Thursday, January 1, 2009

Calistoga launches a month of wellness

It always feels good to hang out in Calistoga, that laid-back little town in the Napa Valley. This month, there's new reason to visit: its first-ever Wellness Month, kicking off January 10-11, with a festival and lots of activities to help you get or stay healthy. 

The event is a good fit for the town that wellness built: visitors have been taking the waters at Calistoga's natural hot springs since the Native Americans discovered them. Throughout the month, lots of spas will feature discounted treatments and specials on spa packages, plus fun exercise classes and meditation sessions. And you can join bike rides and guided hikes that run right past all that pretty, wine-country scenery. 

Okay, its January and the weather is likely to be chilly or damp, but who cares when you get to take a nice, hot soak in a natural hot springs pool at the end of the day?

On Saturday, Jan. 10 at 9:30 there's a stretch and 5K/10K Run and Walk (Calistoga High School, 1608 Lake St.). Experienced hikers should head for Wildlake Ranch and a half-day hike hosted by the Land Trust of Napa County; book a space on the hike by clicking here.

On Sunday, the city-wide Wellness Festival spreads out over the city, with open houses at spas, restaurants, and even biodynamic wineries. For free health screenings, healthy eating demos, exercise classes and more head for the Calistoga Chamber from 1-5. At other venues, sit in on stress reduction seminars (who doesn't need THAT these days?), or chill out with a bike/wine tour.

Later weekends in the month will see more wellness events, from bike tours to hikes. The last weekend, Jan. 24-25 will see discount rates for services at almost all the major spas: Calistoga Massage Center, Baths at Roman Spa, Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Eurospa, Fitness First, Golden Haven, Harbin Hot Springs, Lavender Hill Spa, Mt. View Hotel and Spa, and The Craftsman Inn (including cooking classes).

For a complete list of the month's activities and participating businesses, go to, or call the Calistoga Chamber & Visitors Center at 707-942-6333.  The Wellness Festival is sponsored by Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort and St. Helena Hospital.

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