Healdsburg is a cute little town, easy to get to right off US Hwy 101 in northern Sonoma County. It has a tree-shaded central square, reminiscent of an old-fashioned country town, but with an upscale selection of shops, restaurants, and places to stay. It has just enough to do to for a relaxed weekend but is also a great day trip from the San Francisco area.
Why You Should Go
Healdsburg is popular with foodies, wine lovers, and bicyclists.
It's also a great place to go for wine tasting if you're on a limited budget, with a lot of places offering free wine tasting.
Best Time to Go
Healdsburg weather is best in spring and fall. In summer, the weather is more like California's Central Valley than its coast, with temperatures easily soaring to more than 100 F.
5 Great Things to Do
- Wine Tasting: Healdsburg sits between the Dry Creek and Anderson Valley wine-growing areas, best-known for Zinfandel and Pinot Noir varietals. Many wineries around Healdsburg offer free tasting and the experience tends to be laid back and unpretentious. For a fun day out at a place with a new concept in wineries, try Francis Ford Coppola Winery, or try one of these Healdsburg area wineries with great tasting experiences.
- Food: On Saturday mornings from May to November local chefs are often found foraging at the farmers market. Start learning to cook like they do; take a cooking class at the Relish Culinary Center.
- Take a Tour: Segway of Healdsburg offers the added fun of not only checking the place out but also zipping around town on a "personal transporter."
- Smell the Roses: We mean it literally. During spring and early summer at Russian River Rose Company, you can help harvest roses specially grown for their fragrance, then learn about the history of perfume while they're distilled to make rose oil. The rest of the year, you can buy their rose oil and rose water products or shop for a new rose bush for your garden.
- Ride a Bike: The Healdsburg area is popular with bicyclists, who enjoy pedaling along the country roads. Best roads are the main part of Dry Creek Road, CA Hwy 128 and Anderson Valley Road. West Dry Creek, is scenic but very narrow, with lots of curves and traffic, making for a somewhat dangerous ride. If you'd like someone to show you around, Getaway Adventures offers one-day Sip 'N Cycle tours.
Healdsburg Jazz Festival, late May-early June
Tips for Visiting
Healdsburg is a very popular weekend destination with not enough lodging to handle all the people who want to visit. Especially during summer, you may need to reserve a place to stay several weeks in advance.
You'll find plenty of great places to eat in Healdsburg. They change frequently, so it's best to use your favorite app or other resources to find one that suits you.
To pick up picnic supplies, try the Cheese Shop in downtown Healdsburg, Jimtown Store north of town in Anderson Valley or the Dry Creek Store at 3495 Dry Creek Rd.
Flying Goat Coffee at 324 Center Street has the best brew in town. Opt for their precisely-crafted, hand-poured cup of coffee; it's well worth the wait.
Where to Stay
You'll find quite a few options in this popular tourist area.
Healdsburg is located just off US Hwy 101 north of San Francisco and Santa Rosa. It's 70 miles from San Francisco, 115 from San Jose and 118 from Sacramento.