Napa Valley is a premier destination for wine, food, arts and wellness. Calistoga, perched at the top of the Napa Valley, is where you can change the way you relax. You can spend hours tasting world-class wines, following by a detox in geothermal-fed mineral springs pools and volcanic ash mud baths. This premier location is also where you can indulge in a farm fresh meal and embark on an adventure; Calistoga’s proximity to nearby mountains, rivers, hiking, biking, fitness activities and outdoor adventures adds to the destination’s allure.
Here’s an itinerary with a focus on outdoor adventures:
Check in at the Americana road trip-themed Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa or rent a yurt at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park so you can sleep surrounded by nature. If camping, you’ll find supplies and helpful staff at Silverado ACE Hardware in downtown Calistoga. More options include UpValley Inn & Hot Springs and the upscale rustic Calistoga Ranch, an Auberge Resort. Notable is that Calistoga Ranch was built by strategic placement of each of its lodges by helicopter — so as not to disturb the natural surroundings. Book an outdoor/indoor lodge here and know that a portion of your outdoor deck will most likely be host to a full-grown tree. Or, you can even stay in a private guest house at the famous Petrified Forest itself!
Once you’re settled in to your digs, head out for the first adventure of your trip. Many resorts in town offer colorful cruiser bikes for touring around downtown, or you can rent one from the Calistoga Bikeshop. Ride (or walk) down Washington Street to the beginning of the Vine Trail, which will bring you directly to Dunaweal Lane, eliminating biking the highway. Eventually, this paved trail will be 47 miles long, connecting Calistoga to Vallejo! Along Dunaweal Lane, you’ll find Clos Pegase Winery, known for its spectacular modern architecture, and Sterling Vineyards, where you can ride an aerial tram to the top of a hill for the best view in Napa Valley. Another stop to consider is at Twomey Cellars, owned by the same family as the famous Silver Oak Cellars. Soak in the sweeping views; the Palisades Mountains on one side of the valley and the Mayacamas Range on the other.
When you return to town, take a leisurely stroll through Calistoga’s downtown shops and art galleries. For dinner, you may want to enjoy a bite to eat and a flight of locally made beer in the beer garden at Calistoga Inn, Restaurant & Brewery!
Start the day with a vigorous jog through the quiet Calistoga streets, or drop in for a boxing, boot-camp or spin class at the Calistoga Fit Studio, at its annex located right on Lincoln Avenue.
Rent a mountain bike from Calistoga Bikeshop and ascend the Oat Hill Mine Trail historic route between Calistoga and the quicksilver mines of 1872. Just past Silverado Trail is the trailhead to this 8.3-mile-long hike. Some parts of the trail are a bit of a challenge with rough and rocky sections, but visitors are rewarded with majestic views of Napa Valley and volcanic formations on the upper trail. The hike passes through a diverse mixture of oak, Douglas fir, grey pine and cypress trees; the wildflowers that bloom in springtime are exceptional.
You can also ride your bikes to Tedeschi Family Winery, a laidback, family-owned winery with an intimate tasting room and outdoor picnic tables, located right in the heart of Calistoga on Grant Street.
Enjoy a casual lunch of a burger and fries or a hearty salad and locally-brewed beer at Sam’s Social Club, which is the restaurant at Indian Springs Resort & Spa. Sam’s namesake is Samuel Brannan, founder of Calistoga. Dine inside the bright, airy restaurant or on the outdoor patio. Your choice!
Following a day of adventure, it might be time to soothe your aching muscles and indulge in an authentic Calistoga mud bath at the Baths at Roman Spa, followed by a long soak in the indoor and outdoor heated mineral pools. Another great, relaxing option is to book a pedicure with Julie’s Hair & Nail Spa.
If you’re visiting in the months of June, July and August, you’ll want to hit the local’s favorite hangout on Thursday nights: Calistoga Concerts in the Park. Do as the locals do and pre-order fried chicken to go from Evangeline to enjoy picnic-style on the lawn at Pioneer Park while listening to live music. Outside of summer nights, you can enjoy dinner, a local beer and catch the game at Johnny’s Bar & Restaurant, located inside the historic Mount View Hotel.
View wine country from another vantage point – while seated in a kayak. About an hour’s drive from Calistoga, you can paddle down the Russian River, passing vineyards, meadows, and Redwood forests. Check out a Russian River Adventures dog-friendly excursion or one of Burke’s Canoe Trips. You may also enjoy a Getaway Adventures guided kayaking tour of the Russian River from Healdsburg to Forestville or the Jenner sanctuary where the river empties into the Pacific. This water adventure includes a delicious lunch, local knowledgeable guides and sightings of lots of wildlife, birds and harbor seals. Bring a picnic if one isn’t already provided, and be sure to make the time to enjoy a swim.
Alternatively, sign up for Getaway Adventures Sip ‘n’ Cycle bike tour through the quiet and scenic northern Napa Valley. Cycle along famous vineyards and stop to try world renowned Napa wines while enjoying stunning valley views. Your guide will talk wine facts and local history as you bike the quiet country lanes. Enjoy a tour, barrel tasting, beautiful art, or food pairing at one of the three to four winery stops, and a scenic stop to enjoy a delicious Wine Country picnic lunch.
After lunch, a drive to the Petrified Forest is about 10 minutes outside of Calistoga. Take a slow-paced one-mile hike through this new-growth forest and wood petrified 3.5 million years ago when nearby volcano Mt. Saint Helena erupted. The presence of Mt. Saint Helena is also what makes Calistoga famous for its geothermal waters and volcanic soil. It’s also good for the growth of grapes. On weekends at certain times of day, you can also hike the Live Redwood Hike guided tour.
From the Petrified Forest, the Sonoma County Airport (STS) is a short 20-minute drive away, where you can catch your flight home or take an easy hopper flight to connect to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO)!
Adventurous Events & Experiences to Attend
With your adventurous spirit, you’ll love signing up for the annual and regular cycling, hiking and other events that take place in and around Calistoga every year: