It seems as if no matter which part of California you’re in, you’re bound to stumble across a charming little town that looks as if it’s straight out of a magazine. That may be because California is riddled with picturesque small towns that actually have been featured in major publications. Sausalito, Solvang, and Ojai have all been featured in Country Living as some of the top 15 small towns to live in in the Golden State. Four of the state’s smaller locales were featured in U.S. News’ Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA, and, if you read Forbes, you’ll likely have heard of Healdsburg, a town worth going out of your way for.
5 Reasons to Escape to This Smaller, Quinter Version of Napa
Healdsburg has all the makings of a lovely tourist town just waiting to be explored. From eclectic boutiques full of handmade items and unique findings to delightful eateries that serve fares that range from traditional to contemporary, Healdsburg has it all. And, of course, it has wine. Whether you’re in town for the weekend or just passing through, no trip to this Northern California city is complete without first doing the following activities:
Wineries in California are like breweries throughout the rest of the country. In just the not-quite-four-and-half square miles that make up this little township there are 19 wineries alone, each of which boasts a tasting room. These tasting rooms are within walking distance of one another, so there is no excuse to not to visit at least half of them, if not all of them. Before you visit Healdsburg wineries, map out your path so that you can make the most of your time in this little haven.
Tour Historic Homes
Healdsburg is full of history, which is evident in its impeccably restored Victorians, bungalows, and craftsman. Each structure is framed by pristine lawns and gardens of vibrant flowers that are lucky enough to live year-round thanks to the state’s mild temperatures. Be careful though—if you fall too hard for the scenery, you may find yourself the proud owner of a Healdsburg cottage.
Healdsburg downtown is chockfull of little cafes, individually-owned restaurants, charming boutiques, and contemporary art galleries. Most shop owners are dog friendly, so if you brought Fido along on your weekend adventure, let him tour the shops with you. Who knows – he may get a tasty treat, or several, from the pet-friendly merchants.
Picnic in the Park
Healdsburg’s Plaza, a park-like setting in the middle of town, features several of California’s famous redwoods, which tower over other trees, colorful fauna, and quaint structures. Before heading over to catch a glimpse of nature’s beauties, stop at a local eatery to pick up some food to go. Markets sell fresh fruits and cheeses from local vendors and restaurants pack full lunch boxes for people with the same idea as you. If you’re in town on Wednesday or Saturday, pick up some fresh bread and produce at the farmers market before heading to the park. During the summer, the Tuesdays in the Plaza concert series offers the perfect opportunity for a happy hour picnic.
Stay at Hotel Healdsburg
Though the town offers a few different lodging options, Hotel Healdsburg is the go-to choice for visitors who have been to town before, and for good reason. This unassuming inn is park-front and located at the heart of historic downtown. It has 55 rooms, each of which is decorated in a modern-minimalist-meets-cottage-chic style. The common areas feature glass skywalks, luscious atriums, and airy courtyards. A 60-foot pool is hidden in an ivy-walled oasis in which you can lounge poolside beneath an umbrella or take a cool dip.
Simply being in Healdsburg is a delight, but if you’re going to be in town, you may as well make the most of it. Sip wine at one of the local vineyards, take a tour of downtown and its historic homes, play in the park, and lodge in luxury. You deserve a getaway of Healdsburg caliber and all the memories it’s bound to create.