Healdsburg, a beautiful town nestled between small wineries and green rolling hills is just an hour and a half north of San Francisco, but feels like a world away. You and your family will fall in love with the quaint and picturesque downtown, filled with farm-to-table restaurants, family-owned shop, and of course tasting rooms of locally-produced wine. Here are a few of our favorite Healdsburg destinations, hope you like them as much as we do!
photo: Sonia Gandiaga
The Dry Creek Inn
This hotel feels like a Tuscan-inspired villa, filled with lovely gardens and courtyards, two new heated pools, a large hot tub and a modern gym. Enjoy the complimentary breakfast inside the cafe or by the fire pit or courtyard, and don’t forget to check out the complimentary wine tasting after you check in. The Dry Creek Inn is not only super kid friendly, but you can also bring your pets, making it easy for all members of your family to enjoy their stay.
Tip: Bring bathing suits as their heated pools are open year round and ask about the complimentary yoga classes!
198 Dry Creek Road
Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites
Right on the main drag, this hotel’s massive suites have all the comforts of home and more. Each suite has three bedrooms each with its own bathroom. Hang out in the living room enjoying the fireplace and balcony. Families will love the full kitchen with dining table for when you want to enjoy a relaxed meal. There’s even a washer/dryer for life’s messes (that even happen when you are on vacation). Plan your family reunion here—they’ve got four suites (each with three bedrooms, three bathrooms) and gathering space available for your family shin digs. Bonus: the La Crema tasting room is downstairs!
235 Healdsburg Ave.
photo: Sonia Gandiaga
DaVero Farms & Winery
This beautiful, certified biodynamic farm and winery is home to olive groves, a vineyard, fruit trees, an expansive vegetable garden, as well as chickens, sheep and pigs. Vero focuses exclusively on Italian grape and olive varietals that are best suited for California’s Mediterranean climate and the results are delicious. Stop over for a wine and olive oil tasting and bring your kids along as they can play in the garden or check out the animals while you sip on some of the best wines of the region.
1766 Westside Road
Preston Farm and Winery
As the name implies, this winery is also home to animals like sheep, hens and occasionally pigs. Kids will love the many cats that roam the property (but leave Fido at home for this visit). Grab one of Preston’s famed Rhône varietal wines and enjoy it with a picnic lunch on the grass. Grab some pastured eggs and ground lamb in the shop to take home with you (along with your vino, of course).
9282 West Dry Creek Road
photo: River’s Edge Kayak Trips
River’s Edge Kayak & Canoe Trips
Kayaking or canoeing in the Russian River is of the the most fun activities around but probably best for older kids (and their parents!). You can rent kayaks, canoes and SUP or go on guided trips of the gorgeous upper Russian River.
Tip: No children under 4 years old are allowed. Check the shuttle times as you will park your car 5 miles from where you’ll start to descended the river.
photo: Kate Loweth
If you are looking to brush up on your cooking skills and learn about locally-grown produce, then Relish is the spot for you. They offer chef-taught classes where you get to join in the prep before you enjoy the fruits of your labors. You can also sign up for a workshop that includes a farmer’s market tour before you get cooking. While they aren’t currently offering classes for kids, well-behaved mini chefs are welcome to sign up for classes (pizza making is a great kid-parent option).
14 Matheson St.
photo: Kate Loweth
Wine Country Bikes
There’s no better way to see this gorgeous area of wine country than on two wheels. Wine Country Bikes can hook you up with tandems for the crew and even electric-assist bikes for when the going gets tough. Book a tour and one of their friendly guides will take you to local wineries where you can taste the area’s pinots and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way.
61 Front St.
Spa Hotel Healdsburg
If mom is looking for an afternoon of relaxation, book her a massage at Hotel Healdsburg. Choose from wine country specials like the aromatic Meyer lemon and sage massage that will send her into total relaxation mode immediately. Treatments include access to the Jacuzzi and pool nestled out back under the olive trees.
25 Matheson St.
photo: Kate Loweth
Eat & Drink
The Wurst Restaurant
The Wurst has some of the best sausages in the region and there’s one (or two) for every member of the family—even the veggie-only eaters. They are served with fresh-cut fries, sweet potato fries or onion rings. They also make amazing burgers and salads if you are not in a sausage mood.
Tip: Check out their extensive mustard selection before heading to your table!
22 Matheson St
If you need a spot to celebrate a special occasion, head to Barndiva. This gorgeous restaurant has outdoor dining in the massive back garden as well as large tables in the restaurant. Quirky decor pairs well with the delicious options like seared king salmon and pan-roasted halibut. They are open Wednesday-Sunday for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.
231 Cedar St.
Bravas has consistently been rated as one of the best tapas restaurants in the country (even those hailing from Spain will agree). The restaurant features a stunning patio (for lunch or dinner) and a beautiful menu featuring tapas and other Spanish-typical dishes like tortilla de patata (Spanish potato omelette) and Paella.
Tip: The kids will love the jamón serrano and manchego cheese sandwich and you will fall in love with the Barcelona martini.
420 Center St
—Kate Loweth & Sonia Gandiaga
Editor’s note: This trip was paid for by Visit Healdsburg but all opinions belong to the author.
Featured photo: iStock