Getting away isn’t just for the gals: road trip it to Calistoga with your best buds for a bro-cation or a mixed gender adventure!
Stay at one of the larger lodging properties in Calistoga where you can book a block of rooms for your whole group, such as Best Western PLUS Stevenson Manor, UpValley Inn & Hot Springs or Indian Springs Resort & Spa. Alternatively, choose to stay somewhere you can buy out the whole place and have a private party, like The Bungalows at Calistoga, a quaint three-cottage property with outdoor dining areas, Aurora Park Cottages, a charming bed and breakfast with private, individual cottages, or Lawer Family Vineyard Properties, private vacation homes you can rent out for your small group.
Get ready to explore Calistoga, beginning with a stop at the Sharpsteen Museum, where you’ll get a good dose of Calistoga’s Old West history in the form of an old stagecoach and a diorama. Look closer to view the Oscar awarded to Museum founder and former Disney executive, Ben Sharpsteen. Then head to one of Calistoga’s laidback wineries, such as Dutch Henry Winery on the Silverado Trail, where in addition to tasting excellent wine, you’ll find chickens, a cat named (Pink) Floyd and a selection of olive oils to try.
Grab lunch at Buster’s BBQ (try the pulled pork or tri-tip sandwich with baked beans) and head over to Old Faithful Geyser with a growler of beer from Calistoga Inn, Restaurant & Brewery or a bottle of wine in-hand for a picnic. You can utilize the on-site picnic prep area for incidentals such as glasses and ice buckets. The challenge at the Geyser: get the Tennessee fainting goats to actually faint.
Stop at Tank Garage Winery, a tasting room housed in a 1930s-designed gas station, where you can “fill ‘er up” on unique blended wines. From there, take a short walk to the Tank Garage sister property, T-Vine Winery for a tasting of single varietal wines.
Take advantage of happy hour before dinner at Sam’s Social Club where you can decompress with a glass of locally-made craft beer. Hang around the restaurant’s outdoor fire-pit as the sun sets, then catch some late-night vibes at Susie’s, the local dive bar.
Order the country fried steak for breakfast at Café Sarafornia. Burn off those breakfast calories by hiking the Oat Hill Mine Trail where you’ll also enjoy a spectacular view of Napa Valley. Other options include a round of golf at Mount Saint Helena Golf Course in Calistoga, or a Sip ‘n’ Cycle bike tour of three to four wineries, which you can book through Getaway Adventures.
Once you’re ready for a little wine tasting, head to the tasting room at Vermeil Wines in downtown Calistoga where you can talk football amongst Dick Vermeil fans. Next, take the Calistoga Shuttle to Castello di Amorosa to channel your inner lords and ladies. This 13th-century-style Tuscan castle winery is where you’ll make a million memories posing for photos in the torture chamber and on the high walls overlooking the valley.
For lunch, sit at the high-top tables at Hydro Bar & Grill and enjoy their self-proclaimed “best burger in Calistoga!” Post-burger, why not burn off those calories with a stroll through downtown to explore the shopping scene? Silverado ACE Hardware is a must-stop for the bro’s, and for the ladies, a retro-chic boutique, Mad Mod Shop, awaits.
In the afternoon, get your mud groove on at the mix-your-own-mud bar offered by MoonAcre Spa and Baths. Fashion attire is your swim suit, and accessories are mud ingredients. Slather the mud on and lay out on the chaise lounge in the sunny spa garden for a giggle-inducing group spa treatment. When your mud is caked-dry, rinse off under the outdoor shower and enjoy Adult Swim at the adjacent Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa: an epic weekly pool party with music, refreshments (including local wines), floaties, and water volleyball games-galore. If water fun isn’t your thing, you may want to stop at Rena Mae Salon & Spa for a pedicure.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite for dinner, head down the street to Sushi Mambo for spicy Diablo rolls or sushi combos for the group to share.
Alas, it’s your last day together, so why not schedule a group winery tour with Calistoga Wine Tours and leave the driving to the experts? Book a tour and visit three boutique wineries with a stop to enjoy a gourmet boxed lunch. You’ll meet your tour guide at the company’s gift shop located in the Train Cars of the Calistoga Depot before you set out for an unforgettable day of wine tasting in a luxury SUV or Primo Van. Other recommended tour companies include Napa Valley Tours & Transportation and Platypus Wine Tours.
Following your tour, you may want to make one last stop at the Calistoga Creamery for a late afternoon soft serve or scoop of ice cream in a handmade waffle cone. As you head back home, count your blessings and the many wonderful Calistoga memories you have made.