Napa’s Hidden Gems: 20 Fun Activities in Downtown

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Downtown Napa, look no further! We’ve scoured the city to uncover its most underrated activities and compiled them into this handy list.

From gondola rides to unique museums, these hidden gems are sure to elevate your vacation.

So whether you’d prefer a relaxing day out or something a little more ‘thrilling’, we’ve got the perfect activity for you! Keep reading to discover what Napa’s hillsides have been hiding all along.

1. Napa River Gondola Ride

With spectacular views of the hills and vineyards, a romantic gondola ride on the Napa River is sure to take your breath away – not to mention guarantee some major brownie points with your significant other.

The experienced gondoliers ensure the utmost romantic experience, serenading comforting tunes with an Italian flair as you bask in the natural beauty of downtown Napa.

Don’t miss this unforgettable opportunity to spark a little romance!

Napa Valley Gondola at Napas Riverfront
Photo by Napa Valley Gondola at Napas Riverfront

2. Have Lunch at Gott’s Roadside

In need of a change from ordinary lunch plans? Gott’s has you covered! Bring your taste buds on an adventure with creative, delicious options like their famous California Burger with a fried egg.

If tacos are more your thing, try an Ahi Poke Crispy Taco. health-concious entrees include a superfood-packed Chicken Kale Caesar.

And don’t forget to soothe your sweet tooth cravings with hand-spun milkshakes – they’re enough to make Ronald McDonald green with envy!

3. Kayaking on the Napa River

The hustle and bustle of downtown Napa can get pretty dizzying during the day, but take a breather and escape to the waters of the Napa River and experience the stunning beauty that it has to offer.

With this kayaking tour, glide past iconic historic buildings and vineyards while you seek out some local wildlife such as herons, ducks, and geese.

26 Unique Things to Do in Napa Valley (Besides Wine)

4. Explore the Napa Valley Vine Trail

Exploring the Napa Valley Vine Trail is a must-do on any trip to the region. This scenic trail winds through the vineyards, giving adventurers sweeping views of the valley’s lush hillsides and expansive vistas.

The trail meanders from downtown Napa all the way to Yountville, providing a great escape from city life without ever having to leave the valley – bonus points if you can spot wildlife!

Get your Instagram selfie stick ready, because you won’t want to forget a single moment of this fabulous journey.

Biking on Napa Valley Vine Trail
Biking on Napa Valley Vine Trail

5. Explore the Food Scene

Downtown Napa is where culinary dreams bloom – the food scene here is as diverse and exquisite as it gets; there’s something for all palettes.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening out or just a casual bite at noon, bask in the bounty of Napa’s vibrant culinary landscape at one of the restaurants in downtown.

It’s one of the best things to do in Napa Valley besides sipping wine!

6. Napa Valley Opera House

Whether you’re an opera aficionado, a musical lover, or just down for a good laugh, the Napa Valley Opera House is definitely worth checking out for your next trip to the area.

This historically restored theater has everything; rotating repertoire from award-winning musicals and concerts and top-notch comedy acts.

Each production at the Napa Valley Opera House is guaranteed to entertain even the pickiest of attendees!

7. Hop Aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train

Hop on board the Napa Valley Wine Train and enjoy a gourmet meal while taking in the gorgeous views as you travel through the valley’s lush landscape.

With a chance to visit some of the area’s finest wineries along the way, it provides an enjoyable way to experience the beauty of wine country without having to worry about designated drivers.

Don’t miss this carefree opportunity for vino-soaked recreation!

Wine train in Napa California
Wine train in Napa California

8. Have Dinner at Morimoto’s

Treat yourself to a night out of exquisite indulgence at Morimoto’s where you can sip, savor and enjoy!

Morimoto’s understands that it takes the right combination of top-tier liquors, artful cocktails, interactive dining experiences and memorable cuisine to create a sensory journey that begins the moment you step in.

A perfect blend of sophistication, relaxation and Japanese flavors make for an unforgettable evening.

26 Unique Things to Do in Napa Valley (Besides Wine)

9. Napa Valley Museum

The Napa Valley Museum is a must-visit destination for all wine lovers out there. It showcases the rich history of wine-making in Napa Valley and how it has evolved over the years.

You’ll be amazed at the collection of wine artifacts and memorabilia that are on display.

But that’s not all! The museum also features exhibits on the history of Napa Valley, its geology, and the Native American tribes that once inhabited the area.

You’ll learn about the valley’s unique climate and terroir that make it one of the world’s premier wine regions.

10. Napa Valley Distillery

The Napa Valley Distillery is the perfect retreat for anyone looking to enjoy a sophisticated adult beverage.

Sample their award-winning spirits, including whiskey, gin, and brandy – you’ll leave feeling like a true connoisseur!

But it doesn’t end there – both tours and classes are also available for an inside look at the distilling process as well as tips on creating your own custom cocktails.

If you have ever been curious about distilling, then this is the place for you!

11. Cycling in Downtown Napa

If you’re looking for a fun, efficient way to explore downtown Napa, grab a bike and hop on the saddle!

With all the bike-friendly routes and trails in the area, pedaling around this beautiful city is a great way to sightsee.

12. Stroll the Waterfront

A leisurely stroll along the Napa River waterfront is the perfect way to relax and take in the sights.

From quaint boutiques to buzzing bistros, this sunny stretch of California goodness has something for everyone looking for an afternoon with a smile.

With delicious eats framed by picture-perfect scenery, it’s a great place to escape the hustle and enjoy some well-deserved peace and quiet!

26 Unique Things to Do in Napa Valley (Besides Wine)

13. Walkable Outdoor Art Collection

Get ready to be dazzled by the diverse and talented artistry alive in downtown Napa!

Local and global artists alike have come together to share the beauty of their artwork with all who venture downtown.

From breathtaking installations to stunning sculptures, taking a self-guided tour is the perfect way to take in the creativity that abounds here.

14. Skyline Wilderness Park

Skyline Wilderness Park is a nature lover’s paradise, with over 800 acres of rolling hills, hiking trails, and breathtaking views.

Take a hike up the 9.3-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail for stunning panoramic views of the Napa Valley. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, try the challenging 5.2-mile Lake Marie Trail that takes you through the park’s hidden lakes and streams.

hot air balloons over napa valley
hot air balloons over napa valley

15. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Soar through the clouds and get an eyeful of beautiful, rolling hillsides with a hot air balloon ride in Napa Valley!

The majestic view is sure to leave you feeling like the king or queen of the skies. It’s a unique experience – getting to watch colorful balloons rise towards the sky from downtown.

The picturesque panorama includes lush vineyards, wonderful scenery and a seemingly infinite horizon.

Taking to the skies is definitely one of the best ways to get the best bird’s-eye view of this stunning valley.

26 Unique Things to Do in Napa Valley (Besides Wine)

16. Oxbow Public Market

The Oxbow Public Market is like a giant buffet for foodies. Imagine a place filled with all the mouth-watering goodness that your heart desires.

Ready-to-eat lunches, world-class cheese boards, artisanal chocolates – you name it, Oxbow has it!

It’s all there in glorious abundance, so come stuff your face, assuage your inner epicurean with haute cuisine and bring home delightful edible souvenirs to remind yourself of the fun times spent here. Onward foodie friends!

17. Blue Note Napa

Live music is better than a CD any day! And when you can experience it in the heart of downtown Napa at Blue Note Napa, you know you’re in for a real treat.

This amazing music venue has earned its reputation as one of the top spots to catch amazing jazz and blues performances.

Featuring a cozy atmosphere and the finest musicians around, Blue Note Napa is calling your name!

18. Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

The Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Artis a veritable paradise for art aficionados. Whether you’re an experienced critic or an eager enthusiast, a visit to the center is sure to please!

Featuring an immense collection of art created by Bay Area artists, there’s something here for even the most discerning viewers.

Plus, in addition to its impressive permanent display, the gallery also hosts exhibitions and events year-round, making it easy to find reasons to return again and again.

19. Napa Farmers Market

If you’re in Napa and feel like doing something a little more interesting than the typical wine tastings that the area is known for, head to the Napa Farmers Market.

With it located conveniently downtown and open Tuesdays and Saturdays, you can sample some of the freshest produce and artisanal goods from local vendors – giving you an authentic taste of the region.

At this market, wine is definitely not a requirement: your taste buds won’t want to miss out on all that gourmet goodness!

20. Enjoy the Craft Brew Scene

You’ll find an array of delightful craft breweries and cozy taprooms tucked away in downtown Napa.

Sample some of the finest brews around as you enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of these local gems.

Consider it one more reason to get out and explore the beauty of Napa – and hey, while you’re here, why not pick up a few bottles or cans to take home with you? Cheers!