Of course, Napa Valley is, for many, synonymous with the wine country, and for a good reason.
According to our local Napa Valley boosters,
“With more than 400 wineries, Napa Valley is known for world-class wine, beautiful countryside, and near-perfect weather. Napa Valley is home to more than 150 restaurants and has more Michelin stars per capita than any other wine region in the world.”
As if that is not impressive enough, we are also the home to the most top-rated wineries in California, including such luminaries as Sattui Winery in St. Helena, the most popular and most visited winery in all of Napa Valley.
But one of the other wonderful things about Napa Valley is that even with many of the best wineries in the world making their home here, and the sheer abundance of fine wines and world-class wineries, there is so much more to see and do here.
There are plenty of “hidden gems” to be discovered and savored here in the Napa Valley Wine Country.
Oh, the Things You Will See! Discovering ‘Hidden’ Napa Valley
Napa Valley is home to dozens of delightful towns, including Angwin, Deer Park, Oakville, and a few cities such as Napa, St. Helena, and our own city of Calistoga, home of Cal Mart. And when it comes to hidden gems in Napa Valley, it makes perfect sense to start with what can be discovered right here in Calistoga.
For example, we are home to the world-famous Calistoga hot springs.
Some of these vacation go-to spots are unusually unique in their design and décor. Take the Moonacre Bath & Spa with its contemporary design, luscious spa garden, complete with couches, and a wood trellis. The spa is nestled on the grounds of the colorful boutique hotel known as the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, which stands out with its retro-inspired décor.
Initially opened in 1947 as the Sunburst Calistoga Motel, this whimsical lodge retains plenty of retro 1940s decorative elements.
Of course, we could go on about Calistoga restaurants, including a Michelin restaurant, several Calistoga wineries, of which there are many, and even the numerous Calistoga vacation rentals for those looking to spend some extended time here at the top of Napa Valley.
But there is so much more to experience in this chosen spot in Northern California.
Almost everyone who knows something about wine is familiar with the name Napa Valley, but did you know that Napa Valley Craft Beer is also a world-class act?
Take the singular Mad Fritz Brewing Co. located in St. Helena since 2014. Created by a duo of winemakers, Nile Zacherle and Whitney Fisher, each also their high-quality brews include stouts, IPAs, lagers, porters, and more.
And then there’s our own Calistoga Inn & Brewery. Founded in 1987, it is also the first label to brew beer commercially in Napa County since prohibition. With four award-winning beers comprised of a wheat ale, pilsner, red ale, and porter, they also brew seasonal beers throughout the year, such as Blitzen I.P.A., Belgian Pale Ale, German Kölsch, and the Dugan Oatmeal Stout.
By the way, an effortless way to sample some of the great brews originating in Napa Valley is to stop in at Cal Mart and visit our own craft beer market for a wide selection of craft beers, ales, hard ciders, and more.
Discovering Hidden Places to Stir the Senses and an Appetite in Napa Valley
For those more intrepid souls who are just as comfortable on mountain trails and small-town back alleys as they are in world-class wineries, there are many sites to discover and behold in Napa Valley.
One not-to-be-missed gem, The Petrified Forest in Calistoga, is situated just five miles from the Cal Mart parking lot and is the site of several large and petrified redwoods pointing away from Mount Mount St. Helena, which once erupted violently.
As the site’s official website notes,
“The Petrified Forest, in Calistoga, California, holds one of the finest examples in the world of a preserved ancient forest. This unique site at the gateway to the Napa Valley was created following a violent volcanic explosion 3.4 million years ago.
The petrified trees at this site remained buried for 3.4 million years until, in 1870, an intrepid Swedish homesteader by the name of Charles Evans (“Petrified Charley”), while raking his pasture, discovered the top of an old hollow log that was as hard as stone. His initial curiosity led a number of scientists to visit the property in order to learn more about these natural wonders in California.”
Olive trees and olive oil naturally complement vineyards and wineries, and Napa Valley is no exception.
The Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company can be found on a residential in St. Helena, housed in a venerable old white barn. The company has been in business since 1931 and is still family-owned and operated. They are well-known locally for their olive oil, which can be purchased in sizes, from souvenir mini bottles to giant jugs. Their olive oil products are available in various flavors, from garlic and black truffle to basil and blood orange.
Oh, and did we mention hiking and mountain trails? Napa Valley has plenty, including Skyline Wilderness Park, Bothe-Napa Valley, and Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, which are also Napa Valley’s most popular hiking spots.
However, it turns out that there is only one area hiking trail that has a waterfall, and it’s a hidden gem, to be sure.
The beautiful and peaceful Linda Falls is located in Angwin, a small town on Howell Mountain, northeast of St. Helena. Following a relatively easy hiking trail, it is just under a mile-and-a-half round trip, and locals say that the best time to go is in the spring or after rain. There are often few other hikers there, and it is possible to wade in the pools at the bottom if you’re inclined to do so.
Discover More While in Napa Valley When You Make a Stop at Cal Mart
Cal Mart has been a popular destination in Calistoga and Napa Valley for over half a century.
Not because of the scenery or any trails to hike along, but our varied selections of fine wines, specialty foods, delectable meats, and cheeses make for a culinary adventure!
And during those fifty-plus years, Cal Mart has continued to be a family-owned and independent grocery store. We’ve provided a unique and enjoyable shopping experience for all our customers we’ve had the privilege to serve.
We take pride in being known as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery,” and we believe that our love for what we do and our commitment to serving our customers helps make Cal Mart such a great shopping experience. And when you are visiting Napa Valley, you’ll find Cal Mart in the center of downtown Calistoga, California. Once you come inside, you’ll see why we’re a favorite stop for both wine country travelers and locals, whom we prefer to think of as our friends and neighbors.
Ready to explore Calistoga, CA, and the surrounding Napa Valley? Then make it a point to visit us first and stock up for your outing. Cal Mart is proud to offer a great delicatessen, a gourmet cheese department, a tantalizing selection of specialty foods items that are unique and hard to find, a wide variety of craft beers, and quality wines.
Looking for that special something to give to a friend or loved one? We also offer beautiful gift baskets, and we have a vibrant collection of flowers and plants for any occasion. And much, much more! We invite you to make it a point to stop by and take time to explore all that we have to offer.
And while you’re here, please feel free to talk with our knowledgeable staff and then treat yourself to a visit to our Coffee Bar and one of our refreshing smoothies made with organic ingredients.
So be sure to stop in at Cal Mart in beautiful downtown Calistoga, California, where you can always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!