The Best Things to do in Healdsburg, California

The 9 Best Things to Do in Healdsburg, California

A more low-key version of Napa, Healdsburg is an idyllic little town set right in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country. But for such a small town, you’ll be surprised by just how much there is to do in and around Healdsburg. I love spending my days wine tasting at one of the 100+ wineries in the area or at one of the dozens of tasting rooms near Healdsburg Plaza. If wine’s not really your thing, go kayaking on the Russian River, cycle through the beautiful Dry Creek Valley, or have a beach day in Memorial Park.

After a long day on the town, you’ll be pleased to learn that Healdsburg is home to some of the best restaurants in the country. From Michelin-star dinners at the famous SingleThread Restaurant or Barndiva to more casual meals at Chalkboard or the Healdsburg Bar and Grill, you’ll find farm-to-table restaurants galore in Healdsburg! 

With so much to see, do, eat, and drink, you might not know where to begin. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of the absolute best things to do in Healdsburg for you. Stick to these fun and unique Healdsburg bucket list recommendations, and there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time exploring this gem in the Sonoma Wine Country. 

9 Fun and Unique Things to do in Healdsburg, CA

1. Shop, Wine, and Dine in Downtown Healdsburg

Best Things to do in Healdsburg, California: Downtown Healdsburg

If there’s one thing that needs to be on your Healdsburg bucket list, it’s wandering around downtown. Take a stroll through the 19th-century Healdsburg Plaza, and it won’t take long to see why Healdsburg has been voted one of the “Most Romantic Small Towns in the US” by a wide range of newspapers and magazines.

There’s always something going on in Healdsburg Plaza, especially in the warmer months. If you’re visiting from May to September, you may be lucky enough to shop at the incredible Healdsburg Farmers’ Market, join in on an alfresco movie night, groove to live music at the annual Jazz Festival, and so much more. And don’t worry if you’re visiting during the winter – from pop-up arts and crafts events to festive holiday fairs, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained.

Radiating off Healdsburg Plaza, this is also where you’ll find many of the town’s top tasting rooms, boutique shops, and farm-to-table eateries. For the quintessential day in Healdsburg, grab breakfast at Costeaux French Bakery before shopping for cute trinkets at Mr. Moon’s or ANTHEM or browsing art at Upstairs Art Gallery or one of the many other galleries surrounding the plaza. 

After that, head to one of the 26 tasting rooms surrounding the plaza or go all out and enjoy an unforgettable 10-course tasting menu at the three Michelin-star restaurant SingleThread.


2. Take a Food and Wine Tour

Best Things to do in Healdsburg, California: Food and Wine Tour

If you’re looking to get the lay of the land, taking a tour with Savor Healdsburg is one of the best things to do in Healdsburg. Their fantastic Gourmet Healdsburg Food & Wine Tour will take you to a handful of the “top 100 Bay Area restaurants” for gourmet food and drink pairings and a boutique winery for Sonoma Valley wines. All the while, you’ll be learning all about the history and culture of Healdsburg from your ultra-knowledgeable guide. 

While the restaurants may change, past stops have included Bravas for Spanish tapas, Journeyman Meat Company for curated meats and local wine, The Taste of Tea for artisanal teas and sake, and Portalupi Wine for “Cal-Ital” food and wine. But no matter where you end up, expect seasonal dishes served up by award-winning chefs and Sonoma Valley wines poured by local winemakers. 

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg, California: Food and Wine Tour

We suggest taking this 3.5-hour walking tour at the beginning of your trip because your guide will give you all sorts of insider info about what to do with the rest of your time in Healdsburg, from where to eat to the best places to go wine tasting!

Take a Wine and Food Tour


3. Have a Beach Day at Veterans Memorial Beach

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg, California: Veterans Memorial Beach

Veterans Memorial Beach is one of the top Healdsburg attractions if you’re visiting during the summer months. From July through Labor Day, a temporary dam is created in the Russian River, creating a lovely swimming area off of a wide sandy beach. When the sun is out, this is a super popular spot for visitors and locals alike. There are lifeguards at Veterans Memorial Beach from 11 am to 7 pm.

The water is perfect for swimming, but there are also canoe rentals available at the nearby Russian River Adventures if you’re looking to get out on the water. If you’re planning to spend the day at the beach, be sure to bring beach chairs and a picnic lunch. There are plenty of picnic areas where you can arrange your spread.  

Pro tip: You’ll find local favorite Amy’s Wicked Slush just across the road from Veterans Memorial Beach. From the Wicket Sour Cherry Slush to the Boysenberry Soft Serve to the Mango Slush Pop, you’ll find all sorts of creative flavors and treats, perfect for cooling off on a hot summer’s day.


4. Check Out the Coppola Winery Movie Museum

Movie buffs will find one of the coolest things to do in Healdsburg at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Located an easy 10-minute drive north of downtown, this spectacular winery is home to some of the top Healdsburg attractions, including the Coppola Winery Movie Museum.

Explore the two-floor museum, and you’ll come across all sorts of costumes, props, and behind-the-scenes photographs from both Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola’s most famous films. 

Think Marlon Brando’s desk from The Godfather, the 1948 Tucker Torpedo sedan from Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Robert Duvall’s boots and hat from Apocalypse Now, model ships from Marie Antoinette, and so much more. The museum also houses Francis Ford Coppola’s personal items, including the filmmaker’s Oscars.


5. Bike your way Through Wine Country

Must do things in Healdsburg, California: Kayak, Bike, and Taste Your Way Through Wine Country

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind things to do in Healdsburg, take this unique guided tour through Wine Country. You’ll start by learning the ins and outs of your specialized hybrid-style bike before pedaling your way through beautiful Dry Creek Valley.

Your guide will lead the way to some of the area’s top vineyards – including one of their personal favorites – where you’ll have the chance to do a little wine tasting. After lunch, you’ll make your way to the Russian River, where you’ll swap your bike for a kayak. 

What to do in Healdsburg, California: Kayak, Bike, and Taste Your Way Through Wine Country

You’ll have the chance to paddle your way through Wine Country while taking in beautiful views and spotting local birds and other wildlife. Be sure to bring your bathing suit because you’ll have the chance to take a dip, too! 


6. Go Glamping on the Banks of the Russian River

Best Things to do in Healdsburg, California: Glamping

If you’re looking for adventurous Healdsburg activities, why not go glamping on the banks of the Russian River? With its riverside location and luxury safari-style tent cabins, Wildhaven Sonoma Glamping offers the perfect setup. Plus, you’ll be an easy 10-minute drive from the heart of town.

For the ultimate experience, we suggest booking one of the Riverside Tents. These luxe tents are situated the closest to the river for easy access. Inside the tent, you’ll find a plush bed with a Memory-Foam Mattress and a heated mattress pad, a heater and a fan, romantic string lighting, and complimentary Wi-Fi to keep you connected. Each tent also has a covered porch with patio furniture, a personal fire pit, a picnic table, and a two-person hammock.

During the day, you can explore the property’s 10 acres of land before going swimming, kayaking, or tubing in the Russian River. If you want to have a scenic picnic, Wildhaven Store has got you covered with everything from booze to meats and cheeses. The staff often host fun yoga classes and other events, too, so be sure to inquire about what’s on during your visit.

Book a Night at Wildhaven Sonoma Glamping


7. See What’s Happening at Little Saint

Healdsburg, California Bucket List: Little Saints

Little Saint is many things. This artsy community hub is home to a 100% plant-based restaurant, coffee bar, wine lounge, cocktail bar, and music venue – so rest assured, there’s always something fun going on here! 

If it’s food you’re after, you can dine on a plant-based meal at the first-floor Café & Lounge. This is also a great spot for weekend brunch and happy hour drinks and snacks (3-6 pm). For something extra special, you can splurge on the $120 multi-course set menu (with wine and cocktail pairings for an extra fee) at The Second Story Restaurant. 

There’s also free live music at Little Saint every Thursday night on the second floor, as well as an on-site 500+ bottle wine lounge and shop.


8. Play with Baby Goats at Redwood Hill Farm

Must do things in Healdsburg, California: Redwood Hill Farm

You’ll find Redwood Hill Farm in the town of Sebastopol, a 25-minute drive from downtown Healdsburg. This place is all about creating sustainable and ethical products from the milk of their 300+ goats. As the first Certified Humane goat dairy in the US, take comfort in the fact that these goats are treated like royalty!

If you want to get up close and personal with these adorable creatures, make reservations for a farm tour (be sure to book your tour well in advance because they do sell out). 

A fun activity for kids and adults alike, this 1.5-hour tour takes you through the farm, where you’ll learn all about the dairy goats and the farm’s sustainable and humane practices. But the best part is getting to cuddle with the baby goats and feed the adult goats! If you’re looking for unique things to do in Healdsburg, you can’t go wrong with a farm tour.

After your tour, be sure to take a stroll through the flower field and olive grove before stopping by the farm market stand, where you can pick up seasonal flower bouquets, goat milk and olive oil soaps, olive oil, and more. 


9. Grab Dinner and Drinks at Roof 106

Best Things to do in Healdsburg, California: Roof 106

After a long day exploring Healdsburg, kicking back with dinner and drinks is always a good idea. You’ll find Roof 106 on the rooftop of The Matheson hotel, overlooking Healdsburg Plaza. 

This chic bar and restaurant is all about serving up creative, seasonally-inspired cocktails, local wines, and more. And if you’re feeling peckish, order up one of their seriously good charcuterie platters, wood-fired steaks and pizzas, or a locally sourced seasonal dish.

There you have it! The 9 best things to do in Healdsburg. What’s your favorite thing to do in Healdsburg?


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Author

  • Justine Lopez

    Justine is a writer and editor who always seems to take the unconventional route in life. She also suffers from a serious case of wanderlust!

    In 2013, she left her hometown in California and set off on a yearlong round-the-world journey with her now-husband – they never looked back. Since then, she’s lived the expat life in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Mexico, and now Dubai. Along the way, she's written and edited for magazines, newspapers, and websites in Asia and beyond.

    When she's not stoking her wanderlust by working on travel articles for Wandering Wheatleys, Justine is busy caring for her many foster cats in Dubai, seeking out all the delicious vegetarian food, and taking every chance she gets to explore a new corner of the world!

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