Located in Sonoma County, California, Healdsburg is just an hour away from San Francisco. With the charm of a small town and wine-country lifestyle, Healdsburg is simply delighting. With a quaint downtown and stunning countryside, this chic town is the perfect spot to spend a few days in California. Over recent years, Healdsburg has undergone significant changes and is progressively starting to draw visitors from all over.
If you want to experience farm-to-table cuisine, a fascinating history, intriguing art, and beautiful music, look no further and plan your next visit to this town. Follow this guide for a quintessential Healdsburg visit.
Walking Through the Wine Road
Tasting wine is indeed delightful, but walking through The Wine Road is definitely an experience not many get to experience. Also, it is going to hit different if you are a wine lover.
Wending through some of the most breathtaking trails, a walk through this road is definitely going to be a fulfilling experience. Along with the aesthetically rewarding journey, you are more than likely to meet many original and devoted winemakers who will explain in great length the process of extraction and the making of these wines. Visitors can also even drop in to these local wine houses and get a taste of them. Wineries and lodging are open in Healdsburg all year long so you don't have to worry about that
This iconic plaza was built in the 19th century and has an extensive array of shops. From wine shops, great restaurants and even grocery stores, this Plaza has everything you will need. Set in the very heart of downtown, it is a wonderful place to explore on for.
Among the notable shops in the plaza, Studio Bel Vetro that sells handcrafted furniture and lighting items is a must-visit. Head to Cupcake to purchase clothes for going-to-be-moms and children. Also, if you have a little one by your side Cupcake has a cute kitchen for children where your little one can spend some time playing, while you shop in the Plaza. Purchase any book you want at Levin & Company and see the collection of used vinyl records. Upstairs you can find a room where book signings are hosted by the bookstore.
With more than 19 estate wineries throughout the town, Healdsburg is a haven for wine lovers. With decorated wine tasting rooms at every block, customers have a lot to choose from.
The Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society
The Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society preserve photographs, artefacts and documents which are witnesses to the rich history of the town. Visitors can know more about the town's history through exhibitions and educational programs hosted by the museum and society. The building has been included in the US National Register of Historic Places. The museum also hosts special themed exhibitions funded through various donations and loans. Having an online digital library of 19,000+ photographs, it is also increasing its access to historical newspapers of all the local areas. For local history and genealogical research, its Research Centre can be made use of only via appointments. The museum opens from 11 am-4 pm. The entry is free for the public from Wednesday to Sunday.
Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach
This beach has proved to be a worthy picnic spot as it provides a perfect swimming and sunbathing spot for the summers. One can sunbathe on the sandy beach and swim in the Russian River. And as a cherry on top, paddling is available on the beach.
Though be warned, visitors can bring their leashed dogs only till the lawn and alcohol is prohibited on the beach. Wheelchairs are provided and the onsite staff helps the visitors throughout the process. Parking is available at the beach but remember to be as early as possible, as it gets filled pretty quickly.
Go Olive Oil Tasting
Tasting the fine wine of this town is just the starting. While you are here, remember to taste some fine olive oil. The top shops offering olive oil tasting services are - Figone's Olive Oil Company, McEvoy RanchThe Olive Press At Jacuzzi Family Vineyard, B.R. Cohn Winery, TrattoreFarmsDaVero Farms And Winery and Jordan Vineyard And Winery.
Taste the Amazing Cuisine
Healdsburg has quite a history of its own which has undoubtedly impacted its food. Some of the local dishes have survived through the test of time and has become the iconic local dishes of the town, which is definitely mouth-watering. If you are into experimenting, we highly recommending having a taste of some of these local dishes.
The Hand Fan Museum
Established in 2002, The Hand Fan Museum of Healdsburg is the only hand fan museum in the United States. Exhibiting a collection of more than 2500 hand fans, the museum is an icon in itself. The hand fans displayed here have survived through centuries and evolutions of styles. A prestigious milestone was gained by the museum when its collection was featured in the book "Fantastic Fans". In the year 2010, the museum was shifted to the H2hotel. Using the attached conference room, the fan museum now hosts lectures and free art classes for the local schools.
The Scenic Del Rio Woods Regional Park
With a scenic view and serene quietness, this park is open all year round for its visitors. The Del Rio Woods may have entered into the list of regional parks recently but historically, people have been visiting the same for beaching, sunbathing, fishing and swimming. For 74 years the area was managed by a volunteering board, which then had to dissolve and the Sonoma County Regional Parks took over the land in 2016.
You can visit the Russian River Beach and Fitch Mountain which are just a walking distance away from the park. Bird watching, fishing and wildlife watching are some exciting activities that can be enjoyed here, which are not only fun but in a certain way, educational too. The park is open from sunrise to sunset. Parking facilities are available here and using a stairway, you can travel to the gravel beach in no time.
Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve
The ridge, which was once just an ordinary jungle-like land, was developed in 1996 to preserve the lands that now make up Healdsburg Ridge. The district was allowed to buy the land outright in 2003, which shaped The Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve as we know it today. The ridge covers an area of 155 acres, but it is an abode of a wide range of groups of flora and fauna including grasslands, chaparral, woodlands and even wetlands. Deers and rabbits can be found in quite a large number, which then further attracts predatory animals like lions and bobcats. Therefore, when you are travelling through the ridge, be sure not to get derailed that has been patched for visitors.
Interestingly, the Dry Creek Valley is on the list of the greatest casual biking routes in the world. Travelling through some of the beautiful wine yards, listening to the splashing waters of the river while cycling with your pals is a tour that is going to be worth every penny you spend. With the help of agencies that offer cycling tours, one can easily enjoy the incredible, quiet road where every spin brings a picture postcard view. You can choose the type of bike you want- Standard Trek hybrid style or an Electric one.
A gallery of contemporary artworks, Gallery Lulo promotes art in the form of sculptures, designs, fine art and jewellery. It celebrates artists from all over the world who explore form, material and technique in progressive, unique ways. The curated art is then displayed in a space that is ethereal, to say the least.
If you want to find some unique items to decor your home, Gallery Lulo might be a perfect place for you. From diamond rings to coral bowls, you can find your perfect decoration among the many compelling artworks.
Healdsburg Centre for the Arts
The Healdsburg Centre for the Arts promotes the artwork of every kind through its many exhibitions, events and educational programs. Formerly known by the name Plaza Arts, it is a non-profit organization that promotes, creates and inspires artists from all around the globe. With a history that spans across 26 years, this centre hosts Summer Art Camps, after school programs and runs many exhibitions throughout the year. Visitors can attend the centre on Sunday, Monday and Thursday from 11 am to 5 pm, while on Friday and Saturday the timing is changed to 11 am-6 pm. The HCA is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Costeaux French Bakery
Famed for their cakes, desserts and sourdough bread, the Costeaux French Bakery is a must-visit for every tourist, especially if you happen to be a bread-lover. Since 1923, the bakery continues to be the favourite destination of locals as well as international visitors. This open-air cafe has is You can stop at this French-inspired bakery from Wednesday to Sunday at 8 am-1:30 pm. Do note that the bakery remains closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Healdsburg Recreation Park
With a landmass of a whooping 4 acres, the Healdsburg Recreation Park is an amazing place to visit. With a lighted field that becomes the ground for games like soccer, baseball, and football, there is a lot going on here. Visitors can purchase snacks from an available concession stand. The park also comes included with an enclosed grandstand for the audience. The recreation park hosts The Future Farmers Fair and the Healdsburg Jazz festival called the "Concert on the Green" annually; on Memorial Day Weekend and in June, respectively. Furthermore, it also serves as a community ground for local events, high school competitions, and graduation ceremonies.