Calistoga is the sleepy, charming, northern-most city in Napa Valley aptly nicknamed the “spa capital of California” for its natural geothermal hot springs and dense population of spas. Year-round, Calistoga welcomes Wine Country visitors to its acres of vineyards, world-class restaurants, and lux day spas. Located at the very tail end of the valley, Calistoga is known for its warmer climate, seeing 9 months of sunshine a year. Calistoga is also home to the famous Chateau Montelena, the prized winery who is responsible for putting Napa Valley on the map as a significant wine region. There are so many reasons why Calistoga is the perfect base for your trip to Napa Valley, and this article will show a few of them.
Where to Stay for Wineries and Spas in Calistoga: Mount View Hotel and Spa – the perfect base for a Napa Valley Romantic Getaway
Of the most sought-after accommodations in Calistoga is Mount View Hotel and Spa. Mount View Hotel is a socially-conscious, luxurious, and stylishly-retro boutique hotel featuring luxury suites and cottages, each designed with its own unique Art Deco-inspired and vintage decor. It is the perfect hotel to stay in with your loved one or with a group of friends for both a fun and relaxing girls trip in the U.S. or bachelorette party. 1 and 2 bedroom suites at Mount View Hotel each come with a spacious adjoining living area, gorgeous vintage clawfoot tubs + a separate bathroom with a massive shower featuring two adjacent showerheads. Some suites also include a large balcony overlooking Calistoga’s charming main street.
For those in search of something truly unique, the artist cottages at Mount View Hotel are every creative’s dream. A private patio with a jacuzzi tub and wet bar are present to enhance relaxation and creativity before painting on the provided easel, canvas, and paints. It is the perfect oasis to have a relaxing weekend retreat, a Napa Valley honeymoon, or romantic getaway for two. Not matter the room you choose at Mount View Hotel, you will be sure to appreciate it’s individual charm.
Sleeping and Drinking for a Good Cause
At Mount View Hotel and Spa’s Indie Blue Salon, complimentary coffee and pastries are served every morning from Taylor Lane, an organic coffee pioneer and leader of sustainable practices within the coffee industry. Complimentary wine tastings are also held every evening inside the Indie Blue Salon, where you can sample local wines before heading out to one of Calistoga’s fantastic restaurants. Mount View Hotel and Spa is proudly partnered with OneHope Wine, who work with more than 200 charities supporting causes such as breast cancer, childhood hunger, autism, clean water, and more. With a positive social impact for every bottle sold, I can’t think of a better reason to drink. Enjoy a glass of OneHope wine at Mount View Hotel and be glad to know you’re drinking to make the world a better place. But the social good doesn’t just end there, Mount View Hotel and Spa also donates 50% of their proceeds to various charities such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, as well as both local and national non-profits that benefit women and the environment. At Mount View Hotel, you can help make an impact while you sleep and drink.
No trip to Calistoga is complete without a visit to the spa. Luckily, you won’t have to go very far (and after a couple hefty pours from the hotel’s complimentary wine tasting you probably won’t want to) as you can float right in to the spa on premises for CBD-infused hydrotherapy, a Himalayan salt stone massage, and a variety of other pampering treatments. After indulging at the spa, take your relaxation outside, and lounge on the stylish outdoor patio or take a dip in the heated pool. At Mount View Hotel and Spa in Calistoga, you can truly soak up the sun and some of the old Napa charm on your Wine Country getaway.
Visit the Best Wineries in Calistoga and Beyond with Dynamic Wine Tours by Beau / Beau Wine Tours: A Luxury Wine Tour and Car Service in Napa Valley, California
If you’re visiting Napa Valley, you’re probably there to taste some wine. The best way to visit the top wineries in Napa is through booking a luxury tour with Dynamic Wine Tours by Beau / Beau Wine Tours. Customized private and semi-private tours in a luxury limo will take you from winery to winery without having to worry about who is going to drive you home. My personal tour started in the morning, where my husband and I were picked up from our hotel by our chauffeur Nico, who greeted us with a bottle of champagne to start the day in true Napa Valley fashion.
The first winery we visited on our tour was the famous Chateau Montelena Winery, whose Chardonnay won the famed Judgement of Paris competition in 1976, which led to the explosion of wineries in Napa Valley thereafter. The property was that of a fairy tale, with a towering stone castle overlooking a Chinese garden complete with a large koi pond. And Yes, the chardonnay really was spectacular. Next, we visited Dutch Henry Winery, also in Calistoga. Dutch Henry is a small, family-owned, newer winery to the Napa wine scene, and famous for their cave cellar. In addition to wine tasting, they also offer their own Napa-grown olive oil tastings. After wine tasting at Dutch Henry, the grassy picnic area was the perfect place to break for lunch, where we stopped to enjoy delicious sandwiches, salads, and desserts catered by the Michelin-recommended Girl & the Fig Restaurant.
After lunch, our chauffeur Nico took us to St. Helena, where we visited the third winery of the day, Pestoni Family Estate Winery. With each winery we visited, it was becoming more and more evident that Nico was a true Napa Valley wine expert, as he took us to truly the most breath-taking wineries while briefing us on the history of each, the different regions, and the processes of wine making altogether. Nico was much more than a driver, he was also an excellent guide. The Pestoni Family Winery was extremely scenic, and set on acres upon acres of vineyards with beautiful gardens and a sophisticatedly-designed tasting room. It was truly an idyllic-looking Napa winery with many wonderful wines.
Now sufficiently tipsy from 3 different tastings and the champagne we consumed during each drive, it was time to head back to Calistoga to visit the fourth and final winery of the day: Frank Family Vineyards, owned by the late CEO of Disney and Paramount. Their outdoor tasting room was gorgeously-designed in the most Napa-chic manner, and set on a deck overlooking a perfectly manicured lawn in front of the grapevines. If there ever was a Disneyland of wineries, Frank Family Vineyards would be it. After our fourth tasting was complete and we’ve had some time to wander the grounds, we merrily made our way back to the hotel in our final limo ride and glass of champagne for the day. We truly loved the experience Dynamic Wine Tours by Beau provided for us, and can’t recommend a better way to experience the many beautiful wineries of Napa Valley.
Silver Trident Winery: One of the Most Unique Wineries in Napa
With so many different wineries in Napa to choose from, it wouldn’t be surprising if you experience some form of vineyard fatigue. While each winery offers something unique, there is no tasting room quite as unique as Silver Trident Winery. Not set on a vineyard at all, but rather an opulent store-front in the trendy Napa area of Yountville, wine tasting at Silver Trident Winery feels like you are tasting in the living room of Ralph Lauren’s private estate. Part furniture “store,” part tasting room, Silver Trident Winery quite literally makes you feel at home with staged living spaces completely decorated with luxury Ralph Lauren home decor.
Everything seen inside the tasting room at Silver Trident Winery is for sale, including the hand-crafted artwork and rare antiques. The wine tastings here are paired with small “bites” of decadent mini tartines, each made with different types of cheese. Every “bite” is paired with a designated glass of wine, which starts with a bright and fruity rosé to warm up the palette, and moves through light whites and reds before ending on a bold and dry cabernet. What I love about Silver Trident’s tasting style in particular is that each glass has been well thought out to compliment the bites and serve a purpose, making the distinction between each wine more noticeable. All wines at Silver Trident Winery are produced in small batches and change with the seasons, so the quality is always excellent. If you’re looking for a unique boutique wine tasting experience or are a lover of interior design, Silver Trident Winery should be at the top of your list.
5 More Things to do in Calistoga, California:
- Take a hot air balloon ride.
- Witness the natural wonder of the Old Faithful Geyser of California.
- Hike or Bike the Oat Hill Mine Trail or the Silverado Trail.
- Walk or bike through downtown Calistoga, admiring the perfectly preserved 1900s architecture while perusing the art galleries, boutiques, and shops.
- Visit the Calistoga farmers market held every Saturday to shop and snack on locally-sourced produce.
Don’t forget to visit a hot spring! Calistoga is one of the best places in Northern California for hot springs.
Best Restaurants Calistoga, California
Napa Valley is known for its world-class gastronomy, Michelin-starred restaurants, and renowned culinary school. Famous chefs from all over the world open up restaurants throughout the valley making it a world-class food destination as much as it is wine. It is a great idea to venture all throughout Napa County to experience the variety of eateries, however if you want to stay local, Calistoga has a few wonderful restaurants and cafes as well. If fine dining and gastronomic experiences are what you are after, this Michelin-recommended list is perfect. However, for the days you want to keep it casual (maybe after a night of one too many bottles of wine) here are a few Calistoga favorites that are loved by the locals:
Evangeline – A charming French / Creole bistro with a heated outdoor patio. Great for a unique dinner.
Lovina – An American style eatery perfect for brunch or a laid-back meal. The cozy and quaint outdoor patio makes it an ideal spot to enjoy a meal under the Calistoga sun.
Cafe Sarafornia – A classic diner serving American breakfast classics since the 1890’s. This cafe is the perfect start to nursing a wine hangover.
Bouchon Bakery – Not in Calistoga, but still a Napa favorite. Visit Bouchon Bakery in Yountville before or after wine tasting at Silver Trident Winery, for the most beautiful and decadent French pastries outside of France. If you’re feeling extra fancy, dine at the attached Michelin-starred restaurant.
With so many great restaurants and wineries to choose from; warm, sunny weather; relaxing hot springs and day spas; and close approximation to Napa Town and other cities in the greater Napa County, Calistoga serves as the perfect base for a weekend in Wine Country. You can leave your worries behind and take a trip to Calistoga for solitude and relaxation, where you can truly enjoy the slower pace of life with a crisp glass of chardonnay or a hearty cabernet in hand.