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Calistoga just feels a little different from the rest of the Valley. It's somehow more open-faced, more raw, more uncut.

Part of the town's charms come from its unique geology. As famed 19th-century author Robert Louis Stevenson said of Calistoga: ‘the whole neighborhood of Mt St Helena is full of sulfur and boiling springs…Calistoga itself seems to repose on a mere film above a boiling, subterranean lake.'

And indeed, it does. Calistoga is synonymous with mineral water bearing its name, bottled here since 1924, and its springs and geysers have earned it an appropriate nickname: ‘Hot springs of the West.’

The old-fashioned main street lined with quirky shops and diverse characters wandering the sidewalks is the main draw here, as are the wonderful spa treatments to be had in the hot-mud baths that are certain to have some curative powers thanks to the volcanic ash from nearby Mt St Helena.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Calistoga.