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Best Spa Town in America


There’s a fire down below Calistoga that’s been attracting people for centuries. Geothermal hot springs, dramatically visible at the Old Faithful Geyser north of town, lace the deep rocks underneath Calistoga.

Four thousand years ago, the native Wappo Indians knew the curative powers of the hot water and earth here. The same natural resources made the town a wellness destination in the late 1860s when it was founded by Sam Brannan, California’s first millionaire.

They were all onto something: the combination of hot rich mineral water, volcanic ash and the justly famous mud baths still bring visitors here from around the world to de-stress in a remarkably effective way, enhanced even more by the skilled, strong, intuitive hands of the town’s most revered wellness practitioners (all hail massage therapists!).

The other truly relaxing aspect of Calistoga is the complete sense of acceptance for who you are and why you’re here. No one smirks if you walk down the street in a robe with your wet “spa ‘do” and that glazed, blissful look in your eyes—we just smile in recognition.

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