Just back from… Healdsburg, CA

by parenture on May 23, 2012

When my best friend moved to Healdsburg, CA, I was pretty bummed she’d be so far away. Truthfully, I kind of wanted to hate the place–just so I could tell her to leave, immediately, and come back to live near me on the East Coast. Only, here’s the thing: As far as I can tell from my visit there this past weekend, Sonoma County is a nearly impossible place to hate.

My husband and I just got back from three days in and around Healdsburg, where we went to celebrate my best friend’s marriage to a terrific guy (who also happens to be the sous chef at the highly acclaimed restaurant, Cyrus). The lush green area where they live is full of rolling hills, dirt paths, grassy fields, rivers, lakes, small vineyards and wineries, cute boutiques (like M Clothing and One World), local art galleries, great yoga studios, and amazing restaurants. Here are a few highlights from our quick trip:

H2Hotel: We spent our first night in town at this popular new boutique hotel set in the heart of Healdsburg, right across from the plaza. The lobby and restaurant area were cool and cozy. The service was personable and efficient. We especially loved our large room (#314), which featured a super comfy king-size bed, a small balcony, an office area with a modern desk and chair, a flat-screen TV, and a chic white bathroom–complete with toiletries including make-up removing pads (which is something I always forget but need). The free rental bikes and delicious continental breakfast were awesome perks. If I went back, I’d definitely book a room here again.

Dry Creek Inn: We stayed at this local Best Western Friday and Saturday nights. While the room itself was nothing to get excited about, we liked the pool area and the fire pit, which would have been a great place to roast s’mores if we had been back before 11pm when it closes for the night.

Yoga on Center: This is the studio where my best friend regularly takes yoga classes. On the Saturday morning I was there, another friend rented out the space to teach a private class just for the bride and her friends. Pretty amazing.

Medlock Ames: While I was doing yoga with the ladies (and then getting our nails done and having lunch), my husband went to this vineyard and raved about the wines–not to mention the accompanying local food they served with a tasting. I’d love to check it out the next time we’re in town.

Hudson Winery: This was the site of my friend’s rehearsal dinner and the wines were wonderful–smooth and crisp. I especially liked the rose and chardonnay.

Vine Hill House: Here’s where we celebrated my friend’s marriage on Saturday night and it was, without a doubt, one of the best places I’ve ever been for a wedding. Really and truly. The food, catered by Feast, was delicious. And I can’t wait to see the photographs, taken by Paul Miller; I’m sure they’re going to be beautiful.

Singletree Cafe: We stopped here for breakfast on our way to the SFO airport and my vegetarian omelet was fresh and tasty, in true California style. Plus, the service was fast and friendly–just like a good diner should be. For more, see the review in Travel+Leisure.

Have you been to Sonoma? Got anything to add?

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