When I want to get away for a little R & R, the first place that comes to mind is Calistoga in the Napa Valley.  Recently, I had some friends in town from So Cal and the three of us spent a lovely week-end up there.  I thought I’d share my money-saving tips for how to do the Napa Valley with style – without breaking the bank!

Vineyards near Calistoga

Thrifty Tip #1:  Skip the pricier hotels in the area, since you’re going to want to spend most of your time out and about anyway.  For my money, one of the best places to stay is the Stevenson Manor Inn, which is a Best Western PLUS hotel.  I’m pretty picky when it comes to hotels and this place is perfectly fine for a clean, inexpensive place to stay that includes breakfast, and they’re rated #3 on Trip Advisor out of 15 hotels in Calistoga.  Their staff is friendly, the rooms are spacious, and they have deals like AAA and frequent stay discounts, so give them a try. .  For around $165/night, you can get a King suite with a fireplace, and you just walk downstairs to grab some coffee and breakfast in the morning, which is included.  You really can’t go wrong.

Stevenson Manor Inn, Calistoga

Thrifty Tip #2:  With the gobs of money you’re saving on your room, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a day (or two) at Indian Springs Spa.  They have a gorgeous Olympic-sized swimming pool that is heated to 105 degrees from a geyser.   You can float on a raft or a noodle for hours in the pool, which is like an over-sized bathtub.  They also have mud baths -which if you haven’t ever had one – will leave your skin feeling baby soft.  It’s also good for detoxing after too much wine tasting.  If you buy a spa treatment, you can float in the pool all day for free and you can bring a guest into the pool for $20.  And, don’t forget to stop by the Gratitude Tree to write down what you’re grateful for.  I’m grateful for Indian Springs.  And, here’s why.  Watch this little 3 minute movie I made to show you what a day is like on their beautiful, tranquil grounds…


Thrifty Tip #3:  The local wineries probably don’t want you to know this, but during the “last pour of the day” you can get a free wine tasting simply because they don’t have time to go through an entire wine tasting experience.   We once showed up at Beringer at 4:45 p.m. – 15 minutes before closing – and learned about last pour, as we sipped a nice glass of Cabernet for free.  You might also check with the hotel to see if they have any passes for wine tastings in the area.

Thrifty Tip #4:  If you “check in” on Facebook when dining at Farmstead, they’ll bring you a free order of their cheesy biscuits which are amazing!  Just ask your waiter. Farmstead is a farm-to-table dining experience housed in a former nursery barn with a fun, casual atmosphere.  You’ll love it!
Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena
Cheesy Bisquits at Farmstead

Thrifty Tip #5:  Stop by the Bargain Basket thrift store on Calistoga’s main drag or head over to St. Helena to the Thrifty Manor thrift store for some thrift scores.  Check my North Bay listings for store locations and hours. *Sorry to say this thrift has since closed!*

Thrifty Tip #6:  Take your dear friends with you.  Laughter is free!

I hope I’ve given you some ideas of some fun and relaxing things to do in Calistoga.  And, hopefully, saved you some money in the process.  If you go, drop me a line and let me know what you thought.  Enjoy!


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