with tree-lined streets and beautiful gardens.

Yountville is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, including The French Laundry, owned by Chef Thomas Keller and ranked among the best restaurants in the world, and Bottega, the Italian restaurant from celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello.

Visitors can enjoy the picturesque setting, while savoring the flavors of the region's best produce and wines.

15. Enjoy the hot springs at the Indian Springs Resort and Spa

Indian Springs Resort and Spa

The Indian Springs Resort and Spa is a popular destination in Napa Valley known for its mineral-rich hot springs. The springs are believed to have healing properties and are a great way to relax and unwind.

The resort offers a variety of soaking pools, ranging from hot to cold temperatures, as well as a large Olympic-sized mineral pool. Visitors can also enjoy a spa treatment, massage, and body wraps. The resort's beautiful gardens are perfect for a day of rest and relaxation.

16. Visit Napa Valley Opera House

Napa Valley Opera House

The Napa Valley Opera House is a historic and iconic landmark located in downtown Napa. Originally built in 1879, the building has undergone extensive renovations and now serves as a vibrant cultural center for the community.

Visitors can enjoy a wide range of events throughout the year, including music concerts, comedy shows, theatrical productions, and more.

The Napa Valley Opera House boasts exceptional acoustics and a beautiful, intimate setting, making it a must-visit destination for music lovers.

17. Try award-winning wines at Round Pond Estate

Round Pond Estate Winery

Round Pond Estate is a family-owned winery in the heart of Napa Valley. 

The estate produces a variety of award-winning wines and is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, which is widely considered to be among the best in the region.

Visitors can enjoy tastings of this iconic wine, as well as tours of the winery. Round Pond Estate also produces artisanal olive oils and vinegars. 

Visitors can enjoy the views of the Rutherford hills and surrounding vineyards while savoring the wines of one of the best Napa Valley wineries.

18. Check out the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is a small but fascinating museum located in the charming town of St. Helena in Napa Valley. It is dedicated to the life and work of the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, who spent his honeymoon in the area in the late 19th century.

The museum features first editions of the author's books, personal letters and photographs, and even a replica of his writing desk.

Visitors can also explore the beautifully restored Victorian home where Stevenson and his wife Fanny stayed during their honeymoon, which has been preserved in its original condition.

19. Enjoy live music at Blue Note Napa

Blue Note Napa

The Blue Note Napa is a world-renowned live music jazz club located in the heart of downtown Napa. With its intimate atmosphere and top-notch acoustics, the Blue Note Napa is a top venue for music lovers.

The club features a diverse lineup of live music acts, from up-and-coming local artists to Grammy-winning legends of the jazz scene.

The Blue Note Napa also offers gourmet food and drink options that perfectly complement the laid-back vibe of the club.

20. Enjoy the Napa Art Walk

Napa Art Walk

The Napa Art Walk is an outdoor public art exhibition that features rotating sculptures from local and national artists throughout downtown Napa. It is a fun way to experience the beauty of the city's architecture and local art scene.

The Art Walk is updated every two years, so there is always something new to discover. 

With the combination of art, architecture, and stunning Napa scenery, a visit to the Napa Art Walk is an experience not to be missed.

The Art Walk is one of the free things to do in Napa, making it accessible to everyone.

21. Tour the Inglenook winery and estate

Inglenook Winery and Estate

The Inglenook Winery and Estate, once owned by filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, is a must-visit destination in Napa Valley. 

The estate is steeped in history, with a legacy dating back to the late 1800s when it was founded by Gustave Niebaum.

Today, the estate produces some of the finest wines in the region, and visitors can enjoy tastings of its award-winning vintages while enjoying the breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards.

The estate is also home to several historic buildings, including the chateau-style winery designed by architect Hamden W. McIntyre, which has been meticulously restored to its former glory.

22. Visit the Domaine Carneros and enjoy some sparkling wine

Domaine Carneros

Domaine Carneros is a beautiful winery located in the heart of Napa Valley, California. Known for their exceptional sparkling wines and Pinot Noirs, Domaine Carneros is a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.

The winery's French-inspired chateau offers breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards and their sparkling wine is crafted using traditional methods and showcases the terroir of the Carneros region. 

The winery's Pinot Noir is also highly regarded, featuring flavors of ripe cherry, cranberry, and a hint of spice.

23. Check out some of the finest olive oil producers in Napa

Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Co

While Napa Valley is best known for its world-class wines, it is also home to some of the finest olive oil producers in the country. 

Olive oil tastings are becoming increasingly popular in Napa Valley and allow visitors to experience the diverse flavors of the region.

Visitors can sample a variety of olive oils, including those made from traditional European varieties as well as locally grown and hybrid varieties.

Some producers also offer tours of their orchards and pressing facilities, providing an educational and immersive experience.

24. Learn a thing or two at Napa County Historical Society

Napa County Historical Society

The Napa County Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the region's heritage. 

It operates several museums and historic sites in the area, including the Goodman Library, the Tulocay Cemetery, and the Hatt Building.

Visitors to the society's museums can explore exhibits that showcase the rich history and culture of Napa County, from the region's Native American heritage to its role in the California Gold Rush and its development into a world-famous wine region.

25. Climb up to the Hess Collection winery

Hess Collection Winery

The climb up to the Hess Collection winery in Napa is well worth the effort for those who appreciate beautiful landscapes and exceptional wines.

The panoramic views from the winery's terrace are simply stunning and provide a perfect backdrop for a wine-tasting experience.

The Hess Collection is known for their signature Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a must-try for any wine enthusiast.

In addition to the wine, visitors can also explore the winery's extensive contemporary art collection, which includes works by such renowned artists as Francis Bacon and Robert Motherwell.

26. Explore the caves at Clos Pegase

Caves at Clos Pegase

Carved out of volcanic rock, the caves at Clos Pegase in Napa Valley provide the perfect conditions for aging wine, while also offering a glimpse into the geological history of the region.

The Clos Pegase caves are as much a wine experience as they are a geological one, making it a must-visit destination for wine lovers and geology enthusiasts alike. 

If you are planning on visiting Napa Valley, make sure to put Clos Pegase on your list of wineries to explore.

27. Enjoy nature's water show at California's Old Faithful

California's Old Faithful

California's Old Faithful in Napa Valley is a natural geyser that erupts regularly with hot water and steam, much like its famous counterpart in Yellowstone National Park.

Visitors can watch the impressive display of water shooting up to 60 feet in the air, surrounded by stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and rolling hills. 

The area also boasts natural hot springs and pools, making it a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and wellness.

FAQs: The Best Things to Do in Napa

In this section, we provide answers to questions relating to the best things to do in Napa.

Is a day trip to Napa worth it?

Yes, a day trip from San Francisco to Napa can be worth it as it's one of the easiest and most exciting getaways. Napa is renowned for its wine country, with hundreds of wineries and vineyards to visit, making it a great destination for wine lovers.

Additionally, the scenic drive through the rolling hills and vineyards is stunning, and there are plenty of restaurants and shops to explore as well.

Is downtown Napa worth visiting?

Downtown Napa is definitely worth visiting, as it is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and boutique hotels. Visitors can stroll along the riverfront, explore the Oxbow Public Market, sample local wines, and learn about the region's history and culture at museums and landmarks.

How to do Napa in 3 days?

To make the most of a 3-day trip to Napa, it's important to plan ahead and prioritize your activities based on your interests.

Some popular activities include wine tastings at local vineyards, dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, visiting museums and galleries such as di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, and exploring the natural beauty of the area through hiking and biking trails.

Can you just walk around wineries in Napa?

While some wineries in Napa Valley require reservations, many allow visitors to simply walk in and taste their wines. In Downtown Napa almost all the tasting rooms are within walking distance of one another.

However, it's important to check ahead to see which wineries require reservations and plan accordingly. Some wineries also offer guided tours and tastings for a more immersive experience.

Summing Up: The Best Things to Do in Napa

The California Wine Country is a must-visit destination for anyone who enjoys incredible wine, fine art, and world-class dining.

Napa Valley has an exciting experience for everyone who visits, from exploring the region on the Napa Valley Wine Train to indulging in a world-class wine experience or the local hot springs. 

With so many things to do in Napa, including a visit to the iconic French Laundry and the chance to learn Napa valley history, there's never a dull moment in this picturesque region.

Whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or a first-time visitor, each time you visit Napa Valley is sure to be an unforgettable experience. 

So why wait? Plan your trip to Napa today and explore one of the world's premier wine destinations.