A weekend trip to Calistoga

It had only been a few months since we last took a weekend trip to Santa Barbara, but after the stress of the last month (we're ok, really!), not to mention the ridiculously cold and windy spring weather we've been having, Sean & I decided that we were in need of a long weekend of rest and relaxation. Our goal: to lounge by a pool, bask in the sunshine, and maybe roll out to a winery or nice dinner (or a few). With that in mind, we were lucky enough to snag a last-minute hotel reservation in Calistoga, which is one of our favorite little towns in Napa County. Here's where we went and what we did over Memorial Day weekend.

What to do

What makes Calistoga so unique is that it sits on a hot spring, so the number-one thing to do there is go to one of the several hotels or spas that feature geothermal pools and/or mud baths. Don't worry—the hotels and spas all filter and chlorinate their water so you don't smell like sulfur. Our hotel had three different pools at various temperatures—I preferred the medium one at night and the coolest by day—as well as a spa, although we didn't go to that. The Visit Calistoga website lists all of the spas in town in case you need help deciding which ones to hit. 

Calistoga is in northern Napa Valley, so naturally there are a bunch of wineries nearby. You can drive to a bunch of more traditional Napa properties, but Calistoga has a bunch of tasting rooms in town, so I think part of the fun is walking from place to place (and not having to worry about driving). One of my favorite tasting rooms is Tank Garage Winery, where a couple of my friends are members, and yes, it's housed in an old garage. Tank is unique in that instead of growing their own grapes on land that they own, they buy grapes and make the most interesting blends they can create—and rarely do they make the same blends twice. They also get bonus points for really cool labels, although all of their wines are tasty. 

We also tried Lola Wines, which was recently on the San Francisco Chronicle's top 50 wineries list. Lola is more of traditional winery, but they grow a lot of unconventional grapes, like malvasia blanca (which is freaking delicious). The wines are delicate (and affordable!), and their newly opened back patio is magical. We bought a bottle of nearly everything we tasted, and we'll definitely be back. 

Where to eat

My favorite place to eat in Calistoga is Sam's Social Club at Indian Springs—the food is super fresh and their patio is so serene—but it's not dog friendly, so on this trip we only had takeout, which was still incredible (they make the best green smoothie I've ever had). Our other go-to is the Calistoga Inn, more for the expansive outdoor seating area than the food, although Sean always enjoys their house-made beer. We got surprisingly good pizza and salad from Palisades Eatery for lunch one day, and Cafe Sarafonia is a classic for brunch. Our favorite spot of the trip, though, was Lovina, which is in a historic old house (although we sat outside) and has the same owner as Zazie in San Francisco. 

Where to stay

We brought Zuni with us, which limited our hotel options, but we were happy with the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, which was renovated a few years ago into a very hip Wes Anderson look. We had a deluxe king room, which came with a cute built-in banquette that can be converted into a bed (a good option if you're traveling with kids). The pool area is super chic in a Miami lite kind of way, with a bunch of lounge beds and cabanas; I loved that they do an Adult Swim twice a day, in the early afternoon and late at night, when the pools are filled with wine-sipping grownups. (One thing to note: dogs are not allowed in the pool area, so if you're traveling with one, plan accordingly.) There's a bocce ball court, a bunch of hammocks and fire pits, and, yes, a spa; their restaurant was unfortunately not open while we were there, but they do have wine, beer, and snacks for sale in the lobby. The one drawback is that the Motor Lodge is at the very end of town, although they do have free cruiser bikes for guests to borrow, and Sam's Social Club (at Indian Springs, where we usually stay) is thankfully quite close. 

I love Calistoga so much, I'd totally consider retiring there someday (or getting a second home there if the option arises). It's so much more mellow than the rest of Napa, and it has so many great restaurants, wineries, and spas. I highly recommend spending a few relaxing days there any time of year! 


Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

Oh fabulous! Isn't it great to get away from now and then. I love your green dress! Have a great weekend!

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

All that food (and wine!) looks really delicious! I have yet to go to wine country in CA! Your pup looks like he had fun, too. Love your puffy sleeves!


Mica said...

Looks like such a fun trip and I love the green dress! it's so good your dog could join you too! :)

Away From The Blue

Lovely said...

Sounds like a perfect getaway! Love that green dress!

Laura B said...

This looks like such a fun trip! I love your pretty green dress!

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Oh wow, Cheryl, it looks like you had an amazing time and some much needed pampering and relaxation. I am absolutely dying over your green dress! I have seen it featured on a few other blog posts as well and have been making my way here to comment! I love it!


stylesplash@live.co.uk said...

That looks like a very relaxing trip. I love your green dress! Thanks for linking up!

Emma xxx

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