Nestled against the Russian River in northern Sonoma County, the historic town of Healdsburg holds the charms of a small, agricultural community with the amenities of a world-class wine and food destination.
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While hops and prunes were the reason many farming families settled in northern Sonoma County, today Healdsburg is a rising star in the already bright constellation of Sonoma County wines.
A good way to explore the many wineries of Healdsburg is to visit the tasting rooms that dot the plaza, interspersed with art galleries and boutiques.
Another good way to get a sense of Healdsburg and northern Sonoma County is a multi-day pass from Wine Road.
Their one-day wine pass includes special offers from wineries in the area, including complimentary wine tasting and discounts on buying wine.
Neaby wineries include Wilson Winery, Rodney Strong, Ferrari-Carano, Pezzi King, Dry Creek, Mill Creek, Armida, Foppiano and many others. Find all Healdsburg wineries here.
Often compared to Yountville and St. Helena, its glitzier cousins in neighboring Napa Valley, Healdsburg holds the charms of a small, agricultural community with the amenities of a world-class wine and food destination.
In Healdsburg, farmers come to town to buy work boots while well-heeled visitors stroll into Costeaux French Bakery for fresh pastries and delicious breakfasts.
At the center of town is the Healdsburg Plaza with an old-time band shell that's still being used for concerts and civic gatherings.
A small fountain entertains children while large redwood trees stand on the corners, watching over friends meeting for coffee and visitors enjoying the sun.
A renaissance of the river among locals includes the Russian River Festival—a month of activities hosted by Sonoma County Regional Parks.
There's also increased interest in the Steelhead fish that run up the river in winter, celebrated with an annual festival held at nearby Lake Sonoma.
Overnight options include Madrona Manor Wine Country Inn & Restaurant, which offers posh lodgings and inventive cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.
Looking for more fun things to do during your trip to Sonoma County? Take a look at the many outdoor activities to enjoy in the valleys, vineyards, coastline and Russian River areas of Sonoma County.