calistoga vs napa

Mar 17th, 2005, 07:43 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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calistoga vs napa

Will be in San Francisco this fall and planning an overnight visit to Sonoma area, Calistoga seems a bit further than Napa Valley and the mapquest directions take you through an entirely different route (101 Freeway) to get to Calistoga and seems quite a bit further than Napa (another 40 miles?). If we decide to go through napa is it a lot longer? , and is it feasible to still stay in Calistoga and if so how long does it take from napa to calistoga, I think Mapquest says about 40 miles, but I know the roads are curvy, and I don't want to be driving for hours.

clelbong is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 05:49 AM
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Highway 101 is a good highway that is generally easy to drive once you get away from the cities.It takes you to the great wineries in Sonoma Valley and at the extreme north, you cross over 128 to Calistoga. That's a pretty drive! Driving the main road from Napa (the town) to Calistoga on Hwy 29 will take you forever. No, the road isn't winding, it is bumper to bumper traffic, stoplights, trucks, tourists, etc. It might take you an hour. If I were you and only had a day, I would drive up 101 and stay in Sonoma or near Santa Rosa and enjoy the beautiful wineries there. I also love Healdsburg and the Dry Creek wineries Russian River wineries. The drives are pretty, the crowds are fewer and the tastings aren't as touristy or expensive as many of those in Napa Valley
LLindaC is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 06:06 AM
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Hi Clelbong!

Napa and Sonoma are two different valleys. Sonoma is to the west of Napa Valley.

The town of Napa is at the south end of Napa Valley, the town of Calistoga is at the north end of Napa Valley. It's about 30 miles between the two towns.

Napa Valley has by far the more famous restaurants, wineries, etc. because it is "older" in the wine business than Sonoma Valley. Sonoma Valley is, IMHO, more charming and more beautiful.

Sonoma Valley is easier to reach from San Francisco. You just go up 101 to the center of Sonoma Wine Country, which is Healdsburg. "Sonoma Valley" winereies are then subdivided into smaller regions/valleys, such as Dry Creek, Alexander, etc. as are the Napa Valley wineries.

If you want to reach Napa Valley from San Francisco, there are two ways to go. You can go up 101, cut over on 37, then north again on 29 to Napa. Or you can go across the Bay Bridge, take I80 north, then follow the signs in Vallejo to 29 and Napa. 101 is by far the more scenic route.

Hope this helps your planning a bit!
easytraveler is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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Posts: 91
thanks a lot for the advice!, looks like calistoga is the way to go via 101. I have been to napa valley before (about 10 years ago), so it will be nice to go to Calistoga and it seems like there will be much less traffic although a bit further, thanks again!
clelbong is offline  
Mar 18th, 2005, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Good clarification from easyT!

About Hwy 101 North-reach your turn-off
to Calistoga BEFORE 3PM. Hwy 101 North in Marin start to get S_L_O_W around 2PM.

If you don't use 37 East,there is a marvelous bottleneck at Novato into
the Novato narrows as the Hwy 101 goes
from 4-2 lanes, and again on the approach to Santa Rosa at Rohnert Park on through the city until at least
College or Mendocino Ave exits.

If Calistoga is your destination you can
travel 101,to 37 East as easyT has suggested,then instead of Hwy 29-scoot over to the parallel Silverado Trail
and follow it up into Calistoga-lots less traffic.

If you want to bypass Napa town and valley-just go up Hwy 101 North THROUGH Santa Rosa to the Mark West Springs exit east-there is no need to go all the way up
to Hwy 128-simply take the Mark West
Springs exit east and follow this pretty drive into Calistoga.

Where are you staying?
razzledazzle is offline  
Mar 19th, 2005, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 91
Hi R5,

Still do research, but we were thinking about Aurora Park Cottages and then a couples spa treatment at lavendar hill spa. I would welcome any other opinions. Also, we would like to do some wine tasting, do you recommend particular wineries?


clelbong is offline  
Mar 21st, 2005, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 13
CAlistoga Cottages are also nice as is the Mount View Hotel. Would defintely stay off of 29 and go via Silverado or Mark West depending on the time of day. August Briggs is a fairly new winery on Silverado right before you get into Calistoga. Small family run, great reds. Also in Calistoga Calistoga Cellars is good as is Summers. They aren't big name wineries like Clos Pegase and Cuvaison but very friendly and a different experience. Restaurant wise, Fuentes is the newest restaurant in Calistoga. Lot of good tapas. If you don't mind a short drive Cook in St. Helena is fantastic. Has only been open a short time incredible food and very reasonable. Have a great trip!
nabglow is offline  
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