Best Wineries, Activities & Restaurants in Healdsburg, CA

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Advisor - Nadia Bess
Curated By

Nadia Bess

  • USA

  • California

  • Food & Wine

  • Domestic Travel

  • Weekend Getaways

  • Countryside

  • Farm-to-table

  • Vineyards

Vineyard with mountains in the background on a sunny day
Curator’s statement

California wine country is on the bucket list of many. However, many of the wine regions, such as Napa and Sonoma, are far from major airports and very spread apart. Healdsburg — which flies under the radar — is just the opposite. Sonoma County Airport (STS) is only 15 minutes from downtown Healdsburg and offers direct connections to most major cities in the Western US. Healdsburg, built around a town square, oozes charm and is full of winery tasting rooms, excellent restaurants — multiple of which have Michelin stars, cute boutiques and art galleries. If you want to venture outside of town, there are wineries in all four directions, nature trails for hiking and biking and the town is located on the Russian River for water activities. It’s a perfect long weekend getaway for all four seasons.

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Things to do in Healdsburg, CA

Vineyard overlooking mountains during daytime

Go wine tasting: With hundreds of wineries in the area, the wine tasting options are endless! You can walk to the tasting rooms in downtown Healdsburg or visit the wineries throughout the region. You can rent a bike (Getaway Adventures is great) to visit them via bike or hire a driver to take you around to the wineries. There are many wineries in the area so ask your concierge for recommendations. Some great ones that I love include Bricoleur Vineyards, Aperture Cellars, Vérité Winery, Williamson Wines, Marine Layer Wines, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Ridge Vineyards and Rafanelli Winery.

Get out on the water: Russian River offers numerous opportunities to cool off in the hotter months. Rent a kayak or canoe from River’s Edge, Getaway Adventures, Russian River Adventures or rent an ebike to explore around town and near the water. After you are done, grab a glass of wine at The Drink, just a short walk away. You can also visit Lake Sonoma for boating, swimming and fishing. 

Go on a safari! Safari West is only a twenty-minute drive away and is a very unique opportunity to feel like you are in Africa for an afternoon! Jump on an open top jeep and observe over 90 different animal species in their 400-acre nature preserve. 

Go on a picnic: Stop at Oakville Grocery for a gourmet smorgasbord of options for your picnic. Next, stop at Journeyman Meat Co. for gourmet salami in a myriad of flavors (I love the wine themed salamis), cheese and gourmet goodies for a fantastic charcuterie spread. They also offer pre-made salumi boards, sausage boards, sandwiches and pizzas if you’d prefer a heartier lunch. Take your findings to Rainbow Trail Park or Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve for a lovely al fresco lounge. 

See wine country from above: For the ultimate way to explore wine country, go on a sunrise picnic above wine country with Up & Away Hot Air Ballooning. 

Go on an art gallery crawl: Healdsburg is full of art galleries. Wander from gallery to gallery, stopping for a bite or drink when you need a break.

Visit Museums: Are you a Snoopy or Charlie Brown fan? Stop by the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa to learn all about Charles Schulz, the creator of Snoopy, Charlie Brown and other Peanut comic strips. For something even more unique, visit the Hand Fan Museum of Healdsburg to see displays of beautiful fans.

Day Trips from Healdsburg

Healdsburg is not a far drive from the Sonoma or Napa wine regions so it’s an easy road trip to visit more wineries for a day or to extend your journey by staying in another area. Alternatively, you can drive an hour south to Cavallo Point Lodge in Marin County to spend some days visiting Sausalito, walking amongst the trees in Muir Woods and hiking in the Marin Headlands for epic Golden Gate Bridge views. Stop at Sol Food along the drive for fantastic Puerto Rican food that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. If you want to spend some time by the ocean, head northwest for a getaway to the charming coastal towns Mendocino or Bodega Bay.

Places to eat & drink in Healdsburg, CA

Three white bowls of food on a wood table with bottles of water

You really can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in Healdsburg, but here are a few of my favorites. 

Quail & Condor: This bakery offers truly stellar pastries and bread. Get there early; they frequently sell out. 

Lo & Behold Bar + Kitchen: When you are ready to take a break from wine, this spot offers fantastic cocktails. You can also get oysters, ceviche and creative global cuisine with dishes inspired from various countries throughout the world. 

Spoonbar: This popular spot offers farm-to-table California cuisine. From seafood to meat to vegetarian options, this restaurant offers something for everyone. Don’t miss Seafood Sundays if you are there on a Sunday evening!

Barndiva: This Michelin-starred restaurant definitely deserves its award. This cult-favorite lovely spot in a barn and garden offers inventive cuisine, such as snail shell pasta, egg yolk dumplings and Mount Lassen trout. 

Roof 106 @ The Matheson: While downstairs offers an elegant experience with a tasting menu available, the al fresco rooftop is a cocktail lounge with firepits, views of Healdsburg Plaza and more casual fare. 

SingleThread Farm Restaurant has 3 Michelin stars and was just named the  #37 best restaurant in the world. As such, reservations are hard to come by (reserve the minute they go live each month for the best chance). If you are able to snag a table, this is an experience you will not forget. Their nearby farm grows and creates all of their produce, honey, eggs and olive oil to use in the restaurant’s ten course tasting menu. 

Valette: Valette is another fantastic option that offers a more affordable “Trust Me” tasting menu option. The presentation of the food is fantastic and everything is delicious; try the gnocchi if it’s on the menu. 

Little Saint: Want something a bit healthier after indulging all weekend? Little Saint offers vegan and vegetable-forward cuisine that even carnivores will enjoy. Although the options are healthy, it’s certainly not boring; cocktails, wine and dessert are still on offer. 

Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria: This fantastic italian spot is in Geyserville, a perfect lunch spot when you are out wine tasting north of Healdsburg. 

Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar: Looking for dessert or a snack while you are wandering in the Square? Stop in Noble Folk for cupcakes, pies, cookies, macarons and ice cream in fun flavors, such as pistachio cherry or horchata. 

Amy’s Wicked Slush: This ice cream spot is a gem and allows you to feel like you are visiting a diner in the 1950s. Italian ice is their specialty but they also have soft serve, slushballs, sundaes and hot chocolate. 

Need to Know

For more California travel tips, check out my guides to Southern California: Ultimate Guide to Visiting San Diego, CA and Best Things to Do in Orange County, California.

Advisor - Nadia Bess

Travel Advisor

Nadia Bess

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