Healdsburg is a small town located in Northern California, just an hour and a half north of San Francisco. Healdsburg, CA is best known for being a foodie and wine lovers dream destination, with multiple michelin star restaurants and hundreds of stunning wineries located in a town with a population of just twelve thousand people. This town has recently exploded into a tourist destination, even Lady Gaga has visited the area. I was born and raised in Healdsburg. I have a special place in my heart for this beautiful and quaint town. Read on for Healdsburg Perfect Two Day Itinerary.
Healdsburg: The Perfect Two Day Itinerary
Healdsburg is a popular getaway for those visiting San Francisco. It’s easily accessible and you can see and do a lot in a short time. I’d recommend staying in town, and planning a day of wineries outside of town, and a day of exploring the plaza and surroundings.
Healdsburg Where to Stay
I’ve visited a lot of hotels in the area, but I generally prefer airbnbs. This airbnb is located a short drive from the plaza, with three bedrooms and four beds, it’s a perfect base for a Healdsburg stay. This particular airbnb offers a beautiful kitchen, spacious living room, and a huge backyard complete with a garden, outside dining table, cornhole, fire pit and a lounge area. I stayed here with my mom and sisters in September 2022, and it was just perfect for us four gals.
If you prefer hotels, check out Hotel Healdsburg just off the plaza, Montage Healdsburg for a super luxe stay just outside of town, or the Harmon Guest House for a modern experience.
Healdsburg What to Do
For breakfast, I love a good coffee and pastry. The best coffee in town is hands down at Black Oak Coffee, a super cute and modern coffee shop located near the Healdsburg Plaza. They have some great pastries there, but I’d also recommend checking out Downtown Bakery for the best croissants, Costeaux Bakery for some real French influence, or The Parish for a sit down breakfast.
Hikers will want to check out the local trails in town, though the best and longest trails in the area are at Lake Sonoma (pictured below).
While in the plaza, check out all of the cute shops. Some of my favorites are Bon Ton Studio, Rete, and Gathered for cute clothes. There are some cute bookstores located in the plaza as well, check out Copperfields Books and Levin & Co.
For lunch in Healdsburg, check El Farolito for a cute sit down Mexican restaurant, Roof 106 for a fancy rooftop lunch, Little Saint for a plant-based meal, and Taqueria El Sombrero for a real local and super budget friendly burrito. Kin Smoke is a popular bbq spot and The Wurst is a cute beer garden with burgers and sausages.
Healdsburg Tasting Rooms
Marine Layer Tasting Room, located in Healdsburg Plaza
There are countless tasting rooms in Healdsburg. While tasting rooms in the vineyards are generally preferred, there are some tasting rooms in Healdsburg that should not be missed. Make sure to check out Marine Layer Wines (pictured above) – a super cute and trendy tasting room located right in the plaza, they serve some spectacular single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. My favorites are their Gravenstein Pinot Noir and the Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir. Some tasting rooms on my bucket list include Idlewild Wines for Italian wine lovers, and Cartograph for Riesling and Pinot Noir.
Wineries to Visit in Dry Creek Valley
Dry Creek Valley is the wine region of Healdsburg. This area is located less than 10 minutes drive from the Healdsburg Plaza, and this region is home to some gorgeous wineries. Small, boutique wineries that do low production are my jam. Some of my favorites in this area include Lambert Bridge Winery (this is where I worked for a year when I was back in the US), Cast Wines (pictured below), Reeve Wines, Unti Vineyards, and A. Rafanelli (they have a lot of history in the area).
tasting at Cast Wines in Dry Creek Valley
Most wineries are now operating by appointment only, and they do tend to book up quickly on the weekends. It’s best to make reservations at least two weeks in advance. The most popular time to visit wine country is during harvest, in September and October. Keep that in mind while planning your trip. This is a great time to visit as you may get to see grapes coming into the winery and being processed, which is a great opportunity to learn more about wine making.
Tips for wine tasting in Dry Creek Valley:
- plan for two hours at each winery – small wineries usually offer intimate tasting experiences
- have lunch in between tastings
- two tastings is the perfect day, any more reservations that this could result in rushed tastings
For lunch between reservations, check out Dry Creek General Store. They make amazing sandwiches and salads, and they have a really cute outside eating area. This is the only spot that offers food in this area. If you have time for a sit down restaurant lunch, check out Diavola Pizzeria in Geyserville (a 10-min drive from Dry Creek) for amazing and authentic Italian pizzas.
What to do Around Healdsburg
Healdsburg really is a dream for food and wine lovers. It’s a super small town that it isn’t well known for visitors from outside of California – yet. It’s the perfect spot to spend a weekend relaxing, drinking good wine, and spending quality time with friends or loved ones. What would you do out of this Healdsburg Perfect Two Day Itinerary?
Let me know if you’ve been to Healdsburg, or if it’s on your bucket list!
Other places to visit in this area: