We’ve recently spent a bit of time visiting Healdsburg. It’s a charming town and the surrounding countryside is beautiful, especially at this time of year with the vines bursting into full foliage and starting to put forth the slightest suggestion of grapes. In case you’re heading up this way over the summer, here are a few places worth a visit:
1. Shed is one of the newest places to burst on the scene in downtown Healdsburg. It’s an ode to local, sustainable eating, cooking and farming, all housed in a gorgeous airy building that is nothing like the kind of shed I grew up with (small, dark and a place for men to escape their wives and have a nip of something strong to drink). You can buy treats to eat here or at home, cookware and things to plant in the yard.
2. Francis Ford Coppola Winery and pool. If you want a day out that feels like a weekend away, this is the place to come. You can book a cabine for four (a little hut with a shower and a place to store your clothes), although at this point, every weekend is booked through early Fall. The price includes lounge chairs, wine tasting, take-home water bottles and more. If you don’t mind slumming it on the grass, you can get into the pool for much cheaper but be prepared for an hour or two wait which you can while away with wine tasting or eating at the restaurant. If you’re a wine club member you get 10% off lunch at Rustic. The food’s not outstanding, but it’s good enough and the view of the vineyard is lovely if you sit on the terrace.
3. Snowbunny Frozen Yoghurt. Things can get pretty heated around the square. Unlike Petaluma, the breezy fog doesn’t reach this far inland, so if you need to cool off, head to this sweet spot on the square.
4. Barn Diva. A restaurant, gorgeous outdoor dining area and a gallery next door. You could easily spend a few hours in this spot. The back room at the restaurant has some cool art to admire too. The food was good, although when you order as widely from the menu as we did, you’ll find some of the same themes (the use of flowers, for instance) occur in more than one dish. Also, beware of the fries, the portion is HUGE! In fact, all the portions are pretty over-sized so consider sharing and ordering more if you’re still hungry.
5. Moustache Baked Goods. We walked past this cupcake bakery and couldn’t resist a peek inside although we didn’t try anything on this visit. Love the look of “The Butcher” which had pieces of bacon atop the creamery frosting.
6. Healdsburg Olive Oil Co. If you are a fan of olive oil (and who isn’t?) then be sure to stop by this store on the south side of the square. There are numerous varietals, grown in different locations, to taste, along with different flavors like California Lime.
I’ve heard that Dry Creek Kitchen is a great place to eat, although I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. I glanced at the menu as we wandered around the town and it looks pricey, so we will be saving that outing for a special occasion. Share any tips of your own in the comments section and happy summer trails!