Western Trips

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Healdsburg California / A Western Road Trip to the Sonoma Wine Country

healdsburg california
Healdsburg California is a delightful Sonoma Wine Country destination with a lot to enjoy. The town is built around a 19th century plaza. The plaza today is a venue for many fun events scheduled throughout the year. Around the plaza can be found unique shops and restaurants with some even with five star status. If you're a fan of B & B's, you'll find some excellent ones in and around Healdsburg. If you're looking for that unique hotel, Healdsburg California hotels offer a wide variety. You'll also find many fine Sonoma vacation rentals.

Don't miss the art galleries. The art galleries include cooperatives to local one artist storefronts. You'll find works of nationally and internationally known artists. June is Jazz Festival time in Healdsburg. The Jazz Festival which began in 1999 offers many free events and tickets are available for their headliner acts. Concerts take place all over Healdsburg with many at  outdoor venues. The festival is a ten day celebration of jazz in the middle of one of the most picturesque wine towns north of San Francisco. Other events include antique fairs and car shows.

History of Healdsburg

The town of Healdsburg California was made possible by a man named Harmon Heald. Heald was originally a businessman from Ohio and in 1857 took hold of a section of land  in Sonoma County called the Rancho Sotoyome where he had been residing for the past seven years. This would have been from the start of California statehood. In 1867, Heald's growing town was incorporated.

The economy was principally farms and orchards. A big plus for Healdsburg was in 1872 when the tracks of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad reached the town. Rail service became extensive throughout Sonoma County. The railroad helped the town gain population and in transporting agricultural products to market.

Sites to See in Healdsburg California

healdsburg california wine country
Another good stop in Healdsburg is the Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society. The museum has an excellent display of artifacts regarding Healdsburg and the surrounding Sonoma County area. Featured are collections from the local Pomo and Wappo Indian tribes which include a large collection of decorative and utilitarian baskets.

Also, Native American stone tools and ethnographic research materials from the Southern Pomo and Western Wappo tribes. Both of these tribes are noted as being the world’s most skilled basket makers. In the museum you'll also view vintage weaponry including frontier guns, rifles, a cannon and cannonballs, and other items used both in battle and for hunting. Included are many other artifacts of clothing, classic farm tools and paintings. They include oils, acrylics, watercolors, large framed photographs of historic Healdsburg and Sonoma County. The museum is a excellent showcase for the entire north bay region of California.

Visit the Healdsburg Wineries

healdsburg ca
Healdsburg wineries are located everywhere in and around the town. There are numerous wineries all around Healdsburg in every direction.

Two small wineries not far from Healdsburg which you may be interested in are the Benovia Winery and the Hafner Vineyard. Benovia Winery located in the heart of the Russian River valley harvests grapes from estate vineyards that span more than 71 planted acres in three distinctive locations across the Russian River Valley and Sonoma County. Their winery address is 3339 Hartman Rd. Santa Rosa, CA.

The Hafner Vineyard is a small family winery located in Sonoma's Alexander Valley. They have been making Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay for thirty years only from grapes grown at their winery. Hafner Vineyard reserves two visiting times each month for  visitors. The times are 2 p.m. on the first and third Fridays of every month. Their phone number is 707-433-4606.

Some of the larger wineries within easy driving distance of Healdsburg include the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Guyserville. Their address is 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA.

Another is the Rodney Strong Vineyards. They are located just off U.S. Highway 101, three miles south of Healdsburg on Old Redwood Highway. Guided winery tours are available daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Another is Windsor Vineyards which has a tasting room in Healdsburg at 308 Center Street. The winery is located at 205 Concourse Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA.

The following two articles may give you some additional ideas for your wine country road trip. The Luther Burbank Home and Gardens in Santa Rosa has been a popular side trip for decades. Also the towns of Bodega and Bodega Bay on the Pacific coast is almost a must if you have the time. Bodega and Bodega Bay were the settings for Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie The Birds.

Nearby Sonoma County Trip Ideas

Healdsburg's location in Sonoma County is ideal as a base for your wine country tour. Many half day or full day side trips are an easy drive away. As mentioned above, not only is the city surrounded with wineries in about a ten to fifteen mile radius, but the city is also near to many recreation areas.

One of the most popular is the Russian River which flows directly through Healdsburg and west to the Pacific Ocean. The Russian River is noted for it's canoeing and kayaking. Several canoeing companies offer trips from the town of Guerneville. Kayaks can be rented during the warm months at Johnson's Beach in Guerneville.  A short drive west of Guerneville is the scenic Pacific coastline. All oif these attractions and sites are within an easy drive from Healdsburg.

Healdsburg is located off U.S. Hwy 101 about 65 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Exit Hwy 101 at the central Healdsburg exit.

(Article and photos copyright Western Trips)

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