There’s many reasons to choose Healdsburg, California as your next Wine Country destination. Learn about fun things to do in Healdsburg and get practical tips on where to stay and where to eat while visiting this small city located in northern Sonoma County.
Healdsburg offers the charms of a small town combined with incredible restaurants and world class wineries to please the most particular foodie and wine connoisseur. Drive the uncrowded country roads through breathtaking Wine Country scenery. Healdsburg is centrally located between three major wine regions: Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and Alexander Valley
Healdsburg California: Where to Stay
If you are on a budget, stay at Dry Creek Inn. You can frequently find special deals on websites such as Travel Zoo and Groupon. This hotel is conveniently located just off of Highway 101 and just a short distance in every direction to wineries.
There’s two swimming pools, an outdoor jacuzzi tub, an outdoor fire pit, water fountains, as well as a sauna. Casa Siena are the standard rooms. They charge slightly more to upgrade to a Tuscan room, which includes a fireplace and spa tub. All of the rooms have very comfortable beds. Breakfast is complimentary and is better than most free breakfasts. If you plan on wine tasting at local wineries, ask at the lobby for free wine tasting coupons.
Honor Mansion is the place to go if you want to be spoiled. This is an upscale bed and breakfast located near downtown Healdsburg. Swim, play croquet, tennis, bocce, or basketball. Practice your putting. Arrange for a poolside massage. Listen to the sounds of the waterfall cascading into the koi pond. Gorgeous rooms, amazing happy hour with beverages and appetizers, and a delicious breakfast in the morning. Staff is friendly and they go out of their way to make sure you are enjoying your stay.
Healdsburg California: Where to Eat
Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar If you don’t care for raw seafood, don’t let the name scare you. Willi’s has an extensive menu that includes a variety of delicious small plates. Some of my favorites include raw oysters, hanger steak, minted lamb, fish tacos, and pan roasted Duncan’s mushrooms. They have the best sour dough bread, served warm with garlic parsley butter. Dine indoors or outside on the patio. Willi’s is located just north of the Healdsburg Plaza on Healdsburg Avenue.
This outstanding Healdsburg restaurant uses fresh local ingredients to create scrumptious seasonally inspired dishes. Barn diva is known for their creative cocktails as well as their delicious food. Treat yourself to lunch, dinner, or a Sunday brunch. Barn diva is located in downtown Healdsburg a few blocks south of Healdsburg Plaza.
This restaurant is located on Healdsburg Avenue north of the Healdsburg Plaza. Enjoy lunch or dinner indoors or on the outside patio. This is the place to enjoy delicious Italian food in a casual atmosphere. Favorites here include Tomasso’s Sugo Calabrese and Nonna’s Chicken served with sauteed greens and soft polenta. Make reservations well in advance!
Baci Cafe & Wine Bar
Baci’s is an incredible Italian restaurant located north of the Healdsburg Plaza on Healdsburg Avenue. Everything about this restaurant is amazing. The service is friendly and attentive. Waiters are knowledgeable about both the food and the wine. The food is full of fabulous flavors. Favorites at this restaurant include Stinco d’Agnello al Forno, a slow braised lamb shank and Pollo alla Livornese, pan sauteed chicken breast served with polenta and fresh vegetables. Don’t leave without trying the flourless chocolate cake topped with vanilla bean gelato!
Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen has the perfect blend of wine country charm and elegance. Dine outdoors on the vine-covered terrace or indoors in their elegant dining room. Along with their delicious food, enjoy contemporary and classic jazz on Monday and Tuesday evenings featuring local Sonoma County musicians. As a bonus, the corkage fee is waived for your first two bottles of Sonoma County wines.
Dry Creek Kitchen is located just across the street from the tree-lined Healdsburg Plaza in downtown Healdsburg.
Healdsburg California: Fun Things to Do
Wine Tasting at Wineries
Healdsburg is surrounded by some of the best wine regions: Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, and the Alexander Valley. It’s a short drive from Healdsburg to visit any of these wine regions. Click on each of these links to learn about the wineries in each region.
The Dry Creek Valley is northwest of Healdsburg. Some wineries, such as Truest-Hurst, have views of Dry Creek, a tributary of the Russian River. Dry Creek produces outstanding Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Russian River Valley is a scenic region well known for producing high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley, located north of Healdsburg, is recognized for producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. All are worth exploring!
Downtown Walking Wine Tour
More than a dozen wineries have wine tasting rooms located in downtown Healdsburg. Park near the Healdsburg Plaza and walk from winery to winery.
Located on Healdsburg Avenue:
Rockville Vineyards, GrapeSeed Wines, Hartford Family Wines, S, Stonestreet, La Creama, and Stephen & Walter.
Located on Center Street: Banshee Wines, Cartograph, JCB Tasting Lounge, Roadhouse Winery, and Selby Wines.
Located on Matheson Street: Thumbprint Cellars, Lioco Wine Company, and Williamson Wines. Plaza Street: Ferrari-Carano.
Canoe Down the Russian River
It’s a blast to kayak or canoe down the Russian River. There are a number of businesses that offer rentals right on the river. Pack your lunch and you’re ready for a relaxing day on the river.
We booked a 10 mile self-guided trip through Burke’s Canoes. Burke’s has a shuttle that picked us up and returned us back to where we started. There a many beaches along the way. Sometimes we could park the canoes and take a break on the beach. What a great day we had outdoors on the river!
Ride a Segway
Tour Healdsburg on a segway. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as roll along the river and through vineyards. If you have not ridden a segway before, there’s time to practice before you start. There are different segway tours to choose from. Our tour took us to three different wineries where we stopped for wine tasting. Learn More
Visit Lake Sonoma
Visit Lake Sonoma for fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, hiking, camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, and picnicking. This lake is just 10 miles west of downtown Healdsburg. Take time to visit the Fish Hatchery and Visitor’s Center, which are open throughout the year.
The Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival takes place every February. This annual event offers fun activities for the entire family. Learn More