Welcome to Napa
The city of Napa is the largest municipality in Napa Valley and the county seat of Napa County. As the heart and the birthplace of California’s world-famous Wine Country, the city embodies the best that the region has to offer.
Rich in history and culture, and boasting stunning views and a laidback country lifestyle, the city of Napa is a destination in itself. Its mild Mediterranean climate is perfect not only for growing the grape varieties the renowned Napa Valley wines are made from, but also for outdoor activities all year round. The recently revitalized Downtown Napa provides a wonderful snapshot of the area’s winemaking culture and tradition, history, lifestyle, and more. The city was founded in 1847 by Nathan Coombs, who was granted a part of the Rancho Entre Napa Mexican land grant. Soon after, the town became an important port, as cargo and passenger steamships plied the Napa River. From its incorporation in 1872 to the early 1900s, the city saw an industrial boom that set it apart from its neighbors, which remained largely agricultural. Napa’s population of around 77,000 reflects the diversity of people who have come here and shaped the city throughout history. While Napa has successfully preserved its agricultural roots, it also offers a contemporary vibrancy, brought by a wide array of excellent restaurants, wine bars and tasting rooms, and eclectic entertainment venues. The outdoors also play an important role in the Napa lifestyle. Only 9% of the city’s area of 18.28 square miles is devoted to vineyards, but you’ll also find miles of hiking, biking, and riding trails, as well as acres of scenic nature parks, golf courses, and more.
Homes For Sale In Napa
Single-family homes dominate the housing stock in Napa, CA. They come in a wide range of sizes and prices, with square footages of anywhere from around 900 square feet to over 6,000 square feet, and lot areas ranging from 6,000 square feet to over 200 acres. Some of the most luxurious properties in the city, apart from the beautiful Napa Valley houses, are wine properties with acres of grape-producing vineyards, or farmland where you can start your own vineyard or orchards, or grow other agricultural produce. With only 9% of the city’s total area dedicated to grape production, wine properties here are always in top demand.
Napa’s luxury properties feature stunning abodes and estates with amazing landscaping and amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, gourmet kitchens, and expansive patios outfitted with everything you need for outdoor living and entertaining. Many Napa Valley homes for sale come with distinctive architecture in the Mediterranean, farmhouse, European villas, contemporary, and other styles. Around the city are charming properties, mostly in the ranch or farmhouse architectural style, each one boasting its own distinctive character. They come in various ages and exude a timeless appeal with their mature landscaping and traditional charm. There’s also a growing number of townhomes and condos in the city, which make ideal properties for singles or couples who are just starting a family. They also make great vacation homes or short-term rental properties, given Napa Valley’s popularity as a holiday destination.
Living In Napa
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Napa, CA is about 58% more than the national index and around 18% more than the state of California’s. Napa is one of the best places to live in California, with its beautiful wide-open spaces, tranquility, great culture, and top-notch attractions and amenities. Discriminating homebuyers will find Napa’s relatively higher cost of living well worth it, given the excellent quality of life the city and Napa Valley, in general, has to offer.
Employment & Job Opportunities
The median household income in the city of Napa is around $82,000, which is around 15% of the median household income in California. Many Napa residents commute to nearby employment centers for work, including Oakland and San Francisco, which are just less than an hour away. Within Napa, the largest employer is the healthcare industry, followed by accommodation and food services, education, and the beverage industry.
Napa enjoys a Mediterranean climate that’s perfect for growing wine grapes. It brings a beautiful nature show throughout Napa Valley as the landscape changes with the season. The weather is also ideal for outdoor activities almost all year round. Summers in Napa Valley is warm, sunny, and dry, with average high temperatures of 81 degrees F to 83 degrees F. Winters can be rainy and cloudy, with average lows of 39 degrees F to 42 degrees F. The temperatures can vary drastically from day to night, sometimes by as much as 30 degrees, so it’s always advisable to wear layers. Harvest season in Napa Valley falls from late August to October. This is a very special time of the year in the area, as visitors come in droves to see the vineyards in vibrant shades of red and gold, participate in harvest activities, and sample the valley’s wines and produce.
Napa offers a culinary adventure you can’t find anywhere else. Restaurants in the city boast cozy interiors that reflect the refreshingly laid-back lifestyle of the valley, and the food is prepared with only the freshest farm-to-table ingredients. Whether you’re in for a casual dining experience or something fancier, there’s a restaurant that caters to your every mood. Downtown Napa is home to numerous restaurants that are a mix of old staples and new favorites. The Oxbow Public Market
is a popular gathering place, and home to quite a few restaurants and food stalls serving everything from barbeques and BLTs to modern Japanese cuisine and Argentinian empanada.
Some of the must-visits in the city include:
Some of the top-rated schools serving the city include:
The most popular means of transportation in the City of Napa is by car. Two major thoroughfares run through the city, providing easy access to the rest of the region. CA-29 connects the city to Vallejo and the East Bay Area to the south and to the Napa Wine Country to the north. CA-12 connects Napa to I-80 to the east and to Sonoma and US-101 to the west. The city is also served by Vine Transit
or the Valley Intercity Neighborhood Express, a bus service that serves the entire Napa County and connects the various communities in Napa Valley. Bicycling is also a great way to get around the city, as more bike lanes are being created on major routes. Cyclers can also take the Commuter Bike Path, an off-street route running parallel to the Napa Valley Railroad tracks, connecting the northern and southern parts of the city. The planned Napa River Trail will provide six miles of walking and riding paths from Kennedy Street to Trancas Street.
Parks and Recreational Activities
The city of Napa operates more than 54 parks, playgrounds, sports fields, a golf course, and more
. Within these parks are miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails and acres of open space, including the natural areas along the Napa River. The Napa Valley Vine Trail
, a planned 47-mile hiking and biking trail that takes visitors through the famous vineyards and towns of Napa Valley, traverses the City of Napa. As of 2020, 12.5 miles have been completed, connecting Kennedy Park in South Napa to the city of Yountville.
The most popular parks and outdoor recreation facilities in Napa include:
: This 157-acre facility is bordered on one side by Redwood Creek, a Napa River tributary, and features three miles of hiking, biking, and riding trails going through grasslands, an old plum orchard, meadows, and madrone groves. From the banks of Redwood Creek, the trail leads to picnic areas and overlooks providing stunning views of Napa Valley.
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
: Featuring an authentic 1846 mill that once served Napa Valley settlers, the park is a great place to learn about the lives of the earliest settlers in California. The park leads to the History Trail, a moderate, 2.4 mile round trip trail that leads to the Bothe Napa Valley State Park and features Pioneer Cemetery, where some of the valley’s earliest pioneers were interred, and White Church, the first church in the valley named after its founder Minister Asa White.
Skyline Wilderness Park
: Skyline Wilderness Park features nine trails covering 2.5 miles, some of which lead to the picturesque Lake Marie or pass through a nine-hole disc golf course or other scenic trails. The park is also home to the Martha Walker Garden
, a 2.5-acre site that features numerous plant varieties found in California.
: Running along the Napa River, Kennedy Park has five picnic areas, softball, soccer, and volleyball fields, a children’s playground, and the 18-hole Napa Golf Course
Napa’s top attractions center around the valley’s wine-producing culture. The city is home to vineyards and wine tasting rooms where you can sample Napa Valley’s best products, as well as food pairings and even live entertainment. More than that, Napa also boasts fantastic outdoor adventures, unique shopping experiences, and other attractions that have nothing to do with wine.
Wine Bars and Wine Tasting Rooms
The City of Napa is home to about 23 wine bars and wine tasting rooms
, and more are expected to come. Most of the valley’s wineries are located outside the city, but not all of them have the capacity to host visitors, so they look to Napa to establish their wine tasting rooms.
Some of the top wine destinations in the city include:
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Get a bird’s eye view of the lush and beautiful Napa Valley below through these exciting balloon rides. Several operators in Napa and neighboring cities offer these safe and magical rides all year round, as long as conditions permit.
Located along the Napa River, Downtown Napa
perfectly captures what the city is all about. You’ll find historic wineries, homes, and buildings that now host five-star restaurants, charming shops, and wine bars and tasting rooms. It also features a host of other attractions, such as the River Promenade
, a scenic walking path along the river that will take you down Napa’s history. Downtown Napa is the city’s cultural center where you’ll find a historic theater that stages live performances, a jazz performance venue, and the Napa Art Walk
, a rotating exhibit of public installation art. In addition, Downtown is a take-off point for outdoor adventures, such as kayaking and paddleboarding on the river, and hiking or biking along the Napa Valley Vine Trail
. Downtown Napa’s must-explore attractions include Napa Valley Wine Train
, a historic 36-mile round trip train ride that will take you around Wine Country while you enjoy gourmet food and wine on board.
Other not-to-be-missed attractions include: