48 Hours in Healdsburg, California

Its culinary experiences and boutique shops set Healdsburg

With 90-plus vineyards and wineries, Michelin-star dining, boutique shops, and charming historical eateries, Healdsburg is a Wine Country gem. 

Healdsburg’s small-town charm and easy access to numerous Sonoma County wineries make it ideal for a getaway. Here are some ideas on how to spend a couple of days here. 

Day 1

Breakfast: Costeaux French Bakery

Kick off your relaxing Sonoma County stay with an indulgent breakfast. Celebrated for its legendary artisan breads, fresh pastries, and yummy café meals, the Costeaux French Bakery has been an institution among Healdsburg restaurants since 1923. Kick back on the dog-friendly patio and spoil yourself with rich and buttery Benedicts, French toast, and deep-dish quiches while you soak up the California sunshine.

Retail Therapy: Mr. Moon’s, Dovetail Collection, and Yasuko

Wander the charming central plaza, which boasts a full lineup of locally owned boutiques and specialty stores — perfect for picking up souvenirs and gifts. Head to Mr. Moon’s for handmade jewelry, cool stationery, toys, small-batch soaps, and more. Or check out Dovetail Collection’s array of fine woodwork, ceramics, jewelry, and home decor. Clothing by designer Yasuko is available in boutiques nationwide, but in Healdsburg you can visit her only retail store. And that’s just the tip of the shopping iceberg: You’ll also find antiques, collectibles, and plenty of art galleries. Learn more about shopping in Healdsburg.

Tip: The plaza’s outdoor bandstand hosts free concerts and other community festivities, so keep an eye on Healdsburg events.

Lunch: The Taste of Tea, Bravas Bar de Tapas and Oakville Grocery

Combine lunch with a bit of relaxation and renewal. At The Taste of Tea you can savor sashimi bento boxes or ramen or udon with a tasting flight of classic teas. Bravas Bar de Tapas dishes up small plates, fragrant paella, and citrusy sangria. If you’re after something heartier, head to Oakville Grocery — founded in 1881, the shop is known for sandwiches so good, you’ll close your eyes in delight with each bite.

Tastings at Healdsburg Wineries

After lunch, it’s time to hit Healdsburg’s tasting rooms for a self-guided wine adventure. More than a dozen tasting rooms are scattered throughout the downtown area, making it easy to sip and stroll. You can also book guided tours from operators like Let’s Go Wine Walk, Savor Healdsburg Food Tours, and Healdsburg Wine & Food Walking Tours. Tours last 2.5 to 4 hours and range from standard tastings to progressive dining experiences with exclusive pairings.

Michelin-Star Dinners: SingleThread and Barndiva

Consistently awarded three Michelin stars (most you can get!), SingleThread offers a 10-course tasting menu built around what’s in season. The restaurant’s own farm supplies much of its produce — including olive oil and honey — and it’s also earned a Michelin green star for being a leader in sustainability. You’ll find more farm-to-table fabulousness at Barndiva, a one-star gem that dishes up delights like Mount Lassen trout with ramp mousse and egg-yolk dumplings with horseradish espuma. And Chalkboard touts the Bib Gourmand award for high quality cuisine at a great price point.

Reservations at all three restaurants are a must.

Find more Michelin-star restaurants in Sonoma County.

Nightcaps: Duke’s Spirited Cocktails and John & Zeke’s Bar

Recap the day’s adventures over cocktails that showcase local ingredients at Duke’s Spirited Cocktails. The Siren — made with mezcal, cucumber, lemongrass, bergamot syrup and jalepeño — will have you singing. Or head to John & Zeke’s Bar, a local watering hole, for pool and shuffleboard.

Day 2

Breakfast: Downtown Bakery & Creamery and Healdsburg Farmers’ Market

Nothing’s quite as decadent as spending a morning leisurely enjoying the outdoors with pastries and coffee. Start your day with espresso, pain au chocolat and the famous sticky buns of Downtown Bakery & Creamery. Grab your fresh-baked goods to-go so you can stretch out and people-watch in the shady town plaza, which is just across the street.

For a livelier breakfast, head to the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market, held twice a week from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, mid-May through September and from 8:30 a.m. to noon, mid-April through December. Pick up artisan bread, local preserves and Sonoma County cheese to enjoy a rustic meal set to live music and other festivities.

Healdsburg Vineyard Tours Via Hike or Bike

There are more than 90 Healdsburg wineries and vineyards, and you can choose how you cruise through them. Amista Vineyards, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Sutro Wine Co., and more all lay claim to guided hikes, many of which are paired with tastings (and all of which are paired with stunning scenery). At Amista, you’ll even see the winery’s Habitat Enrichment Project, which works to restore the native fish habitat in Dry Creek.

Learn about other wineries with walking tours.

If you prefer your tasting tour with a more intense side of cardio, explore Healdsburg’s wineries via bike. Both Getaway Adventures & Rentals and Ace It Bike Tours host pedal-powered sip-and-cycle excursions, letting you take in Sonoma County’s rolling hills — striped with orderly rows of vines — along with craggy mountains and tranquil blue skies.

Locally Sourced Lunchtime: Journeyman Meat Co.

Back in town and just north of the Healdsburg Plaza, Journeyman Meat Co. is an old-school butcher shop with a wood-fired oven and a simple menu that changes weekly to take advantage of the most seasonal local ingredients. Look for items like pizza with roasted leeks, bacon, and a farm egg, or a to-go plate of their house-made salumi with pickled veggies and cheese.

Fun on the Water: Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach

Soak up some sun (after applying some environmentally friendly SPF, of course) at the Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach. From July through Labor Day, a seasonal dam creates a peaceful swimming area, and lifeguards are on duty daily.

The beach is also the launching point for self-guided, full-day summertime canoe trips by Russian River Adventures. Paddle and float down a secluded and natural section of the river, watching birds and wildlife as you go, and then ride the shuttle back to your car from the take-out point. (Dogs are welcome for an additional fee.)

Dinner: Guiso Latin Fusion and Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar

At Guiso Latin Fusion, savor the homey, comfort-food feels that come with pupusas — corn cakes stuffed with cheese and fillings. Or try their Caribbean take on paella, where linguica sausage, seasonal veg, and an array of seafood swim in a saffron-infused garlic broth. Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar serves up tapas, crabcakes, and warm sourdough bread with garlic-parsley butter on their tree-shaded patio.

Check out more Healdsburg restaurants.

Where to Stay: Healdsburg Hotels and Lodging

You’ll find plenty of hotel options when it’s time to check in and unpack your bags. Camellia Inn is a historical B&B that takes its name from the 50 camellia varieties that grow around the property — imagine strolling through a brilliant garden of sweet-smelling blooms before taking a dip in the villa-style pool. Tucked right off the plaza, Hotel Healdsburg has a modern vibe and a focus on wellbeing with in-house spa services like massages, facials, and full-body treatments.

Discover more Healdsburg hotels.

Getting To Healdsburg

The town is about a 60-minute drive from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and you simply drive north on US Highway 101 the entire trip.

If you’d prefer flying directly to the heart of Wine Country, three carriers offer daily flights to Santa Rosa’s Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS), where you can rent a car, use a taxi or ridesharing service, or take a Sonoma County Transit bus for the approximately 10-mile trip north.

You can also catch the Groome Transportation at either San Francisco or Oakland international airports for a ride to STS. And Golden Gate Transit offers bus rides from SF to Healdsburg, a trip that takes about three to four hours.

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