Driving from Los Altos to Healdsburg takes roughly two hours, depending on traffic, but is well worth the drive for a day trip. Sonoma County is known for its upscale ambiance, relaxing spas and many high-quality wineries, and the small town of Healdsburg is no exception. Formerly an outpost for agricultural production, the town is now a tourist destination for its great shopping, dining and vineyards.
It is in Healdsburg that three wine regions meet: Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley. This makes the picturesque town the perfect spot to go wine tasting. Many locations available around the town plaza offer elegance, charm and a variety of pinot noirs, zinfandels, sparking wines and petit sirahs. At the wineries you can enjoy a tasting of these many different wines and also grab a bottle for home, since you can’t always find these wineries’ fine wines back in Los Altos.
Healdsburg has three primary areas that visitors go to see. The main town plaza is home to fashionable boutiques, excellent restaurants and many places to stay. Bed and breakfasts are a prime choice here if you decide to turn your Healdsburg day trip into a weekend getaway. If you head along Dry Creek and Westside roads you’ll find even more vineyards and wineries. Offering breathtaking views and a charming setting, visiting these wineries can be even more fun than the ones in the town plaza.
This area is teeming with excellent spots. J Winery is known for its sparking wine; Porter Creek is regarded for its pinot noir, and Foppiano’s is a destination for petite sirah. Some of the other most recognized vineyards include Thomas George Estates, MacPhail Family Wines, Unti Vineyards, Seghesio Family Vineyards, Ridge Lytton Springs, Preston of Dry Creek and Papapietro Perry Winery. Although a day trip can seem rather short, it is possible to visit several of these vineyards with the help of one of several companies in town that offer wine tours. The wine tours take place in a manner of ways, including biking and limo tours.
Healdsburg is a truly delightful place for gourmet food and chic country charm. The most famous place to eat in town is Cyrus. It has two Michelin stars, and its tables are generally booked several months in advance, which means you should plan your Healdsburg day trip ahead of time if you want to try out this delightful restaurant. The town also has other amazing eateries and cafes that offer incredible cuisine, from seafood and French cuisine to Californian and Italian. There are also bakeries and cafes for catching a quick something to eat between wine tastings. You will want to make sure you eat while in Healdsburg if you plan on driving home. If you do end up drinking too much wine during your trip, you can always decide to stay in one of the many inns in town. Try the Healdsburg Inn—A Four Sister’s Inn, which embodies much of the charm of wine country.
Users of iPhones will want to download an app called the Healdsburg App, which offers insight on things to do, see and eat there.