24 Hours in Calistoga

However you celebrate Mother’s Day, whether by yourself, with your mom, family, with your daughter, son or with a group of friends and mamas, we always hope it’s a good one!  This year, I headed up to Calistoga with a group of mamas for some pampering and had a blast. 

Any time of year in Calistoga and the wine country is lovely yet springtime has a special place in my heart when everything is in bloom and the sun is shining.  This area is known for its laid-back quaint castle like wineries, hot springs, mud baths and delicious food options.   Since we only had 24 hours in Calistoga, we decided to hit up the Chateau Montelena en route to downtown Calistoga where we then did some strolling, browsing, some more wine tasting at Lawer Estates before landing at our hotel destination at Calistoga Hot Springs Resort.  We ended our day enjoying a fabulous dinner at Lovina

The Estate of Chateau Montelena is gorgeous and appropriately reminiscent of France.  This spot will make you feel like you landed in a different country.  Known for winning the white wine section of the historic “Judgement of Paris” wine competition, I’d recommend tasting the Chardonnay at this spot.  Exploring the grounds and beautiful gardens is the great way to start your journey.  Wandering up the stairs to the tasting room is the wine tasting menu that has 4 different tasting options for $60.      

After Chateau Montelena experience, we toured around the downtown area, grabbed lunch at House of Better where I had my first Mud Water which is a coffee alternative with a mix of lion’s mane, chaga (functional mushrooms) and adaptogenic superfoods like cacao and turmeric.  The menu is full of delicious bites, including an amazing 3 dip tasting flight served with tortilla chips and veggies.  The tacos and green chile stew were also huge hits.

Since we had some time before our rooms were ready, we visited Lawer Estates tasting room.   This boutique tasting room is owned by a third-generation Alaskan woman banker who visited Calistoga and fell in love with the area.  Her venture is thriving, and her wines were our favorite.  The manager there, Christian, gave us an informative and educational review of the region, the wines, and the history of the Lawer Estates—including their commitment to sustainable farming and excellence in their grape growing and winemaking.  Who doesn’t love a good woman entrepreneurial story and the vibe of an authentic operation?  This place had both and the type of place I can get behind and support!  A stop by August Briggs, next door to Lawer Estates Tasting Room, was successful for finding a delicious trio of chocolates in cherry, raspberry and coffee that are sourced from the Vintage Sweet Shoppe in Napa. 

Around 3pm we got the call that our rooms were ready and got settled into the Calistoga Hot Springs to enjoy the abundance of soaking pools to choose from on the property.  The hotel amenities are great at this location. We stayed in the one of the adjoining double queen rooms.  The room came with custom-designed hoodie bathrobes, complimentary high-speed internet, large screen T.V., plenty of towels, incredibly comfortable mattresses, a mini fridge and great kitchenette with sink and coffee maker.  There’s nothing better than waking up early and being able to make your own coffee instead of waiting for a restaurant to open up. As someone who loves coffee and convenience, I was grateful for that. 

Dinner reservations at 8pm at Lovina was divine- located in an historic home from 1904 on the main street and a short walk from our hotel. The restaurant is named after Lovina Graves Cyrus, a survivor of the Donner Pass in 1847.  Lovina was the sole survivor of her family and inherited property nearby at age 13, becoming one of the first female landowners in California.  Current owner Jennifer Bennett researched the history of Lovina and decided to name her restaurant after her.  What stood out to me was the powerful women behind this restaurant and the amazing way they treated their employees with full benefits including health/dental insurance, a 401k with employer match.  This approach to management was commendable—everything was included in our bill, and we didn’t have to worry about a tip.  And did I mention that the food was top notch? This place was excellent – from ambiance to menu to staff.       

In the morning after more soaking in the hot springs, we headed out of town, and made one last stop at Soul Rebel Coffee.  Only four years new, this off the beaten path location has a lot of SOUL and the owner made us feel like we were locals.  This is a perfect spot for coffee, pastries, bagels, smoothies, acai bowls and other tasty menu bites.  It was fun to find this location as a last stop out of town!

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