48 Hours In Wine Country: A Perfect Weekend Guide To Healdsburg

Die-hard Sonoma wine country fans have witnessed the sleepy, two-street town of Healdsburg blossom into an upscale destination, complete with world-class accommodations, tasting rooms, fine dining and craft cocktails.

 

Here is my intimate, personal guide to spending a memorable weekend, filled with wonderful wine, fabulous food and rousing romance in the quaint town of Healdsburg.

 

Should you crave European-style decadence and impeccable service, Hotel Les Mars, a Relais and Chateaux designated property, is well worth a splurge. However, if you prefer a contemporary, eco-friendly hotel, featuring casual yet chic and comfortable accommodations, H2 Hotel may be your perfect spot. Plus – a bonus, the hotel happens to feature one of the best cocktail bars in the country, Spoonbar. Their cocktail program is a true farm-to-table affair. The drinks are as visually stunning as they are remarkably tasty.

 

Hotel Les Mars

 

 

Location: 27 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

Phone: (707) 433-4211
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H2 Hotel

 

 

Location: 219 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 431-2202
Website | Facebook

 

Spoonbar

 

 

Location: 219 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 433-7222
Website | Facebook | Instagram

 

Flying Goat

 

 

After an evening of delectable cocktails, start your morning off with the ultimate cup of coffee from Flying Goat. They roast their own coffee and feature superb baristas. Order the Aztec Mocha and your taste buds will dance with unadulterated joy.

 

Location: 419 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA 95488
Phone: (707) 433-8003
Website | Facebook

 

Shed

 

 

At lunch time, wander into Shed, a local marketplace with a fantastic cafe and live music. Their cafe showcases dishes made with organic ingredients and they offer a great selection of wines on tap.

 

Location: 25 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 431-7433
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Chalkboard

 

 

Alternatively, pop into Chalkboard, a casual dining spot focusing on the fare made with ingredients sourced from local Sonoma county farms. Executive chef Shane McAnelly’s daily menu of tapas is made with ingredients that are partly sourced form the restaurant’s own garden. Many top local wines are featured on the restaurant’s list. In addition, the cocktails are interesting and well worth ordering.

 

Location: 29 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 473-8030
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Barndiva

 

 

Despite Healdsburg’s seemingly diminutive size, your dinner options are quite extensive and allow the indulgence of your every mood. For a memorable dining experience, visit Barndiva, where I had the best tuna dish of the year. Great wine list and excellent cocktails seal the deal. Barndiva‘s proprietors also own Healdsburg Modern Cottages, a group of idyllic, 1930s-style cottages surrounded by olive trees. If you fancy cozy fireplaces, plush bedding and Eames Era furnishings, these chic accommodations are for you. Request a loaner bike and pedal your way through the town’s formidable charm.

 

Location: 231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 431-0100
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Healdsburg Modern Cottages

 

 

Location: 425 Foss St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (866) 964-0110
Website

 

Scopa

 

 

In the mood for Italian? Scopa, a favorite hangout for local vintners, never disappoints. They turn out spectacular dishes from a postage stamp kitchen. Don’t miss the meatballs and grilled calamari.

 

Location: 109A Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 433-5282
Website

 

Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar

 

 

Craving seafood? Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar offers an enormous selection of small plates designed for family-style sharing. Famous for their wide variety of fresh oysters, New England-style seafood “rolls” and raw preparations, such as ceviches and tartares; it also boasts an extensive wine list to wash down these tasty morsels.

 

Location: 403 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 433-9191
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There are also thirty tasting rooms in Healdsburg, showcasing seven appellations and over twenty varieties. I visited all of them. My top five tasting rooms are:

 

Donatiello 

 

 

Chris Donatiello left a flourishing career as a wine and spirits marketing executive to pursue his passion for making wine in Russian River Valley. The wines are character driven, thoughtfully made, and full of bright, vivid flavors. His Windhorse Vineyard Pinot Noir is one of my favorites.

 

Location: 320 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 431-4442
Website

 

Davis Family Vineyards          

 

 

Guy Davis is a man of huge heart and equally enormous passion for grape growing and winemaking. His wines are pure, honest, true to their origin and delicious to boot.

 

Location: 52 Front St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 433-3858
Website | Facebook

 

Hartford Family Tasting Room and Salon

 

 

This is a brand new facility. It’s a spacious, beautifully appointed salon. Their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are phenomenal. You can read more about Hartford wines here.

 

Location: 331 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 887-8031
Website

 

Valdez Family Winery

 

 

An extraordinary grower who produces fruit for Mark Aubert, JC Cellars, Paul Hobbs and Pahlmeyer, Ulisses Valdez is “American Dream” personified. First generation farmer and vintner, his success is rooted in hard work and dedication. His poignant portfolio of wines is stellar and well worth a special trip.

 

Location: 113 Mill St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 433-3710
Website | Twitter

 

Windsor Vineyards

 

 

This is a relaxed, casual space that features honest, good value wines. This is the only winery in California that offers customization to consumers. Win favor with friends and family by offering them a gift of wine with a personalized label.

 

Location: 308 B Center Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Phone: (707) 921-2893

Ilona Thompson

Ilona Thompson is Editor-in-Chief at PalateXposure, a destination site for oenophiles, gourmands and luxury travelers. She also recently launched #Wine, a site dedicated to wines and spirits reviews, and #Photography, a site devoted to high-quality wine, food, and travel related photography.

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