Located in Sonoma County, Healdsburg is home to three of the top California wine regions: Alexander Valley, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valley AVAs. Healdsburg offers plenty for visitors, from visiting wineries, dining at local restaurants, and shopping in Healdsburg Plaza. Below are our suggestions for how to make the most of your weekend.
Dedicate a day to exploring and experiencing the wineries of Chalk Hill Road.
Wake up and try some New Orleans style beignets and chicory coffee for breakfast at The Parish Café. The Parish Café gets its name from the time in history where Louisiana was separated into parishes. They serve traditional New Orleans cuisine using local California ingredients.
For the first tasting of the day, stop by Lancaster Estate. It opens at 11AM and is a wonderful way to kick off your weekend. Be sure to taste the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, which earned 94 points and a place on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 List for 2017. Other wines to try include Sophia’s Hillside Cuveé and Sauvignon Blanc.
Just a few minutes down the road from Lancaster is Chalk Hill Estate, one of the few estates producing both Bordeaux and Burgundy style wines. In addition to the more popular Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, Chalk Hill produces lesser-known varietals, such as Carmere, Sauvignon Gris, and Botrytised Semillon. The sprawling 1,300-acre property offers touring and tasting experiences like no other, with culinary gardens, equestrian pavilion, fishing and swimming ponds, and its own church! But remember to call ahead, because while walk-ins are welcome in the tasting room, reservations are required for tours and tasting experiences.
Conveniently located across the street from Chalk Hill Estate is Roth Estate, known for its bold, fruit-forward wines. Like Lancaster, Roth is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, but has also earned acclaim for their Heritage Red Blend, Chardonnay, and Merlot. The Roth cave is a must-see for anyone visiting Sonoma wine country.
Schedule an African Safari Tour with lunch at Safari West. You get to ride in a power wagon and take a tour of the property which is home to over 800 animals. This is an experience you won’t want to miss when visiting Healdsburg and the surrounding areas.
Pop on by Bravas Bar de Tapas for some amazing small plates that you can share. Small plates are great for trying new things and enjoying all of your favorites in one seating. Be sure to try their homemade Sangria.
Sunday is a day meant for leisurely activities. Here’s a relaxing itinerary to make the most of your day.
Sleep in a bit and then stop by Costeaux bakery. Located in downtown Healdsburg, Costeaux is a full-service bakery serving world-class artisan and sourdough breads, cakes and desserts since 1923.
Walk off breakfast by exploring Healdsburg Plaza. It’s surrounded by shops, wine tasting rooms, art galleries, and much more.
Right of Healdsburg Plaza is Banshee Wines, serving some of the finest Sonoma coast Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Rosé, in a tasting room that feels more like a comfy apartment. With Sonoma-heritage style that meets comfortably modern decor, the tasting room allows guests to enjoy Banshee wines in a casual setting that bucks the traditional tasting bar with a warm backdrop of reclaimed wood floors and walls, distressed leather furniture, spinning vinyl, and a vintage communal table.
Pack a picnic and head down the Russian River on a Russian River canoe trip. You can choose to relax and simply float down the river, or get a workout in and paddle away. Either way, you’ll get to see the beautiful scenery that Healdsburg has to offer.
After a nice leisurely canoe trip, try chalkboard for an early dinner. Recipients of the coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand for great value, chalkboard offers small plates inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local gardens. It’s a great place to enjoy a casual meal before heading back home.