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Calistoga, Calif.: Winter Hot Spot

This Napa Valley town keeps the cold at bay with steamy pools and great food and wine.

  • wine bottles sit on bar at the tasting room of Tamber Bey in Calistoga, image
    Photo caption
    The Tamber Bey tasting room offers tasting packages by appointment.
  • fire pit burns in front of entrance to bathhouse at Solage spa in Calistoga, image
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    A fire welcomes guests to the Solage Calistoga bathhouse.
  • fried chicken on a plate with roasted garlic from Solbar restaurant in Calistoga, image
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    Buttermilk fried chicken at Solbar.
  • glasses of wine with cheese and chocolate on table outdoors at Lava Vine in Calistoga, image
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    Lava Vine Napa Valley in Calistoga offers quirky wine tastings.
  • woman in a bath at Mount View Hotel & Spa in Calistoga, image
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    Mount View Hotel & Spa Napa Valley adds mineral-rich mud to its baths.
  • three women in a hot tub laugh together at Golden Haven Hot Springs in Calistoga, image
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    Calistoga’s Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa and Resort is an easy escape.


At the top of Napa Valley, this little town is the perfect place to beat the winter chill with rejuvenating hot springs, soothing spa treatments, warm restaurants, and friendly wineries, all set against a backdrop of grapevines and wooded mountains. Area code is 707.

If a little relief and relaxation is all you want, Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa and Resort offers one of the best deals in town: day use of the hot mineral pool and dual Jacuzzis plus a half-hour massage, all for for $55, even on weekends. 1713 Lake St., 942 8000,

At Mount View Hotel & Spa Napa Valley, the Winter Warmer package starts with a dip in the heated outdoor pool, followed by a 25-minute soak in a bath rich with added mud and a 50-minute massage with seasonal spices. The treatment concludes with a muscle-soothing cedar sauna. 1457 Lincoln Ave., 942-6877,

Along with its signature “mudslide”—a three-part twist on the traditional detoxifying mud bath—Solage Calistoga boasts several cold-season specials. Our favorite is the 80-minute head-to-toe winter facial, complete with a coconut mask, ginger scalp massage, and spiced shea butter foot rub. 755 Silverado Trail N., 266-0800,

Chef Brandon Sharp puts a soul-food spin on California cuisine at Michelin-starred Solbar on Solage’s 22-acre property, serving standouts that include grilled salmon with brown-butter spaetzle and rib-eye steak with crispy potatoes. 755 Silverado Trail N., 226-0800,

Owner and aromatherapist John Cashman distills lavender from Lavender Hill Spa’s own Mount Shasta farm for use in everything from bath treatments to full-body exfoliations. One of his menu’s highlights is the Moroccan facial, which uses rhassoul clay from the Atlas Mountains. 1015 Foothill Blvd., 942-4495,

Expect anything at Lava Vine Napa Valley winery, whether it be pop-up food pairings or winemakers Pete Fitzpatrick and Jon Jones performing on banjo and guitar. All the wine is made in small batches, so vintages such as the spicy 2012 Knights Valley Petite Sirah go quickly, as does the winery’s homemade olive oil. 965 Silverado Trail N., 942-9500,

A visit to appointment-only winery Tamber Bey at Sundance Ranch, a world-class equestrian training facility, is worth the advance planning, whether you choose the tasting paired with savory cookies or opt for the walking tour, which includes a visit with the resident horses. 1251 Tubbs Ln., 942-2100,

Photography by Chris Gramly (Solage Calistoga, Solbar), Becca Henry (Mount View Hotel & Spa Napa Valley), and courtesy of Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa and Resort, Lavender Hill Spa, Lava Vine Napa Valley, and Tamber Bey


This article was first published in November 2014. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.