The picturesque town of Healdsburg (population 11,600) is located in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country, 70 miles north of San Francisco. It is a small but vital community with a diverse economy based on agriculture, tourism, lumber and retail businesses. The town’s center is a charming Spanish-style plaza surrounded by a variety of shops. This centrally located plaza is the heart of the community and the focal point for several local events and celebrations, including summer concerts, a farmers market, car shows and more.
Healdsburg could be considered the perfect wine country town—not too big, not too small—and situated right where the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys, all prime wine regions, come together. Healdsburg has more than 100 wineries within a 30-minute drive from town. The wineries and the area’s natural beauty attract more than one million visitors annually.
Some of the finest small wineries and tasting rooms in all of Sonoma County are located in Healdsburg, many with tasting rooms right on the famed Healdsburg Plaza. Park on the plaza and walk to more wineries than you can pack into a weekend; a world class brewpub, Bear Republic (see story page 24); so many top restaurants, several luxury hotels and a handful of unique antique shops.
Situated along the Russian River, Healdsburg is a perfect spot for canoeing and swimming during the hot summer months. Bicycling is also popular in the area, and northwest of town is Lake Sonoma where visitors can enjoy watersports and fishing.
A town to explore by foot, Healdsburg has dozens of well-preserved Victorian commercial buildings and homes as well as many excellent shops, restaurants, hotels, and Bed and Breakfast inns to accommodate any traveller. In the summertime, strollers can cool off by heading for Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach at the south end of town for a dip in the refreshing Russian River. Canoes can be rented at the beach for those who want to float farther downstream (see River’s Edge story page 58). River’s Edge will even come and pick you up when you’re done. For more information, contact the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau at 217 Healdsburg Ave., (707) 433-6935.
If live theater is your passion, spend an evening at Raven Theater. The recently renovated historic building is host to live dramatic performances, musicals and live concerts. See their current productions at www.raventheater.org.
A unique way to tour and taste wine in the Healdsburg area is by segway. Segway of Healdsburg offers a great Dry Creek Winery tour and a Russian River Valley tour, where you will ride on your own personal electric vehicle. You will find them easy to use and great way to glide your way to the wineries. See their story on page 23. Mention their ad and get a “101 Discount”!
The Annual Barrel Tasting event is the first weekend in March. Healdsburg is a great place to find yourself to participate in this much anticipated annual event. Other events in Healdsburg include the Healdsburg Jazz Festival in June. Performance venues are all over the Healdsburg area. Find out more and get your tickets at www.healdsburgjazzfestival •healdsburg.com
Things To Do in Healdsburg:
27. Tour Wine Country and Redwoods on a Segway
79. Browse the World’s Only Hand Fan Museum
80. Have a Gourmet Brunch Tour on the Russian River
81. Take a Wine Walk in Healdsburg
82. Have a Pontoon Boat Party and more on Lake Sonoma