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Mar 3, 2007 04:00 PM

Need some ideas for Calistoga trip!

My boyfriend and I are going up to Calistoga for a vacation, and we need ideas on what restaurants/cafes we should go to, what wineries are the best or most recommended, and what other fun things there are to do in the area. We wanted to go to a spa, does anyone know of any good ones? Thanks!

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  1. Indian Springs Spa has this olympic size mineral pool that is amazing when it is cold outside. They have floaties and noodles everywhere. The spa treatments are unisex, but done well. If you want a couples thing then Lavender Hill Spa does couple mud baths.

    When we went up to Calistoga at the end of November, we stayed at the Cottage Grove Inn, which was amazing. We ate at Market and Martini House in St. Helena. Also a great place for sandwiches is Giugni's in St. Helena, be sure to ask for Giugni Juice on your sandwich.

    The place I can't recommend is Cafe Sarafornia in Calistoga. Horrible service. the waitress was rude, my coffee cup had old lipstick on it, and the food was cold. They did bring the food out fast though.

    We really enjoyed our time and I am sure you will also.

    1. I agree about Sarafornia. Miguel's restaurant down the block has some great food in the morning and at night. Wapa Bar is also a great spot.
      Take a trip down to Tubbs Lane. Summers Winery, Chateau Montelena, and Atalon Winery have some of the best stuff and no call ahead needed. Bennett Lane Winery is just a little further north.
      As for the spa's, don't take a mud bath. They clean the mud once a month. Yeah, exactly. Some of the baths have mud baths that they paint on you. A little more sanitary, even for mud. Indian Springs is the way to go.
      Martini House and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St Helena for some night time food.

      2 Replies
      1. re: emmisdad

        We were at Bennett Lane today, it is outstanding. I will admit we are club members but still go up there, the wines are sooo good. I sometimes work at a small wine store and we carry Atalon. Jim, at Bennett Lane turned us on to it and we went right over there, very close by. Aaron, the guy there is from Dallas as are we, so it was a great experience plus super wines at a great price. And, their lab will wear you out throwing the ball.

        Stopped at August Briggs, another super winery up north, be sure to give it a try. It's on the Silverado Trail just south of Calistoga.

        1. re: emmisdad

          Bennett Lane is outstanding, and yes, they charge for tasting but it's worth it.

          About mud baths: I find them distasteful, but adore the enzyme baths at Lavendar Hill Spa
          (a completely different type of experience, almost like being buried in warm wet sand.)

          The restaurants are already well-covered on this site. Please type in Calistoga as your search term, and you will see that even today restaurants were being reviewed by
          Chowhounders. My favorite is Wappo Grill.

          I disagree about Sarafonia. I'm a local and I think the breakfasts are wonderful. The
          service is quick and efficient (it is breakfast, after all) but I have never, ever encountered
          rudeness. It is a very busy spot at breakfast, but the servers do an outstanding job getting
          everyone fed quickly.

          Finally, about wineries in Napa Valley. There may well be 400 now, and they are littered
          up and down Napa Valley. Since you'll be in Calistoga, sample the wines here and in
          nearby St. Helena.

          Have fun and let Chowhound know what you did.

        2. If you're going out there tommorrow, try to get to Regusci Winery on the Silverado trail past Oakville. Great Merlot and Cab and Graham behind the counter is worth the trip. Chimney Rock and Clos Du Val are right next door. All good.

          1. I love this place, absolutely the most beautiful piece of land. They do not do have tastings but you can purchase a bottle and share outside. The property is old school vineyard and there is a lovely picnic table on top of the hill you can have a picnic on with the most beautiful view of the valley that is below.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Lori SF

              The one time we were up there several years ago there was tastings. It is a beautiful place, that's for sure.