Napa is an old City by California standards, founded in 1847. It’s a place with a colorful past – a jumping off point for 49ers bound for the gold rush, birthplace of famous leather, and neighbor to some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world.
For the past 30 to 40 years, the City of Napa has been in transition. The City that was once known for its tanneries, prune processing and State hospital is now more known for its hospitality, fine food, and luxury hotels. While yesterday’s jobs came largely in heavy industrial pursuits at Kaiser Steel, Basalt Rock, Napa Pipe and Mare Island Shipyard, today’s workforce is mostly white collar and the economy is increasingly based on tourism.
As the County seat for one of the world’s Great Wine Capitals, the Napa name is synonymous with quality. We think that applies to our community and the people who make it what it is.
Today Napa is becoming a vibrant and modern town with a respect for its past. Just down the road from our protected historic districts, home to some of northern California’s finest Victorian homes, you will find visually stimulating contemporary architecture. Minutes from our many safe and comfortable neighborhoods are the popular Main Street “Restaurant Row,” the West End and the Oxbow District. Our award-winning “living river” flood protection project is more than halfway to completion, making Napa safer while enhancing the ecosystem and providing stimulus to the economy and quality-of-life benefits. Napa is a city with a low crime rate, a high standard of living, clean air and nearly perfect weather.
Where Your Napa Valley Experience Begins
American Canyon at the southern tip of the Napa Valley offers a great home base for exploring the Carneros wine-growing region, known for fog and a cool Bay breeze that create ideal conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Sip bubbly on the grand terrace of Domaine Carneros, perhaps paired with caviar and artisan cheese. Visit Madonna Estate to experience an impressive range of red and white wines, all made from organic grapes. Or linger over a flight in the light-filled, modern tasting room at Cuvaison overlooking sun-gilded vineyards. Wineries in American Canyon itself include Cartlidge & Browne and Spelletich Cellars.
Wine lovers know all about terroir in the Napa Valley – the distinctive character bestowed on wine by the unique conditions of the location in which grapes are grown. But it may come as a surprise to many that honey can have terroir as well. Marshall’s Farm crafts natural and organic gourmet honey in a variety of flavors, from Culinary Institute of America Herb Garden to Wine Country Wildflower, based on the placement of their hives. Marshall’s group tours and beekeeping workshops are among the most interesting things to do in American Canyon.
American Canyon’s rolling hills offer wonderful opportunities for outdoor adventures on foot or by bike. Hike through Lynch Canyon to see wildflowers, bobcats, foxes and even golden eagles. Or stroll the Napa River and Bay Trail, a flat 1.4-mile path that winds through groves and wetlands to the river’s edge – with fantastic bird watching along the way. In nearby Jameson Canyon, the Chardonnay Golf Club offers 18 holes set among vineyards, lakes and wildlife preserves.