Guide to a Weekend in Calistoga

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  • by JEN SCHMITZ
  • on JUNE 20, 2022
  • 12783
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Travelers looking for a relaxing vacation in Wine Country should pay attention to the small town of Calistoga. Visitors to Napa Valley’s most northern city can mingle with farmers, grape growers, winemakers, and locals just by walking down the street or stopping by one of the many restaurants or tasting rooms the town has to offer. Sipping wine and relaxing by a geothermal mineral pool are the main attractions, but charming Calistoga has much more to offer.

Staying in Calistoga

Calistoga hotels focus on relaxation. Many boast heated mineral pools warmed from the rich mineral water that runs below the town and on-site spa offerings for ultimate rejuvenation without leaving the property.

Dr. Wilkinson's Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs
Courtesy of Dr. Wilkinson’s

Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs

1507 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-6258

The recently renovated Dr. Wilkinson’s perfectly blends nostalgic charm with a hip vibe and modern amenities. This modernized retreat offers everything needed for a perfect Calistoga getaway, including luxe rooms with plush bedding and mid-century decor; mouthwatering food and drink at the on-site restaurant, House of Better; healing mineral pools; and a plethora of restorative treatments at the spa. Opt for the signature mud treatment for a true Calistoga experience.

The Inn on Pine
The Inn on Pine, Courtesy of Booking.com

The Inn on Pine

1202 Pine Street, Calistoga, California 94515, (707) 942-6829

The Inn on Pine is surrounded by vineyards but is only a few minutes walk to downtown Calistoga. It offers 13 rooms outfitted with Wine Country inspired decor and plush beds, alongside in-room fireplaces and soaking tubs. With a day spa on property, The Inn on Pine is a great place to detox with a mud wrap, made with local volcanic ash and clay, LED therapy, or a visit to their infrared sauna.

Brunch in Calistoga

Calistoga brunch is a must for visitors looking to go wine tasting in the afternoon. Many restaurants are open for brunch on weekdays, as well as weekends.

Solbar Restaurant
Courtesy of Solage

Solbar

755 Silverado Trail N., Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 226-0800

Solbar is a Michelin-recognized hotel restaurant and bar that is trendy yet approachable. Guests are treated to farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients, from breakfast to late-night lounge snacks. While the interior of the restaurant is beautifully designed, it’s hard to beat starting your day with an al fresco meal on the expansive patio. At night, it’s also the place to be to enjoy the 20-foot long fire pit.

Cafe Sarafornia
Courtesy of Cafe Sarafornia

Cafe Sarafornia

1413 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515 (707) 942-0555

Cafe Sarafornia serves a traditional diner breakfast with a Wine Country twist. Seasonal dishes such as the Brannan Benedict — two poached eggs, avocado, bacon, and their very own gravy sauce on an English muffin — grace the menu, and portions are big, so bring your appetite.

Lovina
Courtesy of Facebook: Lovina

Lovina

1107 Cedar Street, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-6500

Lovina, formerly known as the Calistoga Kitchen, underwent a revamp with a little help from San Francisco-based restaurateur, Jennifer Bennett, of Zazie fame. The sign “Great Food” outside the small patio isn’t just good marketing, it is a promise to guests to expect delicious eats when visiting. Open for brunch and dinner, dig in to their famed breakfast burrito on the new patio, and if you happen to stop by on a Wednesday night, enjoy 50% off bottles of wine and no corkage fees.

Lunchtime in Calistoga

If you are planning early morning or evening adventures in Calistoga, there are no shortage of places to grab a bite to eat midday.

calistoga-inn-restaurant
Courtesy of Calistoga Inn

Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery

1250 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-4101

The Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery is for travelers who are looking for a casual lunch and a place to grab a beer (refreshing after a day of wine tasting). The outdoor patio with fire pits stretches along the Napa River and all the beer is made in the historic water tower.

sams-social-club
Courtesy of Facebook: Sam’s Social Club

Sam’s Social Club

1712 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-4913

Sam’s Social Club is a favorite stop for brunch, lunch, and dinner in the Calistoga restaurant scene, known for its thoughtfully composed seasonal comfort foods. Stop by between wine tastings to try their French Dip sandwich with shaved prime rib and horseradish cream.

Dinner in Calistoga

After a day of exploring northern Napa Valley, it’s time to kick back, relax, and savor the many amazing flavors of the region.

evangeline
Courtesy of Evangeline

Evangeline

1226 Washington Street, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 341-3131

Evangeline is casual French fare with a Creole twist. Tables are mostly patio seating, so make sure to bring layers when dining here. But it’s worth it to enjoy an al fresco evening sipping an Old Fashioned and noshing on fried pickles, steak frites, and gumbo.

Amaro Italian Kitchen
Courtesy of Facebook: Amaro Italian Kitchen

Amaro Italian Kitchen

1457 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-5938

Amaro is the Italian word for bitter, but ‘pleasant’ is a better word to describe this charming Italian eatery, located in the Mount View Hotel. Close out a perfect Calistoga day with gnocchi or a hearty braised meat dish, and be sure to take advantage of the selection of Italian wines and Amaro on offer, one of the most extensive Amaro menus in the country.

Wine Tasting in Calistoga

Calistoga is in Napa Valley’s northern region and home to wineries of all sizes. Frank Family Vineyards
Courtesy of Frank Family Vineyards

Frank Family Vineyards

1091 Larkmead Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-0859

Set within the winery’s original Craftsman house is Frank Family Vineyards’ tasting room, where seated tasting experiences include samples of current release still and sparkling wines – many of which are exclusive to the winery. If cabernet sauvignon is your preferred varietal, don’t miss the Winston Hill Tasting, highlighting single vineyard cabernets.

CaMi Art + Wine
CaMi Art + Wine, Courtesy of Visit Calistoga

CaMi Art + Wine

1333B Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 709-6889

Situated in downtown Calistoga, this boutique winery and gallery highlights the label’s small-lot wines, which are poured in a modern space that showcases contemporary artworks. Owner Laurie Shelton curated the art herself, with new artists being featured a few times a year.

Adventures in Calistoga

There is much more to Calistoga than wine tasting. Travelers from all over the world visit here to experience the mineral pools, natural landscapes, hot air balloon rides, and bountiful Wine Country shopping.

 Safari West
Safari West, Courtesy of Cheryl Crowley

Plan to visit Safari West, a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary outside of Calistoga. Where else can you find giraffes, antelope, and lemurs in Wine Country? They also offer glamping, for a more comprehensive outdoorsy experience.

Also worth checking out is the Old Faithful Geyser of California, located just north of downtown Calistoga. Get up close and personal as the geyser erupts every 20 to 30 minutes.

Downtown has many local shops with unique gifts. Walk along Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga’s main street, and experience shops owned by locals including Ca’Toga Galleria D’Arte and Copperfield’s Books.


Author

Jen Schmitz

Jen Schmitz has been writing and producing creative content since 2014. She has written for VSCO, Lonny, and contributed to countless other outlets in and out of wine country. She is a lover of all things art, culture, and wine, and prefers to “summer” in Napa Valley to taste all it has to offer and to escape foggy San Francisco any time she can. Follow her on Instagram at @jeneschmitz.

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