For the longest time, the idea of a prefect vacation was the one with no cellular network. I was under the impression that unless a place is THAT remote, it wouldn’t be as relaxing and as rejuvenating. And then I visited Calistoga, which busted that myth for me. Situated in the ever-so-gorgeous Napa valley, Calistoga is a small town known for two things – It’s hot springs and of course the famous Castello di Amorosa, a Tuscan castle that instantly transports you back to Italy with its glorious towering walls and the medieval paintings. Situated a mere 30 minutes from Downtown Napa, this gem has so much to offer.
There are three airports that lie in about a 100 mile radius from Calistoga that makes it a perfect destination even for people outside California.
From Sacramento, CA – 85 miles/1.5-2 hours
From San Francisco, CA – 70 miles/1.5 hours
From San Jose, CA – 110 miles/2 hours
Best time to visit:
Since Napa valley is inland, it gets REALLY HOT starting as early as April, so it is best to visit during Fall/Winter or Early spring if you don’t enjoy the heat. Also, the hot springs can be better enjoyed when it’s a little chilly outside so that’s my recommendation. I have visited during March and July and I found March to be the perfect in terms of weather.
Things to do:
While there’s a plethora of things to do in Calistoga, here’s a list of tried and tested recommendations from yours truly:
Visit Castello Di Amorosa and do a wine tasting tour:
This one’s a no brainer. I would visit any castle irrespective of whether they sold wines or not, so this one gets extra brownie points for their amazing wine selection. I’m not a wine connoisseur in any way, but I actually started enjoying wine only after their wine tour, so that’s something. The castle is huge and you can actually finish your wine tour, walk around the castle grounds and through the vineyards and even have a picnic under a tree and soak all the beauty in. Their wine – La Fantasia is my favorite of all time so give that a try if you are there 🙂 There’s enough to do for at least half a day in this gorgeous castle, so this one definitely tops the list.
Get yourself a spa treatment:
If you ask me if I would travel all the way to Calistoga to get a spa or soak in the mineral pools, I probably wouldn’t. But if you are there, this is something that’s worth indulging. There’s a multitude of places that offers state-of-the-art spa services so you can choose one which fits your budget. Golden Haven offers Mud baths for $85 per hour which is a unique experience and probably worth trying once. The Calistoga Spa hot springs hotel boasts a huge mineral pool which you have access to if you stay at the property for $400 per night, so it’s a good option when you are looking for a Girl’s Spa day out.
Visit the Old Faithful Geyser:
If you haven’t been to any of the Geysers or if you have parents visiting, you can take them to the Old Faithful geyser that’s situated right in the middle of Calistoga. The entrance is about $35 and it includes a farm with Alpacas and a variety of goats/sheep (fun for the kids!) and a bunch of tents perfect for a little picnic (during the Fall/winter months) and a small museum that talks about Volcanos and Geysers and all that cool stuff.
Take a Hot Air Balloon ride over Napa Valley
Located about 20 miles from Napa, Yountville offers early morning Hot Air ballon rides over the gorgeous Napa Valley for about $200 per person. Even though it is on the expensive side, it is a once in a lifetime experience and well worth it in my opinion. Tip: Take the early morning (5.30 AM) ride if you want to avoid the scorching sun when you are up in the air.
Other than the above recommendations, you can also take a stroll around the cute Calistoga Downtown which has amazing restaurants and also visit Downtown Napa which is 20 miles from Calistoga ( It has my favorite Mediterranean restaurant Tarla whose eggplant dish is the tastiest I’ve had!) or also take the Wine train if it is a special occasion!
I also wanted to share my outfit from my recent Napa trip which included these High-Waisted Corduroy pants in Mustard and this rainbow top. These are easily going to be my favorite summer staples for all the warmer days to come and I love how versatile this top can be with Skirts as well! Lo and behold, the bamboo bag is back with a bang! 😀
Pants – ASOS
Top – Reformation
Bag – Cultgaia
Location – Calistoga Ranch
Thanks for stopping by and hope you found a tip or two from my visit ❤
Until next time,