Calistoga is well known for a number of things. For starters, the city is located at the tip of Napa Valley and is part of Northern California’s vaunted Wine Country. It is also the home to Calistoga Beverage Company, purveyors of sparkling mineral water and juice. But more than anything else, Calistoga is known as a hotbed of hot spring spas. And for this reason, it has become a popular and convenient day trip for people in San Ramon and the San Ramon Valley.
Just 73 miles north of San Ramon proper, but well worth the long drive, Calistoga offers a quick respite for anyone looking for warm weather, world-class wines, and hot spring resorts. For hundreds of years people have been coming to the area to experience the natural hot springs and curative mud baths. In many ways, Calistoga has successfully established itself as the most iconic spa destination in the entire United States.
Indigenous Native Americans and early European settlers were the first to discover volcanic hot springs and geyser activity in the Calistoga region. By the time American pioneers started pouring into California by the mid-19th century, the hot springs had already gained a reputation for amazing recuperative healing powers. Even today, the mud and earthborn minerals from these hot springs is reputed to possess potent medicinal properties. Currently, the Calistoga landscape is ripe with more than two-dozen resorts and spas featuring the legendary remedial volcanic reservoirs.
Here’s a short list of spas for people visiting Calistoga for the day:
Lavender Hill Spa, 1015 Foothill Boulevard, 800-528-4772
Indian Springs Resort & Spa, 1712 Lincoln Avenue, 707-942-4913
Golden Haven Hot Springs, 1713 Lake Street, 707-942-8000
Calistoga Ranch, 580 Lommel Road, 707-254-2800
Mais Out Massage & Spa Train, 1458 Lincoln Avenue, 707-224-8500
Solage Calistoga, 755 Silverado Trail, 707-226-0800
Cottage Grove Inn, 1711 Lincoln Avenue, 707-942-8400
As mentioned earlier, Calistoga has more to offer than just a string of delightful resorts and spas. It has an enviable amount of A-list wineries, too. As a member of Northern California’s wine community, it should surprise no one that Calistoga has a rich viticulture history. Here’s a short list of wineries that provide an excellent place to taste and discover wines from the area:
Sterling Vineyards, 1111 Dunaweal Lane, 800-726-6136
Schramsberg Vineyards, 1400 Schramsberg Road, 800-877-3623
Reverie Winery, 1520 Diamond Mountain Road, 707-942-6800
Tedeschi Family Winery, 2779 Grant Street, 707-337-5526
Chateau Montelena Winery, 1429 Tubbs Lane, 707-942-5105
Calistoga benefits from sunny weather and nature’s beauty. As a result, there are lots of family activities in the area, as well. Kids will surely enjoy seeing the Old Faithful Geyser. Located just north of the city (1299 Tubbs Lane, 707-942-6463), the geyser “erupts” every 15 minutes. Calistoga’s Petrified Forest (4100 Petrified Forest Road, 707-942-6667) is the perfect place for a casual stroll through a forest turned to stone. And for hiking and day camping, the Bothé-Napa Valley State Park (3801 St. Helena Hwy 29, 707-942-4575) can’t be beat. It’s a great place to get some sun and stretch your legs between spa visits and wine tastings.