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Fun Things to Know About the Napa River

July 25, 2020
Category: Napa Valley Information, Napa Getaway

Summer is here and the promise of long, warm and sunny days makes for compelling reasons to plan outings and getaways. Napa Valley is one such exciting and fun-filled destination that offers something for all ages and interests. While the gorgeous rolling hills, luxuriant vineyards, winery tours and tastings hog the limelight, there is plenty to do around Napa’s sparkling river as well.

Here are some fun facts about Napa River that runs a 50-mile journey from St. Helena to the San Pablo Bay.

Napa River has an estuary system: The last 17 miles of the river from the Trancas Street bridge in Napa to Vallejo are an estuary system. What this means is that twice daily, the high tides from San Pablo Bay carry salty water upstream into the river. Similarly, twice a day, the tides retreat, exposing the mudflats, which allows wading birds to hunt for food.

Napa River is home to a wide variety of wildlife. From endangered marine species, to migratory birds, there is much to learn about Napa River’s diverse wildlife:

  • Napa River History Tour: Offers interesting insights into Napa region’s history and hidden gems during a 2-hour long guided kayaking tour. You may even spot mallards, herons, wood duck, egrets, and other bird species that are dependent on the river.
  • Carneros Wildlife Preserve: Includes SUP and kayak adventures, set to a champagne vineyard backdrop. This is a great opportunity to spot and click Insta-worthy pics of migratory birds, such as the red-tail hawks, golden eagles, Canada geese, American green-winged teal and buffleheads. These tours include a complimentary on land and in water paddle lesson.
  • Napa River Eco Tour and Paddle Picnic: Leisurely 2-hour long, educational tours, where you cruise along the salt water wetlands, Oxbow Preserve and Historic Downtown Napa. Admire the river’s biodiversity, as you catch a glimpse of river otters, beavers, mink, muskrat, turtles, as well as a variety of birds and marine creatures.

Fishing access in the Napa River is limited: From the steelhead spawn, Chinook Salmon and splittail, to yellowfin goby, bluegill, and black bass, the river features many prized fish. Although fishing access is limited, you can make the most of your time in the water by learning catch-and-release fishing. Sign up for the Napa River Kayak Fishing guided tour to access some of the best spots on the river, and fish exclusively for the Striped Bass. You can also try your hand at fly-fishing or book guided fishing charters.

Napa River boasts a vibrant waterfront: The scenic Napa River waterfront in downtown Napa features an array of boutique shops, cafés, and restaurants, along with an attractive and buzzing promenade. Enjoy adrenalin-pumping runs, leisurely walks, or pleasant bike rides, and take advantage of all the shopping, dining and entertainment along the riverfront.

The best way to enjoy Napa River’s offerings is to stay at the centrally-located Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Enjoy an easy walk to all the riverfront activities, along with a host of other comforts and conveniences. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to give you insider tips about Napa’s lesser-known attractions as well.

Plan an enjoyable Napa Valley getaway. Call 707-226-1871 to book your accommodation in the heart of downtown Napa or reserve your suite online.