Healdsburg California: The Only Guide You Need

Healdsburg tours-stay-eat- have fun 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


DryCreekInnIf 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.


HonorMansionHonor 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
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.


Chicken - Barndiva

Crispy Free Range Chicken


Barndiva
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.


Spaghetti

Tomasso’s Sugo Calabrese


Campo Fina
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 Restaurant Healdsburg
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!


Sonoma Chicken

Duck breast and confit of duck leg .


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

Truett Hurst Winery

Treat-Hurst Winery – Dry Creek Valley

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!


Boy in Healdsburg Plaza

Healdsburg Plaza

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

Canoe down the Russian RiverIt’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

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

Lake Sonoma - Healdsburg
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


Have you visited Healdsburg California? We would love to hear what you like to do in Healdsburg, where you like to stay and eat.
Please comment below.


Barndiva – The Place to Dine in Healdsburg

Barndiva - Healdsburg RestaurantBarndiva is the place to dine in Healdsburg. Which is saying a lot about the restaurant. Healdsburg, located in Sonoma County, is known for its many outstanding restaurants. Barndiva’s restaurant, cocktail lounge, and wine bar are truly exceptional. Chef, Mark Hopper, uses fresh local ingredients to create scrumptious seasonally inspired dishes.

From the outside the appearance resembles a rustic barn. However, the inside is an elegant but comfortable ambiance. We decided to dine at this restaurant earlier in the day and could not get reservations. They serve meals as well as drinks at the bar so we snagged seats at the bar.

Barndiva is known for the gourmet field-to-table meals they serve. What we didn’t know was that they are also famous for their artisan drinks. It was fun watching the bartenders create a large variety of spectacular drinks. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy creative and refreshing cocktails, this is the place.

Reservations are definitely recommended. If the weather is nice, ask for a table outside on the back patio. It’s lovely dining under the oak trees. There’s also a small patio in front of the restaurant.

Fillet Mignon - Barndiva
I savored every last bite of the pan seared filet mignon. This was served with an amazing “Loaded” Baked Potato, topped with caramelized onion and bacon. Delicious blue lake green beans accompanied by a tomato vinaigrette finished off the dish.

Chicken - BarndivaMy wife ordered the Crispy Free Range roasted chicken. It was served with sautéed mushrooms and bacon ragout along with egg yolk ravioli. The chicken was cooked to perfection; crispy on the outside, nice and tender on the inside. In fact, the chicken was so tender it was falling off the bone. Everything was bursting with flavor.

Chocolate Dessert - Barndiva
Our meal concluded with a dessert was a chocolate cake topped with chocolate gelato and whipped cream. A delightful end to what was truly a spectacular meal.

Barndiva offers an extensive wine list and we found their prices to be reasonable. Our server was knowledgable about wines and recommended a fabulous bottle to go with our meal. She also suggested nearby wineries to visit the following day.

Next time we visit Healdsburg, Barndiva will be on our list of “Must Do” Restaurants!


Barndiva Contact Information


Website
Address: 231 Center Street, Healdsburg, California 95448
Telephone: (707) 431-0100
Open Wednesday through Sunday.
Lunch: Noon – 2:30 PM
Dinner: Opens at 5:30 PM
Sunday Brunch: Opens at 11:00 AM

Directions Traveling North on Highway 101
1. At exit 503, take ramp right toward Central Healdsburg.
2. Keep straight onto Healdsburg Avenue.
3. Turn right onto Mill Street.
4. Turn left onto Center. Barndiva will be on your left.

Directions Traveling South on Highway 101
1. Exit at Westside Rd toward Guerneville.
2. Turn left onto Westside Road.
3. Turn left onto Center. Barn diva will be on your left.

Park in the parking lot or on the street. Barndiva is just a block or two south of the downtown Healdsburg Plaza.


If you have dined at Barndiva, please share your experience with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.


Healdsburg Guide


This guide to Healdsburg has all the info you need to explore the Healdsburg area. Learn about wineries, places to stay, where to eat, and things to do. Healdsburg is centrally located in the northern part of the Sonoma Wine Country.

Healdsburg Vineyards


MacRostie Winery – Where Everyone is a VIP

MacRostie Estate HouseThe panoramic vineyard views, incredible wines, and outstanding customer service at MacRostie Winery make this a winery that you do not want to miss. Their magnificent tasting room, MacRostie Estate House, opened in the Russian River Valley a year ago. Designed by architect Doug Thornley, the tasting room is simply stunning. Gazing out over the vineyards from inside, every window frames a spectacular view.

MacRostie Winery ViewAs you approach the tasting room, someone greets you outside and hands you a glass of wine. It’s a warm welcome that sets the mood for the tasting you are about to experience. You are escorted inside and seated at your choice of outdoor or inside. Soon you are comfortably seated sipping wine while overlooking the scenic Russian River Valley.

Water and bread sticks are served along with generous samples of delicious wine. A knowledgeable server leads you through an unrushed, intimate tasting. The tasting includes side-by-side samples of their exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It’s an informative experience led by a friendly server who is focused on you and your group.

MacRostie Winery is led by founder Steve MacRostie and the talented winemaker, Heidi Bridenhagen. Together they are producing some of the finest wines in Sonoma County.

Winemaker Interview: Heidi Bridenhagen of MacRostie Winery


Heidi Bridenhagen - Winemaker
I recently had the opportunity to interview Heidi.
She is passionate about wine.

  • Why did you become a winemaker?
  • Being a winemaker involves working outdoors, science, and art. It is a dynamic career in a beautiful area, Sonoma County.

  • What training did you have to become a winemaker?
  • I have a biochemistry degree. I then worked five harvests being mentored in the varying areas of winemaking: cellar, viticulture, laboratory, tasting/blending.

  • What is your winemaking philosophy?
  • I am a vineyard driven winemaker. I like to see how the land produces the fruit. I take cues from what I see to make winemaking decisions.

  • What is the most challenging part of making wine?
  • Trying to maximize your time during harvest. Everything has to be completed at just the right stage of the fruits’ life. It is hard to nail every single decision perfectly. I always want to do more. There never seems to be enough time in the day.

    MacRostie Wine Bottle

  • What is your favorite wine that you made?
  • I love Wildcat Mountain Vineyard. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from that vineyard is unique and exquisite.

  • What is the best time to visit MacRostie Winery?
  • I always tell people to come any time after May. Enjoy our wonderful outdoor patios. The vines will be awake and green. I can pretty much guarantee that there will be no chance of rain at that time of year. However, I’ll throw it out there is NO bad time to visit Russian River Valley or MacRostie. Sometimes the quiet rainy days can be the best.


Plan a Visit to MacRostie Winery

MacRostie Website
Address: 4605 Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA
Telephone: 707-473-9303
Open daily 11AM – 5PM – Reservations are required on weekends.

Where to Stay, Eat, and Have Fun in Healdsburg – Click Here for More Information

Lake Sonoma

Lake SonomaLocated in the gorgeous coastal foothills of Sonoma County, Lake Sonoma is surrounded by the renowned Sonoma Wine Country. This 2,700 acre lake boasts 50 miles of shoreline. This reservoir was created by the construction of the Warm Springs Dam in 1982.

There’s so many ways to ways to have fun on the lake. Visitors enjoy Lake Sonoma fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, hiking, camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, and picnicking. Most campsites are boat-in or hike-in and are right on the water or close by.

Lake Sonoma MarinaBoaters will find the public boat ramp on the west end of the Warm Springs Bridge. There are a variety of different boat rentals available at Lake Sonoma Resort located off Stewarts Point Road. For more information on boat rentals call (707) 433-2200.

There are 40 miles of trails for hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. Watch out for poison oak, which is located throughout the park. Immediately after leaving the trail, check for ticks as these ticks might transmit Lyme disease.

Lake Sonoma

As you enter the park, stop at the Visitor’s Center to learn about the history of this area just 10 miles west from the city of Healdsburg.

Behind the Visitor’s Center you’ll find the Congressman Don Clausen Fish Hatchery where you can learn about the life cycle of the coho salmon, steelhead and chinook.

The hatchery was built to replace and enhance salmon and steelhead spawning grounds. It is a Corps of Engineers hatchery operated by the California Department of Fish and Game. Visitors are welcomed!

Truett Hurst Winery

Truett Hurst Winery – near Healdsburg


Lake Sonoma is just a short drive from the city of Healdsburg. There are lots of fun things to do in this area. Click Here to Learn About Fun Things to Do in and Around Healdsburg


Lake Sonoma – Contact Information


Corps of Engineers Lake Sonoma
Address: 3333 Skaggs Springs Rd, Geyserville, CA 95441
Telephone: (707)433-9483

Directions from Healdsburg
1. Go west on Dry Creek Road.
2. Continue approximately 10 miles on Dry Creek Road.
3. Turn left onto Skaggs Springs Rd./Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs Rd.
4. Turn left to stay on Skaggs Springs Rd.
5. Turn right onto Marina Drive to reach the marina.


Have you been to Lake Sonoma? If you have, we would appreciate it if you could take a moment to leave a comment below.


Amazing Healdsburg Restaurant – Willi’s Seafood

Healdsburg RestaurantIf you are looking for a fabulous Healdsburg restaurant, this is it! Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar is an amazing restaurant.The wine country is known for its world class restaurants. Willi’s is one of the best.

Many people head to Healdsburg for the wine. If I didn’t like wine, I’d still visit Healdsburg just to indulge myself at Willi’s.

As you enter the restaurant, the first thing you notice is the vibrant setting. It’s upscale but relaxing. Dine at the raw oyster bar, outdoors on the patio, an indoor table, or enjoy an intimate booth. Food is small plates and designed for sharing. Order a variety so you can sample more of the delicious dishes.
Willis Seafood & Raw Bar

My wife and I have been to this Healdsburg restaurant many times and have not found a dish we didn’t like. The food is simply outstanding. If we lived closer, we would be regulars at this incredible restaurant. However, we never visit the area without paying at least one visit to Willi’s.

Willi’s has a comprehensive wine and beer list as well as a list of creative cocktails. Wine is sold by the bottle, half-bottle, and by the glass. Servers have always been friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable.

Favorites that I order often include the warm Maine Lobster Roll with garlic butter and fennel, hanger steak with chimichuri sauce, minted lamb, warm sourdough bread with garlic parsley butter, and mushrooms with creme fraiche. Try the cucumber martini. It may sound weird, but it is delicious!

How to Have Fun in Healdsburg
– CLICK HERE –


Truett Hurst Winery

Truett Hurst Winery – near Healdsburg


Contact Information – Willi’s Healdsburg Restaurant

Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar
Address: 403 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
Telephone: (707) 433-9191
Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Directions Coming from South of Healdsburg
1. Travel north on Highway 101.
2. Take exit #503 toward central Healdsburg.
3. Continue onto Healdsburg Avenue.
4. Willi’s will be on your left.

Directions Coming from North of Healdsburg
1. Travel south on Highway 101.
2. Take exit 504 for Westside Road toward Guerneville.
3. Turn left onto Westside Road.
4. Continue onto Mill Street.
5. Turn left onto Healdsburg Avenue.
6. Willi’s will be on the left


Have you dined at Willi’s Healdsburg Restaurant? If you have, we would love to hear about your experience. Please leave a comment below.