Riverfront Bed and Breakfast with Microbrewery in Napa Valley
There are few spots as serene as California Wine Country, and the 132-year-old Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery provides a front-row seat. Set along the banks of the Napa River, the inn houses a microbrewery that is open year round.
During the day, you can explore the numerous sprawling vineyards near the inn. In downtown Calistoga, you'll enjoy a tasting at August Briggs Winery. Pop up to its marble-top bar in the tasting room to sample chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. For a draft of something frothier, head back to the hotel, where the onsite Napa Valley Brewing Company produces Calistoga wheat ale, pilsner, and seasonal brews. The $20 dining credit included with this Getaway is valid at the riverfront restaurant and brewery, where chefs prepare lamb shanks along with steamed clams and mussels. Guests can sip drinks at the patio bar or head indoors to the pub to watch sports on five high-definition TVs.
Stationed on the second floor, the inn's 17 guest rooms have shared baths—showers and restrooms are located down the hall—and are simply adorned with white wood-frame beds and pedestal sinks. The cottage unit, located on the first floor, has a private bathroom. The rooms have neither phones nor televisions, leaving you with more of the peace and quiet needed to construct origami swans from the sheets.
Calistoga, California: Down-to-Earth Hamlet in Northern Napa Valley
The story goes like this: 19th-century developer Samuel Brannan wanted to create a West Coast version of Saratoga Springs (renowned at the time for its mineral spas), but he had been drinking when he made the announcement and so the name came out garbled as the "Calistoga of Sarifornia." This origin myth sounds a little fishy, but nevertheless, Brannan's vision of creating a relaxing and therapeutic Napa Valley getaway was eventually realized. Thanks to the area's natural hot springs, a slew of spas sprang up, offering restorative mineral soaks and mud baths. You can still find many such businesses peppered among the restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries lining Calistoga's quaint, quiet main street, which is set against a backdrop of rolling hills.
Those hills are home to some of Napa Valley's more than 400 wineries, many of which lie within a short drive of downtown Calistoga. The curious wine lover can choose from a wide array of vineyard experiences, ranging from tours to tastings at wineries modeled on English castles and Tuscan villas. One word of warning: many of these places require reservations, so be sure to book in advance.