Edited by Christine McMahon Tumpson • Photos from Triple S Ranch • Special thanks to Derek Webb, Heather Noll, and the Triple S Ranch staff
This little hamlet located on the northern tip of Napa Valley in California offers the most romance for engagements, elopements, proposals, bachelor and bachelorette weekends, rehearsal dinners, weddings, and anniversaries! Set among natural geysers, the Napa Cascades mountain range, and vineyards as far as the eye can see, nature’s bounty is on full display all year.
The trip begins with a drive along CA HWY 29 for a clear shot of the Napa Valley. The last town on the drive leads to Calistoga, with a signature line, of “Relax, You’re in Calistoga.” With a focus on wellness, a love of clean living, and a spectacular history, we found the best spot for romance on our first Vetted Venue Visit.
The SSS Ranch
Favorite spot! For everything you can think of for your celebration, come to this idyllic ranch set in the foothills of the Cascades. Take a turn onto Petrified Forest Road from CA HWY 29 and be instantly transformed to the true Californian spirit as soon as you turn into the gates of this historic compound.
Built in 1854, this site has several gorgeous buildings, 17 one-bedroom cottages, a gorgeous swimming pool and pool house, and a breathtakingly beautiful setting for weddings, complete with the Bonsai-like “Wedding Tree”. Creative-minded businessman Derek Webb’s inspiration is “to create Shangri-la.” As the on-hands owner, Derek strives to make the wedding parties know they are in control of their own dreams here.
On the day of our visit, I watched a young couple arrive and begin their preparations. They carried their separate luggage into two different buildings-he into the gentleman’s cigar-friendly house, and she, with her wedding gown slung over her shoulders, into the stately Victorian home with the huge family-sized kitchen and luxurious baths.
They then carried their poles and hangings to the “Wedding Tree”, where they also laid out a large ornamental rug for the ceremonial space. After that, they went to the huge saloon to choose a spot for the piano they were having delivered. The rehearsal dinner, guests, and planners were all staying on the ranch for five days of preparations, celebrating, and honoring the bride and groom.
Derek’s eyes twinkled as we watched the couple establish their romantic overlay to the ranch. “This is just what I wanted to happen. For people to feel at home in a special place, to make special memories.”