Located at the top of Napa Valley, Calistoga is a quaint town known for its hot springs, mud baths, and wineries. We had the opportunity to stay in this gorgeous town for four nights, and they were our best nights (and days) in all of California. We explored the shops, spas, hot springs, restaurants, and of course, the wineries during our time in Calistoga and we fell in love with the city and the culture during our time there. I have put together this Calistoga Travel Guide based on what we saw, what we did, and what we wanted to do. Read the post and/or watch our GoPro Video (embedded below). I hope this helps you when you travel to Calistoga, or the Napa Valley area, in general. I know you will love it there!
Calistoga Travel Guide
What to know
- Calistoga is at the North end of Napa Valley! It is out of all the hustle and bustle, but it is still convenient to all of your favorite wineries that are not in Calistoga.
- Like I mentioned above, Calistoga is known for its hot springs, mud baths, and amazing wineries.
- Although everything in downtown Calistoga is walkable, you do need a car or an Uber to get to a lot of wineries.
Where to stay
Cottage Grove Inn // Ancient elms and lush landscape greet you as you pull up to Cottage Grove Inn. Tucked away in downtown Calistoga, you would never know that you were in a town. Instead, it feels as if you are vacationing in a romantic, secluded forest. Each couple gets their own cottage with its own parking space, a private porch with the cutest rocking chairs, a plush king-sized bed, a wood burning fireplace, a jacuzzi tub for two, and the most comfortable robes.
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs // Calistoga Spa Hot Springs rests atop a geothermal mineral field and sits in the gorgeous town of Calistoga at the foot of Mount St. Helena. There are four geothermal mineral pools at Calistoga Spa Hot Springs: a whirlpool, a soaking pool, a lap pool, and a wading pool. The whirlpool, which is an adult only pool can get up to 104 degrees, while the soaking pool never gets above 100 degrees, and the lap pool stays around 80 degrees. All of their pools are complimentary when you are a guest of the hotel or spa. The room was very spacious, updated, comfortable, and it even had a kitchenette.
What to do
Schramsberg Vineyards // Schramsberg Vineyards has been on my Napa Valley Bucket List for a long while now because I believe that they create the best sparkling wine in Napa Valley. We walked the amazing 125-year-old caves, learned about the rich history of the winery, as well as the traditional method of producing sparkling wine, and tried their sparkling wine.
Sterling Vineyards // Hop aboard the Sterling Vineyard aerial tram as it takes you 300 feet above Calistoga. Outdoor terraces, a self-guided tour of the winery, and a panoramic view of Napa Valley await you as you sip on wine and perhaps indulge in a cheese plate.
Twomey Cellars // We have family friends within Groth, Silver Oak, and Twomey Cellars, so Twomey was high up on our ‘must-see’ list for Calistoga. The property was gorgeous and everyone was so nice. We ended up joining the Duncan Family Wine Club, so we are still reaping the benefits of visiting!
Hot Springs // One of our favorite nights in Calistoga was sitting by the hot springs at Calistoga Spa Hot Spring. We picked up dinner from Sushi Mambo, popped open a bottle of wine, and relaxed poolside all evening. It was so relaxing!
Mud Baths // If you go to Calistoga, you have to get a mud bath! We visited Baths at Roman Spa and it was seriously the most unique experience ever. When you are in the bath, it feels like you are weightless and floating. Super cool!
Frank Family Vineyards // Frank Family Vineyards was unfortunately not on my radar until we were already in Napa Valley and by then, it was too late to visit because our schedule was already packed. I cannot wait to visit one day!
Vincent Arroyo Winery // Although we did not visit Vincent Arroyo Winery, it is on my bucket list and I hope to visit soon! “Vincent Arroyo’s winemaking style is the embodiment of his philosophy about his land. Take what you have, and do the best you can with it. Each wine at the winery is hand-crafted, starting from before the grapes are harvested. Vince decides how the grapes from each vineyard will be vinified, when they will be picked, how they will be crushed, what fermentation regimes they will undergo (pumpovers, extended macerations, pressings), and finally, what percentage of French or American barrels, new or old barrels to maximize the optimum flavors of the wine during the barrel-aging process,” according to their website. This is just one of many reasons why I really wanted to go and cannot wait to get there one day!
Explore Downtown // We loved exploring the downtown area! Both Cottage Grove Inn and Calistoga Spa Hot Springs were within walking distance, so we were able to walk to dinner, walk to shops, and just take the time to explore. Calistoga has a lot of cute tasting rooms, bars, restaurants, and shops.
Hot Air Balloon Ride // This is a must if you are in Calistoga! We went up in the air with Calistoga Balloons and it was one of the best decisions of our lives. You fly up right after sunrise, so you get amazing views and a fantastic brunch to follow!
What to eat + drink
Lovina // We ate at Lovina our first night in Calistoga and it was amazing! The restaurant was so cute and welcoming! I ordered the Roasted Mushroom Risotto and added Salmon, and Ian ordered the Akaushi New York Strip and he loved it, as well. By this time, Ian needed a break from all of the wine, so he ordered a beer and really enjoyed it.
Cal Mart // We were starving and in a rush, one day and Cottage Grove Inn recommended Cal Mart to us. It was such a great decision! We custom made sandwiches at the counter and picked up some chips, waters, and Gatorade, as well. It was the perfect spot to pick up a picnic lunch!
Evangeline // I heard amazing things about Evangeline and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to check it out! We ordered a few things, but the house organic cultured butter with a warm baguette was the highlight of the meal. Not because everything else wasn’t good – trust me, it was all amazing. Bread after a long day of wine drinking was just so refreshing and tasty!
Cottage Grove Inn // Cottage Grove Inn had an amazing breakfast and even served specialty coffee with it. They served breakfast burritos, fruit smoothies, waffles, local granola, fresh fruit, and more for your choosing.
Solbar // Solbar was actually recommended to me by another blogger friend and I have been following Chef Massimo Falsini for a while now, so I was extremely excited to try it out and it definitely did not disappoint! The entire property was gorgeous – boy, would it be a treasure to stay there one day. I would love to go back to Solbar for dinner sometime because everything was just so fresh and top notch.
Calistoga Creamery // The perfect place to stop for a cool snack! There is not too much to say about ice cream, but it was definitely some of the best we had and there were so many homemade options to choose from. We got the raspberry and the mint chocolate chip and both were so good!
Hydro Bar & Grill // We made a few friends on our hot air balloon ride and they told us about Hydro Bar & Grille, saying that it had the best burger in Napa Valley. We did not get to try the burger, but we did stop by for a few drinks and it was such a fun place! The second night we visited Hydro Bar & Grill, they even had a DJ coming!
Susie’s Bar // Susie’s Bar is Napa Valley’s oldest bar. It is a bit off the beaten path in downtown Calistoga, Susie’s Bar had fantastic drinks and great prices, as well. We only stopped in for two drinks each, but it was a great spot to grab a drink and people watch. They also have pool, if you are interested in playing!
Cafe San Marco // We stopped in for a quick snack and Cafe San Marco was the cutest little place in downtown Calistoga! They have baked goods, ice cream, coffee, and more.
Bella Bakery Cafe // We tried to stop in at Bella Bakery Cafe, as well as a chocolate shop in downtown Calistoga a few times, but we didn’t realize that they closed so early, so we, unfortunately, missed out due to our busy schedule, but Bella Bakery Cafe is definitely on my list for next time! With a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor and reviews such as, “BEST BAKERY ON EARTH” and “Amazing food!”, I am really disappointed that we didn’t get a chance to drop in.
Have you been to Calistoga, or are you headed to Calistoga in the future? If so, I hope this Calistoga Travel Guide helps you out. You will absolutely love visiting this amazing little town!
Thank you so much to Visit Calistoga for hosting us on our trip. We received some of the above for a discounted rate and/or complementary. Of course, all opinions are my own!