Trip Plan Details
recommended Solage CalistogaI love treating myself to a spa day but this brought pampering to a whole new level. I took a friend for her birthday and we got the royal treatment - massages, mud treatment, aromatherapy baths, rain ... read moreshower. It was one of the most unique and rejuvenating spa days of my life. The best part was the mud treatment where we had our own heated room. When the right time came, water rained from the ceiling to wash it all off. It was really cool.Summer Wilms
This would be a great place for a mother/daughter spa day. You get your own little villa where you and your mother would get massages, side by side. However, it is rather expensive. Alex's recommendation for Indian Springs would definitely be a very close second choice. Their massage therapists are excellent and it's a bit cheaper.
- Cafe Sarafornia1413 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515recommended Cafe SaraforniaThey claim to have "the best" huevos rancheros ever. I'll have to admit that this fun and quirky little diner on Lincoln Street might just be right about that. They also serve hot drinks in big, deep ... read morecoffee cups which is always a bonus in my book.Summer Wilms
This is a great place for breakfast... maybe before your Calistoga mud bath and massage?
- Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen1327 Railroad Ave, St Helena, CA 94574recommended Cindy's Backstreet KitchenI have had the pleasure of dining at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen twice. The first time was with Gayle as part of a birthday weekend that included a stay at a nearby resort that will be our wedding ... read morevenue. The second time was upstairs as part of an office team event. Cindy's is casual and comfortable, while the food is approachable and delicious. And for Napa, it's all relatively affordable. And they do Macaroni and Cheese right! Last summer, while back visiting family, it was a pleasant surprise to read an article about Cindy Pawlcyn (chef/owner) in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. And sure enough, in keeping to her Golden Valley roots, meals here do offer vegetables and a starch. At the same time, this former Midwest boy is thankful that she hasn't taken it too far to include such delicacies as pork tenderloin, tater tot casserole and of course lime jello mold salad (with embedded fruit cocktail and mayo)! Even comfort food has its limits....Eric Brink
Solid eats among the nice town of St. Helena
recommended Milat VineyardsI visited Milat while doing a typical Napa/Sonoma tasting route, and really enjoyed the small atmosphere and intimate tasting session. One of the owners (I think Bob) gave us the rundown, and man was ... read morehe a talker. He told story after story, all while pouring us drinks and explaining their heritage. We didn't buy a bottle of wine, but we DID buy a chocolate port sauce made by a local chocolatier who wanted to experiment with one of Milat's wines. The result was a delicious, sweet dessert liquid that we ended up using on pound cake with berries. Thanks Milat!
- Homewood Winery23120 Burndale Road, Sonoma, CA 95476-9722recommended Homewood WineryAmong all the well-known wineries in Sonoma, Homewood's tiny tasting-gazebo and tucked away vineyard may seem insignificant. But after tasting their wines, I was so happy to have discovered this ... read morediamond in the rough. Homewood has some of the best wine I've ever tried, hand's down. They specialize in red wine, and do not sell their bottles to any liquor store/restaurant/outside retailer, meaning that you can only buy a bottle on site or online. They have a true passion for wine, evident in how much they want to share it with you - at our free tasting session, they had us try 11 different kinds. If you're in the area, this is not a vineyard you'll want to miss....
- The French Laundry6640 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599recommended The French LaundryI cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed my meal at the French Laundry. The food, the little touches, the service and extreme attention to detail made it one of the most memorable and greatest ... read moremeals I have had. As an example of the service - at one point I was sitting by myself as my dining companion had gone to the bathroom. The sommelier saw me seated alone and stood near my table, chatting with me until my companion returned from the bathroom - now THAT is service!Traci
If you can get a reservation, I highly recommend it!
- Rutherford Hill Winery200 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford, CA 94573recommended Rutherford Hill WineryThe view alone here is worth it. It's up the hill from Auberge du Soleil, so you have the same amazing view without the hefty price tag. The tasting room is an impressively large building that is ... read moreclearly a barn-inspired building, but much more modern. A fun fact is that they have a toy basketball hoop on one of the walls and if you can make a basket from a certain distance, you win a small prize like a corkscrew. Their wines are pretty good as well - so I highly recommend coming up here with a picnic lunch, buying a bottle of wine and enjoying the view.Traci
A great place for tasting but especially for a picnic lunch overlooking the valley!
recommended North Block HotelFormerly known as Hotel Luca, this is a small hotel (I think only 20 or so rooms) just down the street from The French Laundry. The service level here is very high - we stayed here in the off season ... read morein December, and the staff was always very willing to accommodate us. They kept the kitchen open for us one morning when we were late to breakfast, and when we wanted to sit outside although it had rained earlier, they brought out all the cushions from the closet, brought us silverware from the dining room and wiped off all the tables for us. Bonus points for the fresh chocolate chip cookies that they leave next to the bed every night when they do turndown service! The breakfast was included with the room when I was there, and the food is well prepared (limited selection of a couple of egg dishes). We also made use of the spa -- they called in 2 masseuses when we told them we wanted to get massages. The spa facilities are nice with a little spa room to enjoy before or after your spa treatment. There is a great tasting room across the street - Jessup - and Napa Valley Bike Tours is right next door. The location is very convenient for a lot of activities. This was also the perfect walking distance from The French Laundry when we had eaten for 4 hours straight!Traci
Great little hotel in Yountville!
- Bouchon Bakery6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599recommended Bouchon BakeryWow. This place was recommended to me on Gogobot, and when we saw the line out front in the morning we almost skipped it. Good thing we didn't. This place has phenomenal stuff. The chocolate-almond ... read morecroissants were so decadent my mouth is watering just thinking about it - they probably weighed a quarter pound each. We got monkey bread for the kids that was great, and packed off with a couple of sandwiches and macaroons for the afternoon. If you are waiting in the long line, there is a secret express coffee-only line in the back where you can grab a coffee to enjoy while you wait.
- Gott's Roadside933 Main Street, St. Helena, CArecommended Gott's RoadsideGreat lunch spot in Napa. Gourmet burgers and fries. We got a bacon cheese burger (great) and a seared ahi tuna burger with wasabi mayo (even better)! There is a great, grassy seating area out back ... read morewith lots of shade, and there were some tasty looking milkshakes going around (although I didn't have one). They have 3 types of fries - regular, garlic and sweet potato. The regular were good, the garlic were amazing, but *very* strong. While I love sweet potato fries, these were just o.k. - covered with some sort of a celery salt that overpowered the sweet potatoes. But overall this place was a winner.
- Farmstead738 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574recommended FarmsteadMeatballs with buttermilk-soaked breadcrumbs atop carmelized root vegetables. Seriously, I think that's the only thing I really need to say. I could write poetry in praise of these meatballs. You know ... read morehow places boast about being farm to table? Well, Farmstead *is* a farm. Here's my recommendation: Make reservations for no later than 6pm, and come early to go wine-tasting or visit the farm.
- Castello di Amorosa4045 N. St. Helena Highway, Calistoga, CArecommended Castello di AmorosaI spend *a lot* of time in Italy (about a year altogether out of the past 10). My stepfather, whom I love dearly, is just not going to make it to Europe at 77 years old. But I brought him here, and he ... read moregot to feel what it was like to walk through an Italian castle. So worthwhile. They owners took their time getting to know the ins and outs of Italian castle building. The wishing well? Shipped in from Italy. The iron maiden? Authentic. Some of the building materials were created by craftspeople using the old techniques. I'm sorry, but that's just cool. Castello di Amorosa is kind of like Alcatraz for me; sure it's touristy and crowded, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't go. The place can be a madhouse in summer, but go in the off-season (we went right before Christmas) for some elbow room.Alex L
I love this place.
- Indian Springs Resort and Spa1712 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, CA 94515recommended Indian Springs Resort and SpaRelaxation at its finest. My family loves the two- and three-bedroom cottages, mud baths and spa, but my favorite thing here is the olympic-size pool filled with Calistoga mineral water. You can't ... read morespend 10 minutes in here without feeling better. I've had some fabulous massages, and a few so-so ones, but the spa and mud vats are always clean and professional. During the dead of winter, they've often offered free mud baths for a Sun-Thurs stay.Alex L
My mom and I come here for mud baths every few years; so much fun!
- Napa Valley Wine Train1275 McKinstry Street, Napa, CA 94559-1925