My husband and I stayed a couple of nights at the Napa River Inn after a 2-week long roadtrip from Socal, to Oregon, and back. NRI was a stop on our trip back. We traveled with our two small dogs, so we always stay at pet friendly places. Some places say they are pet friendly, only to find that you get the one stinky, smelly room they reserve for visitors with pets. Not the NRI...we got a standard room, complete with small balcony, fireplace and nice amenities. Upon arrival to our room, my husband, our dogs and I all fell asleep for a few hours (we were so tired from the 9 hr drive from Portland). We woke up in time for a late dinner at a local eatery that had a small area with outdoor seating that we could sit with our dogs.
So yes, we get it: Napa is set up for wine tasting and newly weds, not for people who travel with their pets. Since you can't leave the pets in the room unattended (as is the case most places) and cannot take pets to most restaurants, stores and wineries, there was not a whole lot for us to do in Napa. There are a few wineries that have outdoor seating while you taste wine, but you also have to drive to most wineries nearby (and who wants to drink and drive, right?) Napa can also be a bit on the warm side, so dragging the pooches around all day isn't ideal. Having said that, it was important that our room was super-comfy, because we spent the majority of our time resting in the comfy bed. We grabbed food at local shops and stores and brought it back to our room to enjoy along with a bottle of local wine. The complimentary breakfast is ordered the night before, and delivered to your door at the time you specify on the selection card. A sample breakfast included a yummy scone (fresh from the bakery on site), English muffin/egg white sandwich and orange juice. There is a small Keurig-style coffee maker in the guest rooms.
The Napa River Inn provides charming accommodations in a town set up specifically for wine drinking and haute dining. I guess we could have hired a local dog-sitter for the day if we really wanted to take the wine train, or go on a wine tasting tour, but we chose not to do so this time. I really liked staying at the Napa River Inn, and I would definitely stay there again, with or without the dogs.
Tips: NRI offers the "Very Important Pet" program, which includes pet bowls, disposable waste baggies, locally made pet treats and a doggie blanket. You can sign up for this when making your reservations.
The Bounty Hunter BBQ place on the corner of the 1st street bridge is a great place for pulled pork and a beer/local wine. They have a small seating area outside the front of the restaurant; and although it is a very small area, they are very accommodating to those with well-behaved dogs.