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. For a map of the local tasting rooms, see the next page.
Healdsburg is named after Harmon Heald, an Ohio native who traveled to California in search of gold. Failing health forced him to give up that search, but he came to Sonoma County and built the first home and store in what is now Healdsburg. The town was incorporated in 1867.
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 traveler. 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. The canoe company 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.