The town of Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley are in the northern part of Sonoma County, a region that greatly outpaces its more famous ... more »sister valley to the east (Napa) in terms of grape production.
Healdsburg is a small, intimate and walkable (or bikable) town that features a surprising number of world-class restaurants, first-rate hotels, terrific shops and proximity to some of the region's best wines.
This guide begins in downtown Healdsburg, where a visitor might choose to stay in a local hotel, get coffee and breakfast, and prepare for a day of wine tasting. A nice finish to the day or weekend would include a visit to Lake Sonoma, where you can take in the views, water ski, wade, sunbathe or hike/bike in the rolling surrounding hills.
This route also lends itself well to bicycles, which you can bring with you or rent from several nearby purveyors.
In this guide, we highlight a few favorite spots--both from locals who have lived in Sonoma Valley for 50 years as well as the travel experts at Travel + Leisure (direct quotes noted with attribution).
While this itinerary focuses on wineries in the Dry Creek Valley (the personal favorite of our hosts), other popular nearby appelations include Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley.
We brought our 5-year-old-son along and he had a great time. The picnics, wine caves, live music, wide open spaces and great weather made this trip as fun for him as for us. We saw many other families with young children at several of the wineries, so this need not be an adults-only adventure. less «