Weekend in Healdsburg
I've heard good things about Healdsburg for some time now, and finally had the opportunity to make it out there for a relaxing cabin weekend in the woods ! Less than an hour and a half north of San Francisco, Healdsburg is a sleepy little gem filled with great wine, foodie culture, and scenic views. My husband and I enjoyed a perfect little getaway (his early birthday present) and can't wait to return again.
Napa and Sonoma get all the buzz, but Healdsburg is also home to some amazing wineries - with less crowds, and a more relaxed, rustic vibe. You can find some smaller tasting rooms around the plaza in town (we liked Selby Winery,) or drive out to the neighboring wine valleys of Dry Creek, Russian River, and Alexander Valley. I'm a big Pinot fan, so we went to Matrix Winery, who specialize in pinot noirs. There, we were able to do a barrel tasting - where you taste unfinished wine straight from the barrel. It's a unique, educational way to taste the maturation process of the wine - as these varietals won't be available for a couple years. Zinfandel fans will probably enjoy Wilson Winery - which also features an amazing coyote sculpture that went to Burning Man !
Dine at SHED
Some friends recommended SHED as the one place where we *had* to eat in Healdsburg; the dinner was so amazing we returned the next morning for brunch ! Everything is fresh, seasonal, organic cuisine, and most of the ingredients are sourced from local farms. We were blown away not only by the beautiful presentation (nearly everything featured flowers,) but also the innovative flavors and combinations. Our dinner favorites were the braised pork with sweet potato spaetzle, stinging nettles, leeks, brown butter cream and the farro verde with roasted sunchokes, celery, olive vinaigrette, sheep's milk cheese, and bread crumbs. My brunch highlight was the baked lemon ricotta pancake with creme fraiche. They also have a yummy coffee bar, fermentation bar (think housemade kombucha and kefir water,) and assortment of fresh-squeezed juices.
SHED serves not only as a restaurant, but also a one-stop shop for local produce, seasonal flowers, beautiful books, garden tools, handmade housewares, and kitchen items. We spent equal parts shopping and dining here !
Explore Downtown Healdsburg
Take some time to explore downtown Healdsburg, which is filled with cute boutique shops, foodie stops and restaurants. In warmer months, the town square is the perfect place to post up with some snacks near the water fountain or on a grassy knoll. Local favorite Noble Folk features housemade ice cream and pies, and Oakville Grocery has a fine selection of wine, cheeses, and deli goods. And for some cute boutiques - I love Gathered for jewelry, gifts, and home items, as well as the bohochic stylings of Ooh La Luxe (which was created by twin sisters Cristina and Michelle Wilson. Back in their stylist days, I had the pleasure of collaborating with them on a photoshoot many years ago !)
Relax at the Cabin
And most importantly, just relax. We stayed at an amazing Airbnb with scenic mountain views in the backyard, a fireplace, and hot tub. Healdsburg is the perfect place to escape to the countryside for some amazing wine, farm-to-table dining, and restorative R&R.