If y’all haven’t noticed by now, I fell totally in love with California. This is my 10th (and final!) post on our 12 day trip to the Golden State and you can find all my posts, from San Francisco to Sonoma to Tahoe, here. For this last post, I’m revisiting our trip to Healdsburg and giving you an overview on planning your own trip to this charming, sunny city.
HEALDSBURG TRAVEL GUIDE
You’ve already read a few posts on Healdsburg and Sonoma County. From a Foodie’s Guide to Healdsburg to an Evening at Madrona Manor to a Wine Tasting Weekend to recaps of both of the bed and breakfasts where we stayed, I’ve done a deep dive into our 5 days in the area. But, I wanted to give you a general travel guide – one that would cover the logistics, the highlights, and how to plan your own trip to Healdsburg. And that’s what I have for you today!
WHY VISIT HEALDSBURG
So, why should you visit Healdsburg? Honestly, my Foodie’s Guide to Healdsburg should have convinced you to immediately book your flight. But, if that wasn’t enough, you should visit it for the charming (and large!) downtown, filled with shopping, gourmet fine dining, delicious hole in the wall spots, and farm to table cuisine. You should visit for the wine! The pinots are unparalleled. You should visit for the stunning views over the Russian River and across the vineyards. Or maybe just visit for laid back, sunny (humidity free) California vibes.
HOW TO GET TO HEALDSBURG
To get to Healdsburg, you’ll want to fly into San Francisco and rent a car. It’s not a bad drive – about 2.5 hours – and, while you don’t need a car in the area, you’ll probably want to have one. When making your plans, consider San Francisco traffic and the time change. We flew in late at night, so obviously we would have spent the night in San Fran even if we weren’t planning on exploring the city. But, if you were to catch an early flight, there’s no reason you couldn’t just grab your car and hit the road straight from SFO.
WHEN TO GO TO HEALDSBURG
While the temperatures don’t swing wildly throughout the year (though the do throughout the day!), most people will tell you to visit during the warm, dry summers. I’m warning you, when I say warm, I mean warm. Temperatures are regularly in the upper 90’s, but there’s no humidity, so it’s not like we’re used to on the East Coast. Do prepare for the hot days to be contrasted with chilly evenings. Once the sun goes does, the temperatures dip quickly.
WHERE TO STAY IN HEALDBUSRG
There are SO many charming bed and breakfasts all over Healdsburg! It seems everywhere I looked, I spotted another little inn in an adorable Victorian home ready for guests. We stayed in both the Calderwood Inn and the Haydon Street Inn and I would recommend both. Both had convenient locations, and while I preferred our room at Calderwood Inn, the food – both the happy hour and the breakfast – was unparalleled at Haydon Street Inn. I’m dreaming about my polenta waffle as I write…
WHAT TO DO IN HEALDSBURG
While you’re in Healdsburg, you can create a trip itinerary that’s all your own. There’s so much to do regardless of whether you’re a foodie or a wino or an outdoorsy type.
We started every morning with a long walk and would have loved to have gone kayaking on the Russian River if we’d had another day or two to explore.
We spent time popping in and out of shops downtown and checking out the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market.
There’s, of course, wine tasting both in town and out in Sonoma County.
I loved strolling around the neighborhoods around downtown taking in the diversity of architectural styles from historic bungalows to Victorian homes to modern houses with perfectly casual Californian landscaping.
And then there’s the food…
WHERE TO EAT IN HEALDSBURG
First things first, if there had been a food tour at a convenient time for us, we 100% would have signed up. That is on the agenda for next time!
But, when it comes to places we did eat, our favorites were Spoonbar, The Taste of Tea, and the Dry Creek General Store. I’m not going to do a deep dive into any of them in this post, because you’ll have to go over to my Foodie’s Guide to a Weekend in Healdsburg to read in great detail about every place we ate and loved from breakfast to lunch to coffee shops to dessert to dinner.
A FEW FINAL NOTES ON HEALDSBURG
We will 100%, without a doubt be back. Our trip came about when one of my good friends decided to get married here, and while I first was like, “What?! We’re going across the country for your wedding when both of y’all are from the East Coast?!”, it took only a few minutes to understand why this place is so amazing. I haven’t experienced such a perfect combination of laid-back relaxation and stuff to do and amazing food in a long time and there is still so much there I want to do (eat).