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Healdsburg, Calif.: Weekend Escape

A charming wine country town features locally-sourced food and quaint shops alongside the tasting rooms.

  • Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society, Healdsburg, Calif., image
    Photo caption
    The Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society is housed inside an old Carnegie library. 
  • Waiter with plate of scallops at Barndiva, Healdsburg, Calif., image
    Photo caption
    Scallops come with a smile at Barndiva in Healdsburg. 


Once a plum-farming community, this Sonoma County town an hour north of San Francisco switched to grapes and a hip culinary hamlet emerged. Upscale eateries abound, yet a small-town mellowness remains amid the tree-lined lanes and foodie destinations. Area code is 707.

  • Sonoma County wineries aren’t just refreshingly unpretentious—they’re accessible by bike. Wine Country Bikes will outfit you with wheels, helmet, and a custom itinerary. 61 Front St., 473-0610,
  • Are you low on air plants or antique maps? Seahoney features a stylishly curated mix of objets de décor. 137 Matheson St., 217-1387.
  • At Barndiva your delicious sips and bites may include a Meyer lemon–infused vodka cocktail and yellowfin with pickled Fresno chile. Weather permitting, you can dine outside in the enchanting garden under hanging lights and towering black walnut trees. 231 Center St., 431-0100,
  • Pay your respects and nibble happily at Shed, the airy new mall for all things edible and agrarian. This church of farm-to-table goodness touts a café, fermentation bar, organic veggies, hand-operated kitchen tools, and more. It also has a space for readings, communal suppers, and workshops—think butchery and vermicomposting. 25 North St., 431-7433,
  • Every day should begin with poached eggs, local vegetables, and polenta, and Downtown Bakery & Creamery can make that happen. Or take one of its legendary sticky buns across the street to enjoy in the plaza. 308A Center St., 431-2719,
  • As wineries go, Medlock Ames hits the California trifecta: artisanal, stylish, and ecofriendly. The grapefruit in the sauvignon blanc is crisp, the lush acres surrounding the tasting room striking. 3487 Alexander Valley Rd., 431-8845,
  • Grapes aren’t all that grows around here. At Dragonfly Floral, you can wander the paths of a six-acre organic flower farm. The daffodils start peeking out in winter. Bring a bottle of wine to the enchanting circle of willows. 425 Westside Rd., 433-3739,
  • It wasn’t always so, the Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society reminds us. The local history exhibits—who knew movie star Fred MacMurray once called Healdsburg home?—reside in a grand old Carnegie library. 221 Matheson St., 431-3325,

Photography by Melissa Barnes (Barndiva); courtesy Sanfranman59/Wikimedia Commons (Healdsburg Museum)


This article was first published in January 2014. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.