The other week the travel team at Wanderu emailed me with a challenge for their #ExploreLocal initiative: Write about your favorite local day trip from San Francisco. Sure, why not? I love reliving the nostalgia of a good trip. I’ll bite. So here goes…
About an hour and twenty minutes north of San Francisco is the lovely town of Healdsburg. Discovered this magical escape from the Bay Area over a conversation with a coworker that went something like this:
Me: I need to run away. But I can’t think of anywhere new to go that you can do in just a weekend.
Him: Do you want to visit my house in Healdsburg?
Me: Hrm? What’s there to do there? I’ve never been.
Him: Wine, shop, eat, relax. It’s nice I assure you.
Me: Ok let’s do it!
And a relaxing break it was. Here’s what we ended up doing that you could do in a one day escape in Healdsburg.
Charles Schulz Museum
On the way to Healdsburg travel back to your childhood, where adult conversation sounded remarkably similar to trombones “Mwa-Mwa-Mwa”, with a stop at the Charles Schulz museum.
Right across the street is the Charles Schulz campus. Crack the whip on the indoor skating rink where Schulz was an avid local hockey player and make sure to wet your whistle with a Peppermint Patty Hot Chocolate that they sell at the Warm Puppy Cafe.
The Parish Cafe
Start your day off right in Healdsburg with breakfast Po-Boys and a side of fluffy delicious beignets at The Parish Cafe. The Parish Cafe is an adorable restaurant which serves Louisiana styled creole cuisine using California produce.
After you bellies are full walk around the downtown area a peak into antique stores to quest for lost treasures of time and space. Tell tall tales of how the items that interest you came to be here and what they meant to their previous owners.
You must stop at The Shed. The building is a modern grange reinvented with a two story windowed front facade. Inside this gorgeous building is a restaurant, store, and market. Wander through the aisles looking at cookbooks and gardening tools before ending up at the drinking vinegar bar. The servers are kind enough to take the time to teach you about the vinegars if you ask and let you sample their latest concoctions.
Napa used to have a small town feel, but now it’s big business. The nice thing about Healdsburg wineries is that it hasn’t lost it’s quaintness. The people are extremely friendly and you don’t have to wade through lines 3 groups deep to get a tasting. Grab sandwiches and supplies at Big John’s market deli before making your way to the vineyards. A lot of the vineyards have beautiful picnic grounds to have lunch at. Here are a couple of my favs, but there are a plethora of other places that can satisfy any wine palette.
Call ahead to get the gate code and then bring a picnic lunch to A. Rafanelli and dine along this lake under the shade of trees.
Cool off and try some direct from barrel flavors in the Bella Vineyard Wine Caves.
Coppola’s estate and tasting room is gorgeous, along with having memorabilia to browse through from all of Francis Ford Coppola’s movies.
If a bit of nature is what you’re craving, Healdsburg is flanked by the Russian River and Dry Creek where one can take a kayak and explore or just relax listening to the running water and be mindful of nature in a beautiful location.
Hope you enjoy visiting Healdsburg as much as I did!
Also check out other local San Francisco Bay Area getaways on Wanderu’s site.