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
To visit Sharpsteen Museum and other attractions in Calistoga, use our Calistoga trip itinerary site .
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Sharpsteen Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
92 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This place is a real gem! Not only do you get the story of Calistoga, you get Mr. Sharpsteen's version of Disney animation. The docents were very friendly and enjoyed telling stories about the develop...  more »
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
Google
  • 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.
  • Very cool museum for local history. Lots of exhibits, very cool dioramas.
  • 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
  • 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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