People from around the world flock to Calistoga, and while it’s a tourist destination, there’s still a small-town feeling here that welcomes guests, making them feel at home on their very first visit.
Situated on the northern tip of Napa Valley and nestled between two mountain ranges, Bay Area residents and tourists have historically visited this quaint historic town for wellness and relaxation. With volcanic mud baths, hot springs, and world-class massage therapists trained in most therapies, Calistoga offers a rejuvenating environment. The vibrant downtown scene features a mix of shops, galleries, restaurants, and wine bars. And with private event venues, live music, community parades, and even a county fair, Calistoga offers entertainment!
Set in the shadow of scenic Mount St. Helena, the region’s rich volcanic soil, hot day time temps and cool nights during the growing season due to breezes from the Russian River, contribute to sought after wine grapes (Calistoga was awarded its own appellation in 2009) and a plethora of local vegetables. There’s an abundance of goodness in Calistoga, making it unique to any other town in the Napa Valley.
In looking at the town’s history – it was the Wappo Indians that discovered the geyser springs in the area, some 500 years ago and referred to the area as “Tu-la-halusi…land of health-giving springs.” Years later, during the gold rush of 1860, a forward thinking pioneer named Sam Brannan officially founded the present day town of Calistoga, and created a town that became synonymous with good health. The town got its name, the story goes, when Brannan claimed he would make the town the Saratoga of California; only it came out “the Calistoga of Sarifornia.” Perhaps he was enjoying a little wine from the region way back then!?
Calistoga’s history is embraced more than that of any other town in the valley – so much so that in 2001, the National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Calistogacastillodiamorosa as one of only twelve Distinctive Destinations, making Calistoga one in an elite group of American communities dedicated to preserving its town’s character and sense of place.
Today, Calistoga is becoming one of Napa Valley’s most desirable playgrounds for the rich and famous, tourists and second home owners from the Bay Area and around the country. In addition to destination wineries such as Castello di Amorosa, and Chateau Montelena and resorts like Auberge Resort’s Solage, there are two new developments in the works that have been recently approved: The Silver Rose Inn and winery (opposite Solage) will be replaced with an 84-room luxury hotel and spa, a restaurant, a 10,000-case winery, a 6-acre vineyard and 21 freestanding homes. And more plans are in the works for another resort that will be nestled in an 88 wooded acres on a hillside on the West side of town. Of course the property will feature a world class spa experience and dining. It will also offer fractional ownership houses, and building sites for private homes.
Calistoga is blessed by distinct seasons with a high proportion of sunny, smog-free days. Nights range from crisp and cool to pleasantly warm in the summer. Annual temperatures range from an average summer high of 92 to an average winter low of 36. Annual rainfall can reach 36 inches.
Area: 2.5 square miles, or 1,620 acres.
Location: 365 feet above sea level at Longitude W122°35′, Latitude N38°35′.
Time zone: UTC-8, PST. Distance from San Francisco: 75 miles
Part of the first Congressional District of California, represented by Mike Thompson (D)
More current census stats can be found here