The Napa Valley
is composed of the cites of:
City of Napa
and other localities.
History Of Napa Valley
Largest city in county and seat of county government. Rises from Valley
floor into hills. Picturesque downtown with Victorians, government
buildings, shopping plaza. Napa River. A lot of thinking went into making
the downtown an attractive place to shop and dine.
Like many other towns, Napa started with a core that slowly grew over 100
years then rapidly expanded after World War II and suburban revolution.
The city started 1950 with 13,579 residents and added 10,000 to 14,000
people in each of the index,following four decades. The population is now
In and about the downtown are the older neighborhoods: grid streets lined
with trees; garages separate from houses, a leftover from the horse and
buggy days; large Victorians, some of them subdivided into apartments;
bungalows; large rambling homes, circa 1920's and 1930's; and homes built
after the war with two car garages. A lot of the housing is neat and
well-kept or restored and charming.
Napa High School is just north of downtown. When school lets out, the kids
can be seen walking and chatting in groups some eight or ten blocks away.
There's a certain intimacy to the older sections, a feeling that the
institutions and residents have grown up together.
Moving north and west and east, the homes become more modern and streets
start ending in cul-de-sacs, the suburban design. Behind Queen of the
Valley Hospital, off Trancas Street, the homes say 1960's and 1970's, two
car garages with a mix of blue- and white-collar middle class.
Stores and small shopping plazas along Trancas serve the north end of the
Traveling east along Redwood and Browns Valley Roads, you will find the
upper-middle and well-to-do neighborhoods of the city. The homes are
larger and newer with custom jobs mixed among upscale tracts.
It the southern section, River Park fronts its homes on the Napa River, an
upscale neighborhood that glides north into a commercial-residential
That's the broad pattern; exceptions abound. Browns Valley has some older
homes, and new custom homes; the quality of the downtown neighborhoods
vary from section to section. Homes and buildings on the river generally
flood in the very heavy storms (1986, 94, 95 rains.)
The commute is not that bad considering the distance. Coming north,
Highway 29 splits off Highway 221 (The Silverado Trail) and both run
through Napa City.
Napa City's amusements include two movie houses (11 screens), a brand new
outlet shopping center, bowling alleys, racquetball, five golf courses
(2-36, 2-18, 1-9 hole), horse center, art galleries, museums, three
regional parks and 33 other parks in assorted sizes (mini, neighborhood
and community), river fishing and boating, in the city and nearby,
wineries and first-class restaurants. Also Napa Community College has many
classes and activities.
Government is the biggest employer: schools, 2,300; Napa State Hospital
2,100; plus the hundreds in city and county government and the college.
School ranking is up there, generally the 60th and 70th percentile, some
schools hitting the 90's.
Overall: a pleasing town, Middle America, but moving up the scale.