Dr. Wilkinson’s Resort in California’s Wine Country


October 13, 2022
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs

Amongst the rolling hills and valleys of California’s wine country sits a little treasure of a town, Calistoga. A little over a 30-minute drive from the Sonoma County Airport, Calistoga is home to hundreds of vineyards and wineries, many boutique wellness hotels, a handful of breweries, and locally owned and operated shops. This destination just might be your perfect place to party with your besties before the wedding or even to say “I do” with stunning backdrops. 

Cruising down the town’s main street, it’s impossible to miss the neon sign welcoming guests to Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs. This little retro gem played host to us recently, and after indulging in healthy foods, relaxing by the pool, sipping on some local wine and taking a delightfully relaxing mud bath – we can confidently recommend putting Dr. Wilkinson’s on the list for pre-wedding parties, intimate destination weddings and mini-moons!

Going Back in Time

Much like the neon that welcomes guests to this restful respite, the retro design of the property harkens back to 1952, when Dr. Wilkinson’s first opened its doors to the public. Vintage mini in-room appliances, bright colored murals by the pool, a peaceful lawn featuring hammocks, tree swings and lawn games, plus the Robbin’s egg blue classic Buick (facing the main street) all contribute to the experience. 

Aside from feeling as if you’ve teleported back to the ’50s, Dr. Wilkinson’s is a beacon of relaxation – perfect for a wellness-themed bachelorette weekend (mixed with a little wine, of course)! At check-in, guests receive a welcome gift consisting of calming dōTERRA® essential oils to diffuse in the room, an electrolyte packet, and a reusable water bottle to encourage hydration (which can be topped off at one of the many filling stations on the property). 

After settling into your adorably decorated room, we suggest slipping into a swimsuit and heading down to one of the three Geothermal Mineral Pools. Perhaps you’d like to reserve a cabana or two for your bridal crew and make a day of it. While you’re at it, indulge in some healthy grub, a cocktail or elixir from the on-site restaurant, House of Better.

A Day at the Spa

What would a wellness bachelorette or wedding be without a trip to the spa? The full-service spa offers a number of treatments including hydrotherapy and massages. However, a trip to Calistoga wouldn’t be complete without a town-favorite treatment: the mud bath. The Doc’s original mud bath includes:

Volcanic Ash

Mother Nature’s natural skin purifier, volcanic ash is rich in minerals (such as sulfur, magnesium and zinc). Its exfoliating properties allow the dead outer layers of skin to be removed while also cleansing the skin.

Peat Moss 

While it may not be the best-smelling thing in the world, peat moss’s therapeutic properties extend to aiding in stimulating your metabolic system, promoting surface blood circulation, and cleansing toxins. 

Geothermal Mineral Water

This basically means they incorporate water which is heated naturally beneath the earth’s surface. Because of its high mineral content, these waters can help remedy skin ailments, alleviate pain sensations, and promote total relaxation. 

This amazing treatment is followed by a mineral whirlpool bath, a volcanic ash facial mask, and a Geo-Thermal Mineral Steam room. You’ll then get to enjoy a peaceful cool down while wrapped up nice and warm with cold cloth to rest on your forehead – the perfect way to end your day of pampering!

Beyond being so close to award-winning Napa Valley wineries, a stay at Dr. Wilkinson’s offers the chance to decompress before saying “I do.” Specializing in small weddings (up to 50 guests), the Little Backyard Weddings package offers the chance for an “unconventional wine country wedding.” Tap here to learn more about a wedding at Dr. Wilkinson’s. 

One thing’s for sure, if your desire is to unwind while enjoying delightful vistas of California’s wine region – Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs is your place!

Couple in Punta Cana doing a destination wedding by the ocean
Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Iberostar Weddings
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Destination I Do Podcast
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres
Iberostar Weddings

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.