Known for its expansive views of rolling green hills filled with some of the world's best grapes, Napa Valley, California is where vino lovers truly come alive. But, thanks to the organizers of the Blue Note Jazz Fest, the region also has added appeal—a multi-day experience featuring some of the best artists and talents known to Black music and culture.
This year's installation will be held July 28-20, 2023 and features headliners: Chance the Rapper, Mary J. Blige and Nas with accompanying sets by folks like Robert Glasper, Ari Lennox, Talib Kweli and many more. Thousands of attendees will be making the trek to the wine region for three days of vino, music and fun.
If you're heading to the Blue Note Jazz Fest this weekend, EBONY has curated this guide to ensure you get the most out of your event experience. From the area's best eateries and wineries, to luxe hotels, here's where to eat, stay and play in Napa Valley, California—and the surrounding area.
Where to Stay
We've said it before, and we'll say it again. Where you stay, definitely matters. Napa Valley already exudes a luxurious vibe—thanks to its many wineries—so the hotels also follow suit. For an upscale stay, check out MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa. Technically located in Sonoma, which is only a short drive from Napa, this stunning property will be a great retreat after a full day of festivities. In the spirit of rooting for everybody Black, The McClelland House is a quaint Victorian-style inn just south of the downtown area. Breakfast is included daily in your stay as well.
Where to Eat
It's a given that you will partake in all the winery hopping your heart desires. But, if you need a few suggestions on wineries or winemakers to check out, some of our favorite Black options are: Brown Estate—the oldest Black-owned winery in Napa—J. Moss Wines, Okapi Wines, Curry Domaine Cellars, and Wade Cellars.
As for food, PRESS is a popular spot for those who enjoy a bit of fine dining with their vino. For something a little unconventional for the region, Buster's Southern BBQ is a great option—also Black-owned.
Where to Play
If you don't end up purchasing a rental car, or you don't want to rely on rideshare apps during your Blue Note Jazz Fest visit, Black woman-owned Cinnamon Wine Tours offers luxury car service throughout the region. The company can also curate custom winery itineraries for you and your crew. If time allows, we also suggest a trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Beyond the wine, you can do a scenic sunrise hot air balloon ride, get in a little zen with a mud bath at Solage Spa, as well as do a self-guided tour along the region's art walk.