DescriptionIt’s obvious that Calistoga, at the Napa Valley’s northern end, is all about wine—the tasting rooms of well-respected vintners are within close proximity. However, wellness and water are two other highly regarded Calistoga commodities, a fact that becomes readily apparent as you stroll through this delightful town. Indeed, you may have already sampled the bottled mineral water produced by Calistoga Water Company.
In the late 1800s the railroad transported visitors to Calistoga by the droves to bask in the reputedly therapeutic natural mineral springs, which continue to draw health enthusiasts as well as the curious. Spas dotted along Calistoga’s early 1900s main drag, Lincoln Avenue, pipe in the bubbling “medicinal” waters of the hot springs to pamper customers with relaxing treatments—some facilities have outdoor pools. Many establishments post signs out front enticing passersby to take a bath in steaming mud, a concoction prepared from ingredients like mineral water, clay, volcanic ash and peat moss.
If soaking in a tub of mud isn’t your thing, explore the Western-influenced downtown’s art galleries and funky shops displaying wares that lean toward the artsy and earthy. Or observe geothermal activity in the form of Old Faithful Geyser, which reliably erupts about every half-hour, providing a perfect photo op.
North of town is an extinct volcano, Mount St. Helena. Robert Louis Stevenson State Park , 7 miles north via SR 29, offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking.
Hit the road and go for a drive. Calistoga is the southern end of an approximately 95-mile stretch of SR 128 that runs northwest. Past Cloverdale it enters the Anderson Valley and then skirts Navarro River Redwoods State Park before ending at SR 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, a couple of miles south of the oceanside hamlet of Albion. In the opposite direction, SR 29 runs south from Calistoga through the equally scenic heart of the Napa Valley to the town of Napa.
Visitor InfoCalistoga Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center 1133 Washington St. CALISTOGA, CA 94515. Phone:(707)942-6333 or (866)306-5588
Things to SeeThe Petrified Forest
Hot Air BallooningCalistoga Balloons
WINERIESBennett Lane Winery