Calistoga: A Sweet Stop in the Napa Valley

Whether it’s your first, tenth, or one hundredth visit, you are sure to find something wonderful in Calistoga. I have visited Calistoga, located at the top of the Napa Valley in California, at least 10 times, and I keep coming back for more. My parents have been coming to the valley for at least 25 years and they have seen it blossom and grow into a wonderful destination. Every year, it’s like visiting a good friend to see what’s new, what’s changed, and how grateful you are for what remains.

We visit Calistoga annually, at the end of February. The early spring is a great time to make the trip because there are fewer tourists and the beautiful mustard is in bloom everywhere! The fields and vineyards look stun in golden yellow patches of sunshine. It’s just so breathtaking to see acre after yellow acre pass by as you drive up Highway 29, and on my adventure, to the Calistoga Inn.

During our last visit, my husband Erik and I stayed and dined at the Calistoga Inn. It’s a lovely, cozy inn with 17 rooms, located on the main thoroughfare of Calistoga where everything is within walking distance. We had a delightful dinner with some of their home brewed beer and, of course, a selection of desserts! Erik fell in love with Martino’s peanut butter pie and the brownie chunk ice cream. I loved the tangy Meyer Lemon icebox pie with huckleberry compote and seasonal strawberry-rhubarb crisp. For a place with a vineyard on every corner, it was nice to come across a brewery. Erik and I enjoyed a cheese plate with a glass of local-brewed IPA and Pilsner.

In the morning, we enjoyed a light breakfast of hot coffee, fresh tangerines, homemade blueberry scones, and the best granola I’ve had in a long time. Regrettably, we spent only one night there.

Word of advice: Do not be scared off by the shared bathrooms. During our stay, I ran into one other person in the restroom and my husband reported he never had anyone else in the men’s room. The main door to the restrooms locks and the private stalls lock, as do the private showers. This is definitely not a hostel. You have a sink in your room to brush your teeth, do your makeup and comb your hair. You’ll survive.

This post first appeared on the blog, Pint Sized Baker where Karyn Granrud shares amazing desserts and time spent exploring sweet destinations.

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