The Ultimate Girlfriends' Getaway to Healdsburg Wine Country

01/26/2017 05:39 pm ET
Healdsburg Town Plaza
Healdsburg Town Plaza

Just a little over an hour north of San Francisco is a quaint city that long ago was just a dot on the map. Well, that dot has transformed into a diamond and the tiny town of Healdsburg is shining bright and filled with wonderful activities that are ideal for a perfect girlfriend getaway. Unlike its big sisters Napa and Sonoma, Healdsburg is a precious getaway brimming with both charm and sophistication that you are your friends will love.

Everywhere you turn, you’ll find award-winning restaurants and winery tasting rooms, most walking distance from the town plaza. Even though Healdsburg is a relatively small city, there is so much to do and see that it can get overwhelming. So, to make it easy for you, I have created a suggestion list of fantastic places to visit.

HERE IS A LIST OF MY HEALDSBURG FAVORITES:

WHERE TO DINE

Award-winning Chef Dustin Valette.
Award-winning Chef Dustin Valette.

Owner and Chef Dustin Valette is former Executive Chef at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen, Aqua (San Francisco) and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon (Napa). Sonoma County natives, Dustin and brother Aaron opened Valette in the exact same spot that their great-grandfather owned and operated a bakery. The range of dishes here is mind-blowing, so I suggest making reservations for a tasting menu, which include five amazing courses. You can also request to have a wine pairing – a must experience for this Wine Enthusiast “Top 100 Wine Restaurant” (2016)! This will be a meal your girlfriends will never forget!

  • 344 Center St, Healdsburg
  • 707-473-0946

This restaurant is an icon and serves up some of the best Italian cuisine this side of Rome. Owner and Chef Ari Rosen has done an incredible job of creating an wonderfully intimate atmosphere where he showcases some of his Italian grandmother’s recipes, alongside modern dishes he’s created.

  • 109A Plaza Street
  • 707-433-5282

Sister to Scopa, this stylish Italian eatery provides wood-fired pies & small plates, plus a covered patio & bocce court. Great for a casual lunch before wine tasting or gathering spot after

  • 330 Healdsburg Ave
  • 707-395-4640

WHERE TO STAY

Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites is located just a half-block from Healdsburg’s historic downtown plaza, within walking distance of dozens of restaurants, tasting rooms, and shops. The suites have beautifully-appointed kitchens, so you and your friends can enjoy cooking together. Of course, if your group prefers to eat out at one of the many great restaurants, the hotel can set up reservations for you. And of course, they would be more than happy to recommend great places to eat and drink during your time in Healdsburg.

The living room in the Fitch Mountain Suite.
The living room in the Fitch Mountain Suite.

There are only four fabulously furnished and luxurious suites. Each features three bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as a spacious living room and gourmet kitchen. Each suite can sleep up to 6 people in three California King beds.

What’s included with your Girlfriends Getaway Package:

  • Explore the tantalizing flavors of Wine Country together on a gourmet culinary walking tour with Savor Healdsburg Food Tours.
  • Taste Portalupi's Italian-inspired wines paired with local artisan cheeses and hand-cured salami in a private seated tasting.
  • Relax with a Zen-style spa treatment and tea tasting flight at Taste of Tea.
  • Toast the good life with bubbles and oysters before enjoying a delicious Portuguese dinner at Café Lucia.

This package is only available for the weekend of 2/10/17-2/12/17. Click here or call 707.473.3500 for more details. Cost: $1,950 for up to 6 girlfriends (Value: $3,084)

  • 235 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448

WINERIES

Although, there are plenty of fantastic tasting rooms around the center of town, the only way to truly experience the joy and passion of winemaking in Healdsburg is to visit at least one winery. Here are my two favorites.

Private wine and olive oil tasting.
Private wine and olive oil tasting.

Nestled in the Dry Creek Valley, which is less than a mile outside Healdsburg is this little slice of Italian heaven called Davero. The farm does look like it was lifted out of Tuscany and gently placed in Healdsburg. The vineyards are biodynamic with Sangiovese, Sangrantino, Barbera, Pinto Nero, and Moscato vines. Owners Ridgely Evers & Colleen McGlynn are passionate about their farm and that passion is evident in the delicious wines and olive oils. I highly suggest that you schedule a private wine tasting experience with owner Ridgely Evers. He will take you on a fascinating journey of the wines along with an eye-opening and palate-tingling olive oil tasting.

Reservations for private tasting required

  • 766 Westside Rd, Healdsburg
  • 707-431-8000
Private wine tasting at Reeve’s villa.
Private wine tasting at Reeve’s villa.

Reeve Wines’ enchanting 55-acre winery is located in one of the most epic and stunning settings in Healdsburg. The owners, Noah and Kelly are two Missouri natives who ventured to the West Coast chasing dreams. Fortunately, some of those wine-fueled dreams in their story actually came true. Over the past 7 years they have built a runaway success story with their business partners in Banshee Wines, winning acclaim and lots of new friends along the way.

Now with Reeve Wines they are aiming to create a small creative outlet for some new varieties, with new ideas and grapes from new places. Nothing quite personifies this like our passion for creating a truly great California Sangiovese to rival the best in Italy.

Make sure to book your tasting near sunset and ask for the VIP tasting at their villa. There, next to the swimming pool and overlooking Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Valley, you can sip amazing wines while watching the dramatic sunset.

Epic sunset with Reeve’s Rose of Pinot Noir
Epic sunset with Reeve’s Rose of Pinot Noir
  • 4551 Dry Creek Road (10 minute drive from downtown Healdsburg)

MORE FUN STUFF

WINE & LIBATIONS

  • The tasting lounge offers wines by the glass or bottle at retail price – enjoyed on cozy, stylish sofas rather than while standing at a bar. Tasting flights range from $15 - $30 and are complimentary to our club members. Savory small bites are available to accompany the wines.
  • 325 Center Street
  • Upscale lounge for locally-inspired craft cocktails, wines & beer poured in Prohibition-inspired digs.
  • 111 Plaza Street
  • Mediterranean wines & Californian beers served in hip environs with DJs, live music & a retail shop.
  • 328 Healdsburg Ave
  • Adorable little speakeasy-style bar next to Barndiva Restaurant where you can enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail.
  • 237 Center Street

SHOPS & BOUTIQUES

  • Lulo (jewelry): next to Banshee Wines on Center Street
  • Limestone: On Healdsburg Ave, owned by Chef Charlie Palmer’s wife, Lisa
  • Clutch: Purses and accessories on Healdsburg Ave
  • Gina’s Boutique & Annex: Great shoes and clothing on Healdsburg Ave
  • Copperfield’s Books: Lovely book store on Matheson

GALLERIES

If you love art, you’ll love the wonderful galleries around the town center.

  • Harris Gallery on Healdsburg Ave
  • Barndiva Gallery on Center Street
  • Paul Mahder on Healdsburg Ave
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