Visiting Calistoga

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Visiting Calistoga with a 5 year old

May 2013

Hello, I'm going to Calistoga for a few days with my husband, his mother and our five- year-old. Can you recommend things to do in the area with a five-year-old? Also, can you recommend restaurants in the area that are good and would be okay for a child? He's pretty well behaved and will eat a lot of different foods. However, he doesn't do too well with long waits and I would rather not go anywhere where children are not welcome. Thanks for your suggestions

PS: I forgot to ask about about wine tasting in the Calistoga area! We would like to go one afternoon. We will be there during the week if that makes a difference. My prefernce would be to take a tour where someone else drives but we can drive ourselves in the tours are too touristy. We'd prefer to visit small wineries if possible. Any recommendations? I think that 2-3 stops would be plenty. Thanks again

We like Gott's in St. Helena - not far from Calistoga. There is also one in Napa. Definitely kid- friendly fare. There are great playgrounds in yountville and Napa that are worthwhile to stop at. Both are off hwy 29. The Napa one is called Playground fantastico and is terrific. For a lovely drive, stay on 29 past Calistoga towards Geyserville. Gorgeous. If you don't mind a small drive, Safari west in Sonoma on Porter creek road about 15 mins from Calistoga is a wonderful experience with lots of animals. Enjoy! Kiddie Koncierge

Bring a picnic lunch and go to the Old Faithful Geyser to see the geyser and feed the goats! There is also that ridiculous Castle (Castillo di Amarosa)that is fun to walk around for kids or Sterling winery that has the tram. Both are sort of wander around yourself tours, so you can go as fast or slow as you want, the adults can booze it up, while kid can explore. Wine isnt great at either. Ive never been, but the Petrified Forest is recommended to see with kids that age. Sierra

Hot Springs or Calistoga with a toddler

Feb 2012

Do you have recommendations for a peaceful retreat with natural hot springs and perhaps access to nature that would welcome a toddler (18 months) and costs less than a fortune? What are your favorite Calistoga resorts or hotels? A rare few days off is approaching and I'd like to bring my family to a hot spring. We were looking at Harbin but they only allow children in the camping area and it is 43 degrees there now... We thought Calistoga could be a good alternative but aren't familiar with any of the options there. Thanks! - hopeful soaker

The best spot in Calistoga is Indian Springs. It's not cheap, but if you could go mid-week that would help, and many of the cottages come with small kitchenettes, which can help keep costs down since you could bring your own food. They have a HUGE pool, and it's very kid friendly (both in attitude, and physically, it's got a sloping entry instead of stairs, so nice big shallow area).

I have heard that Calistoga Spa Hotel just did a big renovation and now has a kiddy pool. I've never been there, because the hotel-style rooms seem not conducive to having a kid with an early bedtime, which we do (not sure where we'd hang out after 7 when she's asleep). L.

Indian Springs in Calistoga for sure! They have a great large naturally heated outdoor pool which is great for kids, and nice mud/massage treatments for you. You can rent a cabin there as well, easy walking to restaurants and downtown. have fun

We love Calistoga; our favorite spot is Calistoga Spa Hot Springs. It's right behind the hardware store, downtown. Easy walk to everything. Pools (large hot tub, warm pool, big pool, and kiddie pool) were remodeled in the fall, very kid-friendly. It's a bit expensive, but very nice. Rooms are older, but clean and pleasant. Spa treatments & gym facilities available. Our other favorite, Calistoga Village Inn & Spa, is apparently working on all its pools (per their website), so don't stay there right now. heidilee

Calistoga is great for kids. I like the Calistoga Spa and Hot Springs-they have 4 pools-one hot, one warm, one lap pool, and a baby/toddler pool. It's very relaxing. anon

Girls weekend in Sonoma/Calistoga

June 2011

A girlfriend and I are looking for a place to spend a weekend away. We're thinking Sonoma or Calistoga but are open to suggestions of anywhere within 2 hours of the east bay. We'd like to go somewhere where we can have spa treatments and delicious food/cocktails - some place with a spa and excellent restaurant both on site would be ideal. We're less interested in seeing the sights than in having some time to sit next to a pool, sip some drinks and blab. Thanks for any recommendations! Rockridge mom looking forward to a getaway

Solage! Solage! Solage! Genevieve

Best Calistoga hotel for kids?

April 2011

Looking for recent advice...We just spent 2 nights enjoying the four mineral pools at the Calistoga Spa and Resort, but came away wondering if there is a less expensive place that would still be clean and family-friendly, with a couple of pools for the kids to swim & play in...Does anyone have a favorite place in Calistoga to take their kids overnight? We like walking to Lincoln St., but could drive a few minutes...We spent nearly $250 per night, and are wondering if there's a better bargain out there... Thanks! Berkeley mom of 3

We have a 3 year old and always stay at the Calistoga Spa Hot Springs. Our favorite feature, if you're an adventurous parents, is that you can request a room on the ground floor just outside the pools and bring a baby monitor. Once our son is sleeping (not so much now that he's mobile) we can slip into the tub for one last soak at night with the baby monitor right next to us on the edge of the tub. Also, every room has a kitchenette. jaime

We have taken our now-5-year-old to the Calistoga Village Inn & Spa since he was a baby. They have natural pools there including one that is just warm enough for little kids. It's cheap too. A tad rundown but funky in a fun way. We like it. Lisa in Oakland

Quiet spa getaway for tired mom

Dec 2009

I've been healing from horrible pain and severe stress in my life. I've been offered a holiday gift of a several-day spa visit to help me get some downtime from my family and heal more. I'm looking for an economical place close to the East Bay, but I'm not familiar with CA yet. Can anyone recommend a quiet place(s) where I can stay for 1-3 nights and go to mud baths, massages, hot springs, etc., preferably with a healthy menu/restaurant nearby? I would be going alone and not looking for a social experience, but rather a reflective one. Thanks! Tired Mom

Calistoga is about an hour away, and has all those things. Indian springs is probably the nicest place, but not cheap. The Calistga Spa is more reasonable, and has great pools. Roman spa is also nice. The town is very sweet, and there's good hiking nearby. It's very much a place where you can be alone and be nurtured. love calistoga

Earlier recommendations 

Nov 2009

Re: Birthday getaway with girlfriends

Calistoga is a great place to get away with friends, it's a little over an hour from Berkeley. Very relaxing. Nice main street with restaurants, bookstore, clothing shops. State park to go hiking, and then the spas, of which there are many. Most have midweek specials, esp in winter. Golden Haven, Indian Springs, Calistoga Spa, Roman spa, are all nice. Indian Springs is the most expensive, has a wonderful olympic size pool of warm water. Golden haven is the most reasonable, has nice rooms, but only indoor tubs, but good facials, massages. anon

I just had a weekend with girlfriends, and we went to Calistoga and had a great time. We stayed at Eurospa Inn, which I thought was quite reasonable. Call them up and ask for a spa/room package and they'll work out a deal with you. The place was clean, comfortable and cute enough. They have a patio area where we were able to hang out. Even though it was cold out, it was manageable because they have a little fireplace there. The breakfast that was included was good (they cook all the pastries there, and there was fruit, yogurt, granola, etc.). We all had spa treatments at the attached spa and all were happy with the treatments received. The hotel is walkable to the main area of Calistoga, so once we parked the cars in the hotel's lot, we didn't use them until we were on our way out. So the weekend was all about hanging out, eating good food (would recommend Jole's, kind of pricey but definitely worth it), wandering around the town and on the way home, we stopped at the Napa outlets and shopped. Fabulous!

Indian Springs! See my loooooong post re: the couple going away for a romantic weekend. This place works great for both ideas! mailisha

Feedback - Indian Springs in Calistoga?

April 2007

I have booked a getaway weekend in June for my husband and me at the Indian Springs Spa in Calistoga. Has anybody been or stayed there? They only had the Lodge available (not the bungalow) and I was wondering if it would be nicer to stay upstairs or downstairs. Are their massages and budbaths worth the money? How did you like their spa treatments and just the atmosphere in general? Can't wait to be pampered

I recently went to Indian Springs in Calisotga for a company retreat. We stayed in the lodge upstairs. The rooms were very nice. Be sure to request one away from the road. I had a mud bath and it was fun and relaxing. We also spent a lot of time in the pool, which is warm and inviting. It is within walking distance from all the restaurants and boutiques. We plan on going back. Have fun relaxing! would like to go back

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

Family activities in Calistoga-St. Helena area

October 2006

We'll be in Calistoga and St. Helena for a weekend in mid-October with my kids (2 and 6) and my parents (mid-60s). Any recommendations for activities in the area that would be fun for all of us? Thanks

Obviously the geysers are a must-see! It's fun and low-key, but an amazing natural phenomenon. Two years ago we stayed a weekend in that area and we added a trip to Safari West in Santa Rosa, which is actually fairly close to Calistoga. Though it isn't cheap, it was a great experience. We traveled with my parents (in their seventies) and two small children (3 yrs and 6 mo. old) JOJ

''Old Faithful'' geyser just north of Calistoga is fun for kids of all ages. Also Sterling Vineyard (just south of Calistoga) is reached by an air tram that the kids would probably get a kick out of.

If you're into kitchy things, check out the Old Faithful Geyser ( on Tubbs Lane, near Calistoga. My five year old loves it. Don't miss the llamas and the fainting goats! There's also The Petrified Forest, between Santa Rosa and Calistoga, but I haven't been there in many years. Weekend Adventurer

Nov 2005

Re: A quiet couple days away with kids
Calistoga Spa and Inn is also great-very family friendly, 4 different pools (hot, warm, cold and baby pools), fun town, only 1 1/2 hours away.

May 2005

Re: 10th Anniversary romantic getaway
Check out the Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino, or the Milliken Creek Inn on the Silverado Trail near Calistoga. I've been wanting to try one of them for a long time. They're both splurges and each has a website.

August 2004

re: Destination Spa for two moms

Indian Hot Springs in Calistoga sure is popular - see reviews on the Berkeley Parents Network website. I went there and had a massage and it was INCREDIBLE. Absolutely one of the best I've ever had. The huge, geothermally heated outdoor pool is terrific too. We rented the little house atop the hill with another couple and it was really great (it has a kitchen, too).
Good luck, and congrats! Jennie

Calistoga Spa with no kids

June 2004

I'm looking for a quiet, peaceful spa in Calistoga for myself and 3 girlfriends. This is just for a day visit this summer. We would like a place that offers great massages and perhaps other treatments as well. We do not need to lay out by a mineral pool and want to avoid a noisy family scene since this is a getaway for us without our kids. Thanks! lj

Loved Indian Springs. I only went there pre-kids, though. There were kids out at the outside pool, but they didn't hinder our enjoyment! The mudbath was fabulous and the massage divine! It is a solo activity though . . . not a social time with your friends. Enjoy. wish I could go too

I dindn't see your original post, but I highly recommend Indian Springs. It is the oldest spa in Calistoga. Very nice place! Laurey

Indian Springs is lovely. Anon.

Calistoga spa for couple mudbath

April 2004

I am looking for a place in Calistoga where we can go into mud bath treatment togeather. We are planning to go on our anniversity and it has been a long time since we got to go out without our baby. I've checked the past posting but I couldn't find anything on spa treatment for couple. The places on the posting sounded all nice but their treatments separate the gender to different room. Since we are a hetrosexual couple, we need to find a place where we can have some private space for the treatmetn. Does anyone know such a place? Thanks
needing romantic time

I highly reccomend osmosis. not in calistoga but in the vicinity. check it out at :

My husband and I had wonderful mudbaths together at Golden Haven in Calistoga. They have couples specials... And it was GREAT!! Jen

Go to GOLDEN HAVEN. I believe they are the only spa in Calistoga that allows couples to go into the mud together. It's wonderful!!!!! Enjoy. Do a search on the web for their web site. They offer specials. Shoshana

Golden Haven Inn & Spa offers mud baths for couples. Same room, with 2 separate tubs, side-by-side (I don't know of anywhere that offers couples mud baths in the same tub). Also includes a couple of showers in the room and a hot tub to kick back in afterwards. And this is the thick, hot mud we're talking, not the lighter, mineral mud treatment. Not the creme-de-la-creme of spas, one of the less expensive ones overall, but it was great fun. I've done it both with a girlfriend and with my husband. And I think they will also allow you access to their mineral swimming pool, but check just in case it's for hotel guests only. Possibly Dr. Wilkinson's also offers mud baths for couples? Give them a call, too. Both places are on the main drag there in Calistoga (Golden Haven on the far end by Silverado Trail, Dr. Wilkinson's right in the middle somewhere). Have a great time, you'll feel like a limp noodle afterwards! Christine

Golden Haven has mud baths and massages for couples. We went 4-5 years ago and it was pleasant but not luxurious. But there aren't many spas with couple treatments around, and you get what you pay for. (You could find one of those super-fancy resorts with in-room treatments who would be happy to treat both of you at once, but expect to pay for it.) I checked and the web site has a discount:

The Golden Haven Spa in Calistoga has couples rooms and tubs. And afterward, you will also go to the same room for your wraps and massages as well. The accomodations are nothing fancy, but are clean. They do have some rooms w/large in-room jacuzzi tubs.
wishin i was going

I highly, highly recommend Lavendar Hill Spa. Website is As it says on their site, it's a spa for couples, although I have been there by myself without a probelm. My husband isn't much of a spa person and even he enjoyed it when we got a certificate as a wedding present. The cabins where they do the treatments are very clean and tranquil. They don't have the thick mud baths that get used over and over, instead you choose which treatment you want (mud, seaweed, etc.) and a special mix is added to a ''one time use bath.'' And they clean & sanitze the bathtubs after each use. Even though the place is right on the main road you feel like you've escaped when you sit on the small veranda. When I've gone there's been both female and male massage therapists there, so if you're getting a massage you can get it from whichever you feel most comfortable with. I can't recommend the place enough. anon

Check out Lincoln Ave Spa. My partner and I used to have the couples herbal mud treatment every year for our anniversary. They give you this bowl of warm herbal clay and you cover each other in it and then get into this ''steam tube'' until you are totally relaxed and detoxed and then you shower off. They also have great massages and are pretty reasonable. EB

I've been to Oasis Spa in Calistoga a couple of times. They have reasonably priced mud-baths for couples, but the baths are side by side, not one big bath. Still, you're in the same room, and it's private. They also have mineral baths and massages. You can find them on the web. Enjoy! ryq

Try White Sulphur Springs resort in St. Helena. I believe they have mud baths, and I remember they specialized in couple treatments. The little cottages are really sweet, the pool is nice, and they have a small sulphur hot spring on the property. Maria

We just returned from Calistoga and I picked up a brochure that listed some couple's spas. Here they are:
Golden Haven 707-942-6793
Oasis 800-404-4772
Lincoln Avenue Spa 707-942-5296

Calistoga Restaurants

April 2004

We are going on a weekend trip to Calistoga soon and need restaurant recommendations--I checked the archives, but there wasn't much there. We've been to Catahoula, which is moderately high-end but ok for kids (our group will include several small children), but it's now closed. We're looking for places right in the heart of Calistoga so we don't have to drive. Nomi

A great restaurant in Calistoga is All Seasons, which is right on the main street. Haven't been there with my daughter, but I recommend the food. I had relatives who owned a bed and breakfast there for many years, and it was one of their favorites. It's also a bit pricey, but not much different than the Napa Valley average. Check out the menu while you're there and see what you think. Suzanne

I like the All Seasons restaurant. It's right on the main drag and while it is rather upscale, they were great at accommodating two picky ten year old appetites. I love the salads.

Jan 2004

Re: Day of pampering for friend's 30th birthday
I have a great recommendation for a girls' day out that a friend of mine and I used to do every year for our birthdays (until she up and moved to Portland - darn her!). We used to drive up to Calistoga and go to Indian Springs for mudbaths, massages, wraps, whatever caught our fancy. They have a wonderful choice of services and the best, IMHO, mudbaths in town! Here's the link to their website: After, we would shop around Calistoga for a bit and then go someplace for a fabulous lunch or dinner. The Rutherford Grill is a great place for lunch or dinner - great wine, not too expensive, fabulous food! Indian Springs also has a huge natural hot spring pool that is nice to swim in after your massage. We didn't always do that since our birhtdays are in December and the weather was usually not that great. It's a wonderful and relaxing get-away and I would recommend it highly. In fact, I'm jealous! Can I come? ; ) Have Fun! Nancy

Day trip to Calistoga

Does anyone have a favorite spa in Calistoga (or elsewhere), not to stay the night, but for the hot springs, etc. We're looking for some place to go for the day to relax! Thanks! Raissa

Try Dr. Wilkinsons or Indian Springs. Both are excellent. I like Indian Springs better because they use volcanic ash. Wilkinsons is a bit more down to earth. Molly

I would definitely look into Calistoga inn...there mineral pools are great to relax in, a few kids, but not overrun with them.

My husband and I stayed at the Calistoga Inn in Calistoga about five years ago. They have (had?) no frills rooms - no phone, no TV - but clean and comfortable and affordable for the area. We were very pleased. According to their website, they do not have a minimum stay. See their website at

Additional recommendations received for Harbin Hot Springs

2003 & Earlier

March 2003

Re: Visiting a spa while pregnant
I went to the Calistoga Spa when I was about 6 months pregnant. I was able to do the mineral bath since I could regulate the temperature to my comfort level. I sat in the steam for about 5 minutes, then had a wonderful massage. If they don't have the ''belly'' table, most masseuses can have you lie on either side. The mud bath was out due to temperature and duration. Have a wonderful time. You deserve it! kathryn

Calistoga Spa & Hot Springs has baby pool and bigger pools, outdoor BBQs and spa services. You can hang out at the pools. Very nice to families. Books up very fast and has 3-day minimum in the summer. Mt. Home Ranch near Calistoga is more outdoorsy and somewhat less spa-like, but offers yummy breakfast, trails, river, tennis & vollyball. Merry

We used to go to Calistoga Spa & Resort for day use, because it's very modern & clean, and the large swimming pool + medium warm pool + big hot whirlpool + kiddie pool with waterfall wall are great. It's also right off the main drag--an easy stroll to shops & restaurants. However, they allow day trippers who do not want treatments, who just want pools, so the place fills up to capacity early in the morning and is quite crowded during the summer season. (But if you're getting a treatment, you automatically get to use the pools.)

The Calistoga Day Spa is good and inexpensive. The wood sauna house is not clean, but the tubs and pool are nice and people are friendly but non-invasive. Many Europeans seem to go there. The massage, however, is better at the place on the main drag (forgot the name) that has a little massage supply area in the front. Louisa

Village Inn & Spa

We used to go to Calistoga Day Spa. We've switched to the Village Inn & Spa, a little older, a little smaller, a little worn around the edges, but clean. It has a nice swimming pool, a great, warm kiddie pool, and a partially enclosed hot whirlpool. The treatments are just as good as at the other place, there're grassy picnic areas, and it's NEVER been crowded when we've gone (@8-10 times). They've always allowed me in free, without a treatment (like when I was pregnant) as long as my husband was getting a massage or mud, etc...

Very mellow, comfortable place; you can bring a picnic, just no alcohol or glass in the pool area. One drawback it's a 2-minute drive or a long walk to downtown (it's right next to the Silverado Trail). Have fun! Heidi

March 2003

Re: Visiting a spa while pregnant
When I was pregnant with my first child, I visited the Mount View Spa a couple of times since I had arleady been there for treatments prior to my pregnancies. It is located in Calistoga in the Mount Vew Hotel. You just need to inform them when calling for an appointment that you are pregnant; they have the specially designed pillows to ''hold'' baby. Additionally, they have a yummy restaurant Catahoula which is within the space of the hotel. I do hope you try it; having a massage is always a treat and when you're pregnant, it feels even more wonderful! the website is: [email protected] Eileen

March 2003

Re: Day Spas
I don't know if you want to drive that far, but I don't think it's as much as 1.5 hours... Anyway, I had a fabulous time last fall at Indian Springs in Calistoga. They have mud baths, massages, and I don't know what else, plus a terrific larger-than-Olympic-sized, geothermally heated pool. ( I just enjoyed the pool & a 1/2-hour massage that was a slice of heaven. You can also stay there, which is terrific, too. Jennie

I recommend Indian Springs. You can go and get the treatments (mudbaths, massages, etc.) which includes admission to the pool, or you can pay a fee (not sure how much) to hang out at the pool all day. The pool is Olympic sized, heated mineral water, and feels divine. It's very kid friendly, with lots of kick boards and beach balls for common use. The shallow end is quite extensive. Mollie

I'd highly recommend Indian Springs as a day spa. It's a pleasant and low-key environment and they offer a lot of different spa services (I've just had massages). A huge mineral pool is available to all spa guests. Some of the places in Calistoga are a little run down. Indian Springs is old-fashioned but nicely kept up. Enjoy! Rachele


my favorite place to go is Calistoga. It's less expensive than Napa and less chic also (a bonus really), and it's 5 minutes away from Napa wineries. And it has hotsprings and mudbaths and woods and trails. We've stayed several times at the Roman Inn, which is a slightly tacky 60's motel with outdoor pool (filled with warm mineral water) and 2 indoor hotter pools and a very pretty garden/courtyard. When I've been, there have been lots of retired Europeans there for some reason. It's around $100/night if you get a special - we got one via the chamber of commerce up there but they have AAA too I think. There are also the cool old spas like Indian Springs - they have little cottages and a huge outdoor mineral pool but I don't know the cost. Hope you have fun. Ginger