Sharpsteen Museum, Calistoga

4.6
#5 of 8 in Museums in Napa Valley
Visitors will also get a unique view into the history of Calistoga during its period as a hot springs resort during the 1860s with a series of meticulously detailed dioramas of the city.

California’s first millionaire, Sam Brannan, purchased much of the property for his Hot Springs Resort in 1859. The resort was completed in 1862, and visitors to the Sharpsteen Museum will get a view of the city and resort in the diorama. Created using photographs and prints of the city during that period, the diorama took nearly three years to complete
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
91 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • May 30, 2017
    If you are a history nerd, this is definitely worth a visit. The exhibits are somewhat homemade, but charming and fascinating history of Calistoga's founder Sam Brennan and the characters that followe...  more »
  • May 21, 2017
    More California (and West Coast) history that you probably don't know about. I found it very interesting as a self guided tour but also had a nice conversation with the gentleman working there. They d...  more »
  • March 28, 2017
    Mr. Sharpsteen, the man who started the museum, was an animator for Disney and even received an Oscar. Mr. Sharpsteen would come as a boy to this area and found the history of the area important and f...  more »
Google
  • June 4, 2017
    Classic small town museum. Charming setting next to Farmers Market. Some exhibits seem more worthy than others but then that can be what's ketch about small-town museums. Worth checking out in a laid back frame of mind.
  • May 2, 2017
    Very cool museum for local history. Lots of exhibits, very cool dioramas.
  • June 17, 2016
    This place is really small but it's beautiful and the best part is that they have a BUTTON collection!!! How awesome is that you have to see it to love it
  • July 26, 2011
    Normally "tiny/Quaint" Museums are NOT my thing. I have been to Wine Country so often though, that for my wifes first trip I told her to just pick from whatever she thought would be cool.... Thus we ended up at this place... When we first walked in,it was clear that the Docent was a very grouchy sort, but that can be amusing (except for the teenage girl that was touching everything in sight in the gift shop). Anyhow the Museum is a retrospective of the life of several men that helped found the Sonoma/Napa Valley and has very interesting artifacts/letters and what not. There is a humongous Miniture Diarama, and some great old pictures. They seem to stress the ties the men had to the Mormans then at the end say they really werent Mormans, which is irrational.PROS? Very neat and clean inside... CONS? There was a display case with Ben Sharpsteens Oscar and the Docent would not open it for me to touch (totally out of line) and before anyone says anything, she had the keys there was no one around, and how many people ask.

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Where to stay in Calistoga

Calistoga has always owed its existence to tourism, so there's no shortage of accommodations in and around town. Choose from cozy bed and breakfasts, hotels, and hot springs resorts. Although the town generally caters to upscale tourists, you can still find reasonably priced inns and resorts either downtown or within walking distance of it. If you want to add luxury accommodations to your list of Calistoga indulgences, you will find plenty of suitable options here.
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17 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in California BY A USER FROM ISRAEL October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM PANAMA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in California BY A USER FROM BAHAMAS October, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in United States & Canada BY A USER FROM ISRAEL August, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 4 days in Calistoga BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Calistoga BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Calistoga & Sonoma BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in California BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
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