Healdsburg: It’s Not Napa… and That’s a Good Thing

There was a time when I thought of Healdsburg as “a poor man’s Napa Valley.”

It was not meant as an insult.

As the cost of staying, eating and tasting wine in Napa’s towns kept getting higher and higher, the community of Healdsburg in Sonoma County offered a much more affordable alternative.

It still does, with a whole lot of small-town charm mixed in.

That said, prices are on the rise in Healdsburg as high-end resorts such as Montage Healdsburg command $1,200 per night, and the chef’s “Trust Me” tasting menu at Valette will set you back $18 per course — with a five-course minimum.

Still, there are enough of the name-brand hotels in the area that a Healdsburg weekend need not cost an arm and a leg. For those seeking an experience between the national brands and Montage Healdsburg, the Harmon Guest House — just off the historic town square — provides accommodations that split the difference between luxurious and casual from $389 per night.

While most people use Healdsburg and its town square as a home base for visiting the wineries of the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley, it can be a destination of its own for those seeking more of a park-the-car-and-explore-on-foot experience.

Right along the square and along the streets just off of it, you’ll find single-winery and multi-estate tasting rooms, eclectic dining choices (several of which won’t break the bank because they were developed by and for locals), and lots of shops. The square is like a self-contained world with something new to discover inside every door.

And let’s not forget the inviting park with plenty of tree-shaded benches right in the middle of it all.

Convinced that Healdsburg would be a great way to spend a weekend… or a week? Click here for all the information you need to plan a wonderful getaway.

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Posted in Our Wine Travel Log
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