A Guide To Calistoga: Northern Napa's Charming And Less Touristy Side

With all there is to see, do, sip and taste in Napa and Sonoma, you could easily overlook the pleasures of their neighboring Calistoga countryside. Located in the northernmost part of Napa County, this laid- back community is a treat to discover.

The small town of Calistoga (just over 5,000 denizens) sometimes swells to several times its size with visitors who would just as soon keep its treasures to themselves. Even with those numbers, you'll find no parade of tourists, no local traffic jams, no glitz or ego to spoil a true wine country experience. Instead, you'll find charming boutique wineries and some of the most iconic labels cozily interspersed along the country lanes that retain their old time charm. The compact downtown area is artsy, quirky, quaint, downright funky and surprisingly uptown with its restaurants and boutiques.