Calistoga Vacation Rentals: Visitors Guide
Our Calistoga Vacation Rentals Visitors Guide will help you put together the total California wine country escape. While we provide lots of information about the best Calistoga vacation rentals, it’s not all about where to stay. You’ll find details on the top Calistoga attractions, travel tips, and much more to help you plan the best wine country vacation possible.
The Wine Stay offers curated vacation experiences to enhance your stay, such as personalized boutique wine tours and wine tastings, private dinners by 5-star chefs, and local guides who can lead you on fun outdoor adventures. The possibilities are practically endless.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Restaurants & Dining
- Wine Tasting and Tours
- The Wine Stay Wine Tours
- In-House Sommelier and 5-Star Chef
- Local Spas
- Hot Air Balloon Rides
- Outdoor Activities
Calistoga Vacation Homes For Rent
Browse a selection of beautiful vacation homes available for rent in Calistoga. You’ll find everything from cozy countryside retreats set across tranquil grounds to magnificent estates with swimming pools and all sorts of luxurious amenities.
Tranquil Calistoga Retreat
Back from the road, down a quiet country lane, you’ll find a little bit of heaven. Sense the expansiveness and surrender to the tranquility. This comfortable retreat encompasses almost 2 acres, with a seasonal creek and pastoral vistas.
- 3 Bedrooms
- 3 Bathrooms
- Max Capacity: 8 Guests
How To Choose The Right Wine Country Vacation Rental
Choosing the best place to stay is one of the most essential ingredients to any wine country vacation. While a hotel may be the first option that comes to mind, having your own vacation rental home brings many perks that often make it the better choice.
A hotel room can be cramped for more than one or two people. A vacation rental property provides space to stretch out for everyone, including families with children and larger groups. It provides a lot more privacy along with the comforts of home, like a fully equipped kitchen, allowing you to save on dining costs.
Of course, choosing the right place to stay can make all the difference in any vacation. These are the factors you’ll want to consider when searching for a vacation rental in Calistoga.
Create a list of both must-have amenities and amenities you’d like to have but can live without. For example, most travelers consider Wi-Fi to be a top priority in order to stay connected, whether it’s to post vacation photos on social media, to check work emails, to play video games, or to find local info.
While needs and wants can vary significantly, the amenities that are often ranked as priorities among those searching for a vacation home rental include the following:
Outdoor BBQ grill
Cable or satellite television and streaming services
Fully equipped kitchen
Outdoor living and dining spaces
Location is key — if you plan to spend a lot of time downtown, booking a Calistoga vacation home rental that puts you in the heart of the action means you won’t have to spend as much time behind the wheel. For those seeking relaxation and tranquility, perhaps napping in a hammock with only the songs of the birds, something further out may be ideal. Either way, consider how close the vacation home is to the points of interest and attractions that intrigue you the most.
Photos are essential. If there are only a few, they aren’t clear and well-lit, or seem incomplete in any other way, it may be a red flag. You want to know what you’re looking at is truly what you’ll be getting during your stay. Closely scrutinize all the photos searching for signs of cleanliness and upkeep as well as potential views from various spaces in the home, indoors and out.
Reading the reviews will reveal a lot about the property, so be sure to do so carefully. Prior guests will give you the best indication about what the home and its surroundings are really like. Look for consistency – if the majority of reviews are positive, that’s a good sign. The negative ones usually aren’t a big red flag as there are almost always some guests who simply can’t be pleased. Think carefully about what’s being said about the entire experience, from the rental manager or owner to the amenities and the overall atmosphere.
Some vacation rental agencies offer more than just the home. Some provide concierge services and special experiences, including everything from doing your shopping and arranging transportation to providing sommeliers, private chefs, and spa services that you can enjoy from the comfort of your vacation rental. For example, The Wine Stay can arrange for customized wine pairings, personal yoga instruction, and private professional massage, as well as fun tours like guided hiking and biking or even a hot-air balloon ride.
Hotel or Rental Home – Which Is Right for You?
Can’t decide whether you should book a hotel room or rent a vacation home? Our blog post, “Vacation Home Rental or Hotel — Which Is Better for You?” can help you make the best decision for your needs by comparing the advantages of these types of accommodation.
Calistoga Travel Tips
Is Calistoga the right spot for you? Calistoga lies at the north end of the Napa Valley, providing tranquil, small-town ambiance and a laid-back wine country getaway. Its natural hot spring spas can take relaxation up a notch, while vineyards and grapevines can be enjoyed in the surrounding countryside. Although small, it offers many shops and restaurants.
Best time to go. With its mild climate, whenever you decide to go to Calistoga, chances are the weather will be pleasant, although it’s generally best in the spring and fall. September and October are often idyllic, and you’ll be able to visit the wineries when they’re in full production mode, but spring can be wonderful too with few tourists and little traffic. If you visit during the winter, you might find yourself the only person in a winery, especially during the middle of the week, which means tasting room hosts will have more time to talk with you about the wines.
Plan ahead. Unless you’ll be visiting in the wintertime, keep in mind that hotels and vacation home rentals can sell out months in advance. If you wait too long to book, you’ll probably pay a lot more, or you might not be able to find a place to stay at all.
While we’ve noted some of the pros and cons to coming in every season, the monthly average temperatures for Calistoga are listed below in Fahrenheit.
- Highs: upper 50s
- Lows: upper 30s
- Highs: low 60s
- Lows: low 40s
- Highs: upper 60s
- Lows: low 40s
- Highs: low 70s
- Lows: low 40s
- Highs: upper 70s
- Lows: upper 50s
- Highs: upper 80s
- Lows: low 50s
- Highs: low 90s
- Lows: mid 50s
- Highs: low 90s
- Lows: mid 50s
- Highs: mid 80s
- Lows: low 50s
- Highs: upper 70s
- Lows: mid 40s
- Highs: mid 60s
- Lows: low 40s
- Highs: upper 50s
- Lows: mid 30s
While Calistoga is a small town, there are plenty of transportation options available to help you make the most of your wine country vacation. This map may be of assistance as well.
Most visitors get around Calistoga using their own vehicle, but most of the major car rental companies are available at the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, about a 30-minute drive away. You can also rent a car right at the airport when flying into San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK) and Sacramento (SAC). Avis and Enterprise-Rent-a-Car both have offices in Napa as well.
The Wine Stay can arrange for a personal driver to pick you up at your arrival airport or drive you around wine country so that you can enjoy tasting without having to worry about who will do the driving. Plus, drivers don’t just help you to get around, they can provide fun and interesting insights that you wouldn’t get if you were on your own.
Two Wheels or Two Feet
The downtown Calistoga area is small, so walking is really the best way to explore it. Bicycles are a good way to get around too, particularly if you want to venture a bit farther from town. A bike path links Dunaweal Lane to the east end of Washington Street, including a number of wineries like Sterling, Cuvaison, Paoletti, Twomey and Clos Pegase.
Things To Do In Calistoga
Restaurants & Dining
Calistoga may be a small town, but it offers lots of culinary delights with everything to exciting new eateries helmed by up-and-coming chefs to longtime staples. These are just a few of our favorite places we recommend sampling while enjoying your Calistoga vacation home rental.
Solbar at Solage Calistoga
Al fresco dining on Michelin-star cuisine, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We highly recommend the silky lemon ricotta pancakes for breakfast and Périgord black truffles at dinner.
Sam’s Social Club at Indian Springs
Popular for breakfast in a casual setting that offers outdoor dining with a picturesque view, the Eggs Benedict is delicious yet healthy featuring smoked salmon, kale, tomatoes, and a hollandaise sauce.
A great pick for lunch, this Italian restaurant sits inside an 1888 building and offers wood-fired pizzas along with homestyle Italian fare.
This upscale café is a locals’ favorite for brunch, served every day of the week. Susie’s Remedy is a great choice for those who’ve overindulged on the area’s wine, featuring sunny side up eggs, chopped bacon, melted leek fondue, fontina, and hasselback potatoes.
Enjoy dinner under the stars on the wisteria-draped patio at this French/Creole bistro. The menu features items like blue crab bisque, shrimp etouffee, and Parisian gnocchi.
Brannan’s offers a fabulous happy hour daily from 3pm to 6pm, which includes light snacks like mac and white cheddar cheese. For dinner, it’s steakhouse classics like steak tartare and slow-cooked ribs.
Buster’s Southern BBQ & Bakery
A casual favorite, the menu features authentic Louisiana-style barbecue – we recommend the tri-tip or pork ribs.
Calistoga Inn Restaurant and Brewery
Calistoga isn’t just about wine. If you’re looking to switch things up and enjoy a cold pint, head to Calistoga Inn Restaurant and Brewery. It brews four main beers, a porter, red ale, pilsner and Calistoga wheat ale. There’s an outdoor patio with a firepit and live music every evening from May through October.
Wine Tasting and Tours
A wine country vacation wouldn’t be the same without tasting some of the finest wines in the country. While there are countless options right in Calistoga, some of our favorite wineries include:
Vincent Arroyo Winery
Tamber Bey Vineyards
Castello di Amorosa
Tedeschi Family Winery
Clos Pegase Winery
Pride Mountain Vineyards
The Wine Stay Wine Tours
There are hundreds of wineries to choose from in this region in addition to the list above. It can be hard to know where to begin, so joining a wine tour is arguably the best way to experience all those delicious wines. No longer will someone in your party have to serve as the “designated driver.” A driver will pick you up right at your vacation home in a luxury vehicle so that everyone can enjoy sampling world-class wines. We arrange an unforgettable wine tour, The Wine Stay way.
Travel in a Maserati if your party is four or less, or a Mercedes luxury van for larger groups of five or more. Your private driver will bring you through the vineyards and oak-dotted hills of scenic wine country, visiting a few destination wineries that are handpicked just for you by The Wine Stay’s own sommelier. Our expert will put together the ideal customized itinerary based on your personal tastes. In between the tastings, you’ll listen to an audio recording of our sommelier who shares interesting details about the region to enrich your wine-tasting experience. Each wine tour is personally tailored and even includes a picnic basket lunch along with other perks. You can read more about it at The Wine Stay here.
In-House Sommelier and 5-Star Chef
The Wine Stay offers guests the chance to enjoy a special dinner right in their vacation rental, complete with wine. We can arrange for a 5-star chef to prepare and serve a meal just for you and your party, along with a sommelier who will pair and serve the wine to complement the meal.
The Napa Valley region, and particularly Calistoga, thanks to its healing thermal hot springs, is also renowned for its spas.
Indian Springs Resort Spa
Enjoy sipping local wines alongside a mineral pool fed by onsite geysers and indulging in treatments that include famous mud baths, massage, scrubs and facials.
Located at Solage Resort, the Spa Solage offers a variety of luxurious treatments, including renowned Calistoga mud and mineral water therapies.
Indian Springs Resort Spa
Relax in the hot springs pol and take advantage of treatments like mud baths and couples’ massage.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
The Napa Valley is one of the world’s top destinations for hot-air balloon rides thanks to its mild climate and picturesque views that include endless rolling hills and vineyards. There may be nothing better to enhance your luxurious private vacation home stay than floating above it.
This adventure can be arranged starting at dawn, under the early morning light when the air is still and opportunities for picture-perfect photographs are many. Transportation to and from the site is optional. Contact The Wine Stay for more details.
A Calistoga vacation home rental is not only ideal for wine enthusiasts, but for those who want to get active in the great outdoors. In and nearby Calistoga you can enjoy everything from hiking, biking and horseback riding to golf, nature walks, kayaking and canoeing. The Wine Stay can organize it all for you, including guided tours, but if you’d like to head out on your own, here are a few ideas to help.
Hike at Robert Louis Stevenson State Park
This park, named for the author of Treasure Island who honeymooned here in 1880, offers a variety of hikes for all levels, including the 2-mile round-trip Table Rock Trail with vast scenic views of the valley.
Ride a horse at Owen Ranch
Just over 17 miles north in Middletown, Owen Ranch provides trail rides for everyone from beginners to the advanced.
Local Laws & Regulations in Calistoga
Nothing can ruin a perfect vacation like running afoul of local laws. Here are a few tips to keep you informed while enjoying your Napa Valley vacation rental.
Legal Drinking Age
The legal drinking age in California is 21. Guests must also be 21 years of age or older to participate in wine tastings. Some wineries are more family friendly than others and may allow underage children to enter the winery but not participate in tastings. Contact the winery or your concierge for more details.
Alcohol Sales & Consumption
The legal age to purchase alcohol in California is 21. According to California state law, alcohol may be purchased between the hours of 6:00am to 2:00am any day of the week.
Napa County regulates the acceptable amount of noise on vacation rental properties to ensure a pleasant experience for residents and guests.
- Quiet hours must be observed between 10:00pm and 7:00am.
- Outdoor amplified sound is not allowed at any time.
- Continual nuisance barking from unattended pets is prohibited.
History of Calistoga
Calistoga, and the entire Napa Valley, was once the home of a significant population of indigenous people. The Wappo inhabited the area around Calistoga under Spanish colonization in the late 18th century, with the natural hot springs considered sacred healing grounds. The first American settlers began arriving in the 1840s. Samuel Brannan, the leader of a Mormon settlement expedition who published San Francisco’s first English language newspaper, the California Star, was fascinated by the area’s natural hot springs and purchased over 2,000 acres here in 1885. He intended to build a spa similar to New York’s Saratoga Springs and boasted that he was going to create the “Saratoga of California.” He sliced the names together, calling it Cal (is) toga, with the middle syllable added for euphony.
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