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Heading to Healdsburg? Your Guide to This Charming Wine Town

Time:2019-06-03 13:20wine - Red wine life health Click:

Luxury Vacations

By Djani Schafer May. 31st, 2019

Healdsburg CA

Photo Credit: Barbara Bourne

We’re not here to compare Healdsburg to Napa, as so many other publications are wont to do. While the counties of Napa and Sonoma collectively make up what is known as California’s wine country, the two regions are far from interchangeable. And, truth be told, the charming town of Healdsburg—located in Sonoma County—deserves a spotlight all its own.

Healdsburg is bucolic and inviting. It’s just over an hour away from Napa and San Francisco, and if you happen to be traveling from Napa, you’ll appreciate the scenic backroad that winds through the lush, rolling hills of wine country.

You can’t call this little town sleepy though; it’s bustling with culinary energy and a variety of wine that eclipses Napa’s limited concentration of Cab and Bordeaux. 

healdsburg ca vineyards

Photo Credit: Barbara Bourne

There are 16 AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) throughout Sonoma County, and roughly the same number of wineries as Napa has, but spread over almost twice the land. In fact, the diversity of Sonoma’s geography and climate is the reason it is home to more than 60 varietals. The region’s vintners make everything from Pinot Gris to Petite Syrah--Sangiovese to Chardonnay. 

Healdsburg is nestled between the Dry Creek Valley and the Russian River Valley wine regions. You don’t have to travel too far to enjoy the area’s wines; there are a number of wineries and tasting rooms in downtown Healdsburg, the majority of which surround the picture-perfect town square.

Healdsburg has virtually everything you need for a fantastic getaway: luxe hotels, award-winning wineries, eclectic boutiques, swanky restaurants—all within walking distance of each other. Healdsburg is definitely one of wine country’s most sparkly hidden gems. Here’s what you need to know before planning your visit.

harmon guest house exterior

Photo Credit: Harmon Guest House


Still fairly new to the scene, Harmon Guest House, which opened in the summer of 2018, is already making a name for itself as a chic retreat. The 39-room hotel is located in the heart of downtown Healdsburg and blends an artistic interior with eco-friendly amenities and a welcoming atmosphere.

Inspired by the town’s founder, Harmon Heald, Harmon Guest House pays homage to its namesake’s pioneering spirit and meticulous urban planning. The hotel offers spaces designed to encourage friends and families to gather—a mirror of how Heald envisioned the town’s plaza to function.

harmon guest house lobby

Photo Credit: Harmon Guest House

Designed by David Baker Architects of San Francisco, the property features clean, modern lines, rich textures, and creative collaborations with local artisans, suppliers, and emerging artists. All the art in the halls, main stairwell, and guest rooms were created specifically for the hotel, and each piece of art references a moment in California art history or reveals the beauty of Healdsburg and its surroundings. These aesthetic moments make for fun pops of personality and provide Instagram-worthy backdrops at nearly every turn. For instance, guest room WCs are decorated with artist Carossa Potter’s silhouetted vinyl illustrations of the town’s Plaza, vineyards, and the Russian River; the reception desk and hospitality bar are built from fallen eucalyptus trees, constructed by Oakland’s Pacassa Studios and locally harvested by Arboria’s Evan Shively.

harmon guest house guest room

Photo Credit: Harmon Guest House

In 2019, it’s almost impossible—morally, at least—to build a new property without prioritizing environmental sustainability. Harmon Guest House goes above and beyond with furniture made from reclaimed and recycled material, electric car charging stations, power-saving LED lighting, a solar-powered water heating system, and a rainwater harvesting system (providing for 100 percent of its irrigation needs). 

Harmon House guest rooms have private outdoor spaces, Sonoma Stoneworks cast concrete vanities and tubs, mobile bar carts (with Nespresso coffee and an array of delectable snacks), Treko blankets, and sun-filled breakfast nooks that make Harmon feel like home—not just a place to crash for the night. 

rooftop at harmon

Photo Credit: Djani Schafer

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