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Healdsburg is Heaven

Surrounded by the renowned wineries of Chalk Hill and Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys, the idyllic town of Healdsburg

Healdsburg, California

Surrounded by the renowned wineries of Chalk Hill and Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys, the idyllic town of Healdsburg is a splendid place to spend a night or two.

In fact, Healdsburg has really come into its own. In the past couple of years, the community has evolved from a sleepy, agricultural farming town into a notably chic and sophisticated travel destination.

Named for Harmon Heald--a squatter who won a fifteen dollar lot of land in the mid-1850s and plotted a town on it, complete with a central Spanish-style plaza--Healdsburg is located just 67 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and a stone's throw to at least a hundred wineries and tasting rooms. One hundred-fifty years later, Harmon would be surprised-- and one hopes pleased- by how many things there are to do in and around his town.

Seekers of antiques should head straight to Healdsburg Classics, an antique collective with more than 20 quality dealers. They sell furniture, glassware, china, and jewelry, and if they don't have it, they probably know who does. Relish Culinary Center has a remarkable calendar of seminars and events, with topics like Tasting & Talking Wine with local winemakers, secrets for pie baking, and guided mushroom-foraging tours. Demonstrating an above-average level of creativity, the town also offers several offbeat activities, like a visit to the Hand Fan Museum of Healdsburg, the nation's first museum dedicated solely to the centuries-old tradition of hand fans. And don't let a chilly breeze deter you from taking a Tree Walk. Bundle up, grab an arm, and take at least one of two self-guided tours.Walking tours, gourmet restaurants, golf tournaments, spas, and art galleries--and, of course, the winery drives out Westside and Eastside Roads--are just some of the other offerings today's Healdsburg has to enjoy.

Just thinking of them is enough to make a wine tourer wonder if it might make sense to spend the night. And where? Fortunately, the town of Healdsburg has several answers.

Where to Stay:

Belle de Jour Inn 707.431.9777

Bella Villa Messina 707.433.6655

Calderwood Inn 707.431.1110

Camellia Cottage on Fitch Mountain 707.422.8182

Camellia Downtown Suites 707.422.8182

The Camellia Inn 707.433.8182

Dry Creek Inn 800.222.5784

Grandma's Victorian Cottage 707.433.4571

Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza 707.433.6991

Hotel Healdsburg 800.889.7188

Irish Rose Inn 707.431.2801

Raford Inn 800.887.9503

Where to Eat

Dry Creek Kitchen 707.431.0330

Cyrus 707.433.3311

Barndiva 707.431.0100

Bovolo 707.431.2962