DescriptionNapa is located in one of California's most famous wine-producing regions, the Napa Valley. This area was a center of gold rush activity in the 1850s. Grapevine cuttings supplied by priests from the missions at Sonoma and San Rafael were the start of what grew into a major industry, and today the valley is a leader in the production of American table wines.
Napa is at the southern end of a scenic 28-mile stretch of SR 29, which heads northwest through the valley to Calistoga. The two-lane road passes acres of vineyards and more than 40 wineries. The Silverado Trail, running parallel to SR 29 to the east, provides stunning views of the valley and the Napa River. There are additional wineries along this less-traveled route.
Downtown Napa is filled with turn-of-the-20th-century houses and buildings in architectural styles from Art Deco, Classic Revival and Italianate to Spanish Colonial and Victorian Gothic. Some 2,500 of these buildings are on the National Historical Registry. The restored Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., is a local landmark that was built in 1880 and features two theaters. Phone (707) 226-7372 for information and schedules.
Celebrate the grape at Festival Napa Valley, which takes places over 10 days in mid-July. Festivalgoers can sample wines from some 100 area wineries and savor the culinary offerings of celebrated local restaurants. More than 60 planned events include lunches, dinners and concerts. For information about purchasing event passes, phone the box office at (707) 346-5052; for general festival information, phone (888) 337-6272.
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InfoOfficeNapa Valley Welcome Center 600 Main St. Napa, CA 94559. Phone:(707)251-5895
Self-guiding toursMaps of wineries and the historic downtown area are available from the welcome center.
ShoppingNapa Premium Outlets, west of SR 29 at 629 Factory Stores Dr., has 50 stores, including Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors.
Wine CountrySpotlight's Wine Country Guide, a 100-page monthly magazine, provides detailed California Wine Country information. It is available at winery tasting rooms and selected lodgings in Lake, Lower Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties, as well as at the concierge desk in some San Francisco and Greater Bay Area hotels. A companion Wine Country map also is available free of charge. The guide can be accessed online.