A small city, situated in the northern part of Napa Valley, Calistoga offers a variety of fun activities and undoubtedly has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in California. People love to unwind themselves in the comforting vibes of Calistoga.
Calistoga attractions include hot springs, mud baths, wineries, and eateries with a scenic beauty that is bound to make every tourist’s vacation pleasurable and adventurous. Spend a perfect time in Calistoga with leisure yet filled with fun.
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Also, if you are a wine connoisseur, Calistoga must be on your bucket list because of its amazing hot springs and wineries. All these wineries are within short distances making it perfect for everyone to travel.
Are you planning a trip to this charming city and don’t know what things to do in Calistoga? Well, worry not.
Here is a list of our handpicked unique things to do in Calistoga, that will make your stay a memorable one for sure.
Let the trip begin!
Fun Facts about Calistoga, California
Every city has its own little hidden gems that add to the beauty of the city even more. Here are some interesting things about Calistoga.
- In the year 1859, Sam Brannan built this city as a health spa because of its natural hot-water geysers and mud springs.
- The name Calistoga is actually a combination of two names California and Saratoga. The founder of the city mistakenly said “ Calistoga of Sarafornia” and hence this interesting name.
- Famous Hollywood actor Adam Sandler shot some scenes of his famous Disney movie Bedtime Stories in this humble city of Calistoga.
- Calistoga is most famous for its artificial geyser which is called “Old Faithful of California” or “ Little Old Faithful”.
Best Things to do in Calistoga
Make your visit to Calistoga a special one with these amazing spots.
A Geyser Visit
If you are in Calistoga, you can’t miss this most popular and iconic spot “ Old faithful Geyser of California”.
You must be wondering why is it called “faithful”? Due to its consistent eruptions of every 30 minutes, it is considered to be one of the faithful geysers in the world. When you are spending a weekend in Calistoga, consider going to “Old Faithful Geyser of California” because of its breathtaking beauty.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway in California, this place will give you an experience of a lifetime. Make sure to get your camera roll ready to capture the beautiful rainbows. Apart from witnessing this beauty, you can also plan a picnic with your family.
This place has both cabanas and picnic tables, or you can sit on the good old grass to have your favorite food and drink to make some great memories here. Bocce courts are also an added advantage to bring some more fun elements to your short little trip in this wonderful place.
Also if you’re unsure what things to do in Calistoga with kids then take them to the geyser and let them soak the beauty of this place. With an animal farm, geology museum, and scenic gardens, kids not only learn about geysers and earthquakes they also get to see the Guard Llamas, Cameroon Dwarf Goat, Jacob’s Four Horn Sheep, and Tennessee Fainting Goat. No wonder why Calistoga is loved by families and kids.
Opening Time: 7 days a week from 8.30 a.m to 6.00 p.m.
Admission Fee: The tickets for adults are priced at $15 while for kids between the age of 4 to 12 it’s for $9.
Tip: Special discounts for students and teachers, senior citizens, and local residents of Calistoga are also available.
Read Next: 10 Top Free Things to do in Sacramento
Relax in Natural Hot Springs
You have planned a surprise for your partner and are looking for romantic things to do in Calistoga, then make sure to visit the natural hot springs of Calistoga. Calistoga and hot springs are synonymous and it promises to give you relaxation and recharge yourself after a busy week.
The place is peppered with pools and spas which is totally unmissable. Put a check on your bucket list of things to do in Calistoga hot springs by planning a romantic night at Calistoga Hot Springs with your partner. The hotel offers top-notch spa services and works as a great stress-buster from all the hustle-bustle of daily lives. Dive into the geothermal mineral pools to calm all your sore muscles, get your blood to rush onto your skin by some rejuvenating mud massages.
Calistoga natural hot springs is one of the best hot springs in California. Do not leave Calistoga without experiencing these relaxing spa sessions and give your body that much-needed love and care.
Wine Tasting Tours
Visiting wineries and wine tasting is one of the top things to do in Calistoga in Summer. Your summers will be super delicious with Castello Di Amorosa’s wine tasting tours. The Tuscan-style architectural building is definitely eye-catching. They offer various tours such as food and wine tours, cheese and wine tours, and popular reserved wine tours. Hop around the vineyards and see how your favorite wines achieve their perfect taste.
Tourists can opt for its two-floors tours which include either a five premium wine tasting menu or a six reserve wine-tasting menu. But if you wish to dig deep into these wineries, you can go for guided tours that will take you to their Grand Barrel Room, Torture Chamber, and Armory.
One of the things to do near Calistoga is going for these unforgettable wine tasting tours as it sits just 3 miles south of Calistoga. This place hosts many interesting wine club events. Make sure to shop some amazing wines from Castello Di Amorosa’s vast collection of wines.
Opening Hour: 9.30 a.m to 6.00 p.m. (Mon-Sun)
Walking in a Forest
Who would have thought that there are so many things to do around Calistoga? This place not only has some picturesque thermal springs and geysers but also has a Petrified Forest. Think of quartz crystal, petrified corals, opalized wood, fossilized insects, and this forest has it all.
The forest was once petrified by a huge volcanic eruption and believe it or not the forest is actually 3.4 million years old. It is worth taking your kids around the forest to let them witness the fossils of some million years old trees.
Take a self-guided walking tour or a mile tour with the guides in this forest. There are three walks at 11 a.m, 1 p.m and 3 p.m. Choose one at your convenience, and visiting the Petrified Forest is one of the best things to do in Calistoga with family.
Hike on a Trail
Not everything comes with a cost. Sometimes it just takes our energy and enthusiasm to make a trip oh so memorable. So if you’re wondering what are the free things to do in Calistoga, do not forget to go for hikes on some beautiful trails at Oat Hill Mine Road or Palisade Trail.
Although hikes can be tiring, all your sweats will be wiped away with the spectacular views that Napa valley has in store. Oat Hill Mine Trail is an easy hike so it’s best for amateur hikers. Paired with some gorgeous views the flat trails are just perfect for hiking for beginners.
However, if you want to go a bit wild and looking for fun things to do in Calistoga, Palisade Trail is your best bet. The round trip of the hike is almost around 10 miles. But the panoramic views of nature are worthy of your time and energy.
So hiking enthusiasts, what are you waiting for? Put on your hiking shoe and get ready for a unique thing to do in Calistoga. If you don’t have any, check out our ultimate list of the cheapest hiking boots with buying guide.
Time to Fly High in a Hot Air Balloon
Being on cloud nine can actually come true if you are in Calistoga. This place will not stop surprising you and a hot air balloon ride is just one of the best things to do in Calistoga to add the spark to your trip.
Calistoga Balloons offer an incredible view of the entire place. You can soar above as high as 2000ft above the ground and capture the striking views of Palisade Cliff, Old Faithful Geyser, Castello Di Amorosa, Mt. Saint Helena, Chateau Montelena, Sterling Vineyards. Start your ride on a beautiful sunny morning and enjoy a delightful journey up in the air.
Couples can avail a private flight from Calistoga Balloons which is one of the top Calistoga attractions. Calistoga Balloons may seem a bit expensive but you will surely be rewarded with an out-of-world romantic experience.
It costs around $2200 for a couple. Most flights depart between 5 a.m to 7 a.m so don’t forget to set your alarm clock early on that day.
Some alternative hot air balloons are available at the price of $209 per person. So you don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket yet touch the clouds. Round up your ride with a mouth-watering breakfast once you hit the ground.
Visit an Art Gallery
For a calming experience make a visit to the Indian Springs Art Gallery and dive down into some art, paintings, and culture. For tourists who didn’t find time during the summer, visiting this art gallery is one of the best things to do in Calistoga in winter.
Although it is part of the Indian Spring Resort, any visitor is welcomed to have a tour of the gallery, and the best thing is it’s completely free.
If you’re an art lover, you would love the unique collection of modern pottery, photographs, sculptures, paintings, and many such valuable art pieces.
Some lucky guests also get an opportunity to interact with the artists directly and observe their work in their studios.
Go for a Bike Tour with Friends
Calistoga also offers to its visitors exciting bike tours that one can enjoy with friends or even go alone. Napa Valley Winery Bike Tour has a bunch of options to choose from- self-guided, guided, private tours, etc.
Biking around the winery and watching all the pastoral beauty is indeed a unique experience in Calistoga. The fun just doubles up when you’re with your friends and take a stroll on the bikes around Napa Valley.
If you want to know more about the history and some facts of the wineries, make sure to pick up the Classic Napa Valley Bike Tour. An experienced guide will take you through from one winery to the winery while pouring in some interesting facts. Solo riders can rent bikes and a map of the whole place to have a wholesome experience on their own.
With Napa Valley’s electric bike tours, your rides are going to be rapid and easy. The electric bike tours start from 9.30 a.m till 3 p.m. It will cost $194 per person. Corporate Bike tour groups are also available here.
Don’t forget to pick up some cute souvenirs such as hats, t-shirts, wine glasses for your loved ones from their store.
Read Next: 10 Best Souvenirs from San Francisco
Camping in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Camping under the canopy of a lush green park is everyone’s dream. Make your dream become a reality with Calistoga’s Bothe-Napa State Park. It is a perfect place for camping in cabins or newly added Yurts, setting up a picnic with friends and families. If you’re looking for dog-friendly things to do in Calistoga, take your pets on the hike trails in this state park.
Begin your mornings with hiking on trails that are surrounded by beautiful trees like redwoods, Douglas fir, tanoaks. Breathe some fresh air and let yourself de-stress in the serene lap of nature.
Read Also: Best Redwoods near San Francisco, CA
Have a family get-together at the spacious picnic grounds offered by the place. Coyote Peak is one spot that one must visit for its amazing valley view. For an easy-going hike, follow the Redwood Trail to visit Ritchey Canyon and soak in the natural beauty of ferns and water streams.
They also have a sister park, Bale Grist Mill which can be reached by following History Trail. The in-house swimming pool of the park makes it a perfect destination for summer camping tours.
Go on a Shopping Spree
While you spend your days hiking or in hot air balloons, you must think about what things to do in Calistoga at night? Well, apart from the picture-perfect natural beauty, wineries, fun activities Calistoga also offers an array of shopping options for its guests. Hunt down the boutique shops in downtown Calistoga to shop some amazing collectibles for friends and families.
All the stores are nearby making it easy for guests to shop while taking a stroll in the surroundings. Calistoga pottery is filled with clay decor pieces. Amp up your culinary skills with the gorgeous platters and dishes that are made with love by their owners. The grapevine ash-glazed dinnerware is a favorite of every tourist.
Another popular gift shop is Blackbird of Calistoga which contains a variety of designer items to make your house a bit more pretty. If you’re a cook make sure to stop at Calistoga Olive Oil Company. You will find a bunch of different types of spices, olive oils, and other interesting products.
During your evening stroll, don’t forget to pick some flavorful chocolates from Flourish Chocolate.
Read Next: 10 Best Swiss Chocolates You Must Try
Where to Eat in Calistoga, California
Sam’s Social Club offers local California food and its beautifully decorated restaurant is certainly worth dining in.
For a quick breakfast, visit Calistoga Roastery and have some freshly-brewed coffee.
Evangeline is the best place to go for dinner if you want to have some French cuisine apart from your regular American cuisine.
Where to Stay in Calistoga, California
Embrace Calistoga is a European Style structured hotel that is the perfect mix of old charms and modern beauty. It has all the modern facilities like free wifi, walk-in showers, fireplace, etc. You can enjoy the view of Calistoga while having a romantic stay at Embrace Calistoga. Book Your Stay Now>>
Indian Springs Resort & Spa offers a luxurious stay with unlimited facilities to its guests making it one of a kind experience. The hotel is spread across a vast area and guests can stay on bungalows or cottages as per their preference. The hotel has everything from mud baths, to Claistoga’s popular thermal spas. Sam’s Social Club is their on-site restaurant. Book Your Stay Here>>
There are just innumerable things to see and do in Calistoga. But with our curated top 10 things to do in Calistoga your time will be utilized in the best possible way. From going to wine tasting tours, to hiking, from hot air balloon rides to relaxing spa sessions, Calistoga has many feathers on its beautiful crown.
Mark the next long weekend on your calendar because now you know what things to do in Calistoga on a weekend.
Calistoga awaits you a fun, adventurous, romantic trip all in one.