The first non-native settlers began arriving in Calistoga in the 1840s, soon discovering the volcanic hot springs that sprung from the earth north of town. In 1862, Samuel Brannan opened the first hot springs resort of grand scale, catering to the San Francisco wealthy. To provide easy transportation to the resort, he established the Napa Valley Railroad company, laying track from San Francisco to Calistoga.
The largest of the northern Valley towns, Calistoga is now home to over 5,000 people. Recognized for its premium wineries, Calistoga is celebrated for the healing properties of its hot springs and mud baths consisting of volcanic ash and mineral spring water.
For unique winery experiences, Sterling Vineyard’s hilltop gondola takes you through the Mediterranean-style chateau at the base of Mount St. Helena. Chateau Montelena Winery is tucked away on a quiet hillside with gorgeous gardens. Castello Di Amorosa, built to resemble a 13th century Tuscan castle, has 107 rooms with a drawbridge and secret passageways, adding to the allure of this unique winery. Highly-rated Solage is a boutique hotel and spa and houses Solbar, a Michelin-rated restaurant. Aternatively, Chateau de Vie is a French provincial-style guest house where peace and quiet await you.