Tourist Guide Statewide Articles
Northern California Vacation Planning
Central California Vacation Planning
Southern California Vacation Planning
California Travel Blogs

Calistoga Turns 125

On July 16th, 2011, the Napa Valley spa town, Calistoga, will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its founding with a one-day blast of food, song, awards and a raft of activities for all members of the family .

Calistoga Spa Fountain

The town started, and was named, in an unusual way: In 1861, a wealthy San Francisco millionaire named Samuel Brannan bought 2000 acres after experiencing the natural hot springs near the current Indian Springs Resort. He wanted to build a spa on the property similar to the hot springs resorts in Saratoga, New York. One evening, after a few too many drinks, Mr. Brannan announced to a group of supporters that he was going to build “the Calistoga of Sarafornia” instead of “the Saratoga of California,” and the new, and odd-sounding spoonerism “Calistoga” stuck. A village was born.

The spa opened a year later and the railway connection to the rest of the state opened six years later in 1868. The town was incorporated in 1885, and it has been a spa destination ever since. Even today it is a popular destination for a Napa vacation.

The celebration will include an all-day farmer’s market, presentations from some of the local wineries, a beer garden with local delicacies (barbequed oysters, taco trucks, crepes) and plenty of fun things to do for the kids, including a giant slide, bouncy castles a climbing wall and a dunk tank.

Festivities will commence at 11am with a dedication of the 1887 IOOF building as a state historical landmark. The day will be accompanied by live music from Robbie Allen and the Outer Edge (surf tunes), the CT Cruisers (blues), and David Chapman & Friends (oldies).

On July 16th (only), the Calistoga post office will be stamping mail with a special commemoration of the anniversary, and merchandise with the logo of the celebration will be on sale.

Photo of Calistoga Spa Fountain by septillion via flickr (Creative Commons).

[ad name=”300x250R”]

Click here to view more California Wine Country Travel blog posts or click here to select an article from our California Wine Country vacation guide.

[ad name=”PC1″]