This is local’s wine country! The ideal time to visit is summer or early fall, August-September are the peak months with harvest.
- More about your oliver guide: Amy Noblin
- Trip type: Family
- Activity level: easy
- Ideal length of trip: LONG WEEKEND
to & from
From the Bay Area, it is an easy jaunt up 101, and just over an hour to your destination. The perfect weekend getaway. Otherwise, fly into SFO, rent a car, and again, a relatively short drive north.
Where to Stay
- Hotel Healdsburg is the best hotel in town, very hip and located next to Dry Creek Kitchen with a great spa.
- H2 Hotel is also a good bet if you are a little more cost-conscious (sister property of Hotel Healdsburg)
- Cottages at Healdsburg for a more intimate stay.
- VRBO and AirBNB are also good bets for a group. There are lots of great houses available with pools!
Where to Eat and Drink
- Chalkboard - shared plates, great atmosphere and great food
- Barn Diva - brunch or dinner, requires advance reservations
- Dry Creek General Store- love to pick up sandwiches here for a picnic winery lunch (the veggie veggie is divine)
- The Wurst - Grab a sausage and an incredible milkshake. The food is great and the owner could not be nicer, super kid-friendly.
What to Do
- Picnic at the lookout at Lake Sonoma - gorgeous views and the water is blue, blue. You can also rent a boat and skis at the lake which is super fun on a summer day.
- The Saturday Farmer's Market is also wonderful and right across the street from Shed for a nice brunch afterward.
- Of course, wine tasting! There are many great places to go for wine tasting and the experiences are constantly changing. Some favorites include:
- Skipstone (30 min drive toward Sonoma) - Appointment required, FANTASTIC wines and great olive oil, they have a good food and wine pairing although the setting where they do the tasting is simple.
- Bella Winery: Wine caves, picnic area with hula hoops and corn hole for the kids (and adults) - amazing red and great wine club to join!
- A. Rafanelli - A Healdsburg-staple that has been passed through family generations. I think the best wine for the price. Appointment required. Small tasting room.
- Copain - Good experience and good wines. They were bought by Jackson Family awhile ago but things pretty much remain the same there.
- Mauritson - Good wines for the price, on Dry Creek Road and near General Store so convenient. Clay and his family could not be nicer people.
- MacRostie -Beautiful property and tasting room.
- Dutcher Crossing - Local favorite, nice people, good wine!
- Wineries with buzz... Limerick Lane, Idlewild, Reeve and Zialena, Truett Herst, Preston
This is local’s wine country! The ideal time to visit is either over the summer or early fall, August-September are the peak months with harvest.