Napa Valley’s northernmost town is the perfect destination for a wine country daycation. Just 75 miles north of San Francisco and minutes from the Sonoma Airport, Calistoga is a quick trip from the Bay Area and Sacramento and is home to some of Napa Valley’s best hidden gems.
We’ve called in the local experts and put together a curated itinerary for the best day ever in Calistoga. And because you aren’t going to want to drive back after a day of wining, dining, and unwinding, it’s a good idea to book a place to stay for the night. For easy downtown access, try Mount View Hotel (if you’re traveling during #CalistogaDreaming month in September, take advantage of Mount View’s special Calistoga Dreaming offer that includes dinner and an outdoor movie!) or the oh-so-charming Brannan Cottage Inn. For vineyard-view vibes, check into Chateau DeVie. And if soaking up Calistoga’s signature hot springs is on your list, look no further than Indian Springs Resort.
Get an early start and hit the road to make the most of your best day ever. To really get to know Calistoga and its rustic, yet refined vibe, you’ll start by exploring the town and biking through the vineyards with a Napa Valley winemaker as your guide.
Begin at Olabisi Winery Tasting Room in Downtown Calistoga, where you’ll meet your guide, Ted, who also happens to be the winemaker at Olabisi. If you need a bike rental, Calistoga Bike Shop can arrange to have bikes dropped off ahead of time so you’re ready to roll. The first stop on your custom bike and wine adventure includes pastries and coffee at Bella Bakery, and then you’ll bike to one of Ted’s favorite off-the-beaten-path wineries - Spence Vineyard, The Caves at Soda Canyon, or Phifer Pavitt. During your behind-the-scenes winery tour, you’ll also get to taste wines straight from the barrel and enjoy a casual wine country lunch. Note: Be sure to make your reservations in advance for this amazing experience as spots are limited (there's only one Ted).
Next, you’ll escape into the mountains to experience a true Calistoga hidden gem. Perched atop the eastern slope of the Mayacamas Mountains, Storybook Mountain Vineyards is one of the oldest, and smallest, wineries in Napa Valley. The property was originally known as Grimm Vineyards and Wine Vaults, and was founded in 1883 by Adam Grimm of the Brothers Grimm Fairy tales — hence the name “Storybook Vineyards” today. Enjoy a walking tour of the organically farmed vineyards, followed by a guided tasting of Storybook red wines in the 130-year-old wine caves or outside in the shaded Redwood grove. All wineries are requiring advance reservations at this time, so be sure to book your tasting in advance.
Back downtown, enjoy a pre-dinner stroll down Lincoln Avenue to check out Calistoga’s charming locally-owned boutiques and pick up a few souvenirs to take home. Favorites include Picayune Cellars, where you can sip while you shop a beautifully curated selection of artisan gifts, Copperfield’s Books (because who doesn’t love a classic local bookshop), and Flourish Chocolates for sweet treats from Chef Holly Petersen.
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to Fleetwood, which just opened at Calistoga Motor Lodge and is serving up wood-fired, Italian-inspired delights. Don’t miss the Tuscarita, Fleetwood’s twist on the classic margarita, and the burrata with grilled peaches appetizer! With options ranging from small bites and wood-fired pizzas to family-style plates, you’ll want to try one of everything. Insider tip: Make it a spa weekend! The Calistoga Spa Spritz Package is the perfect way to relax, recharge and renew. Stay in one of the retro inspired camper rooms, enjoy an aromatic journey of the senses with the Citrus Splash Massage and finish your day lounging at the pool enjoying a complimentary signature spa spritz cocktail and small bites from Fleetwood.
Think one day just isn’t enough? (You’re right, it’s not.) Check out the Ultimate Guide to Calistoga for an epic three-day itinerary exploring everything from iconic spots to the most under-the-radar experiences.
Share your #CalistogaDreaming experiences on social media all throughout September!