Calistoga pools: Hot fun in the summertime

Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
The grounds of Indian Springs Resort & Spa in Calistoga feature four natural geysers. Since the 19th century, the area has attracted travelers eager to “take the waters,” thought to hold curative powers. The resort recently underwent a $23 million expansion and face-lift.

As we float in the 102-degree thermal pool at the Indian Springs Resort & Spa in Calistoga, the triple-digit heat outside softens my outlook. This might be a good place to retreat after an IPO, I think, as my pool raft bobs near a Buddha statue in lotus pose.

It’s the middle of the week, but all around me adults drift into one another. A smiling couple sails by on two white, plastic rafts linked by blue pool noodles. Children splash wildly, knocking into the relaxed grownups. Although there’s an adults-only pool as well, this place – located at 1712 Lincoln Ave. – is made for families.


Soak up SoCal culture while exploring West, spices & art

Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
The meandering path through the courtyard to SpiceStation in Los Angeles’ Silverlake District beckons visitors to explore the shop’s exotic selection of spices, herbs and teas.

If you’re visiting relatives in a strange city over the holidays, take advantage of the local museums and exotic shops. Most museums hire family education directors whose job it is to devise ways to entertain families while encouraging the kids to soak up the exhibition.


Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boasts more than just top-of-the-vine wine tasting.

The heart of the tree-lined town centers on the historical Sonoma Plaza.


Scaring up some Halloween fun

Courtesy of
Handcrafted scarecrows dot downtown Cambria during the coastal town’s annual Scarecrow Festival.

Cambria’s annual Scarecrow Festival features hundreds of high-tech scarecrows through the end of October.

More than 350 scarecrows line the streets of Cambia for the entire month, each with a barcode visitors can scan with a smartphone to access information about how it was constructed.


Enjoying a Rosé with Rover: On the scent of dog-friendly wineries

If you love traveling with your pet but your idea of a perfect trip involves sampling fine Cabernets in picturesque family vineyards, don’t worry. You don’t need to leave Rover behind – some nearby wineries welcome dogs.

A number of pet-friendly vineyards boast outdoor areas where pooches can run and play. Others allow dogs in the tasting room, and still others provide them with water bowls and treats.


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