Travel north of San Francisco on U.S. 101 and you’ll arrive in Healdsburg approximately 90 minutes later. Publications as diverse as Travel + Leisure and Smithsonian Magazine have named Healdsburg, with a population of approximately 11,200, among the best and most beautiful small towns to visit in the United States.
A wealth of history in Healdsburg real estate
Before Healdsburg was wine country, it was farm country during the Gold Rush, and before that, the region was home to native people whose woven baskets remain legendary for their beauty and quality. Town founder Harmon Heald laid out the central plaza in Healdsburg and created the first subdivision. The plaza remains today, acknowledged as one of the most charming town squares in the U.S.
Homes for sale in Healdsburg overlook the area’s numerous historic landmarks. Healdsburg’s local history museum is housed in the town’s majestic former Carnegie library, but history is just the starting point for charming Healdsburg locales. One of the best-known is Healdsburg’s Memorial Bridge, which crosses the Russian River near Hwy. 101 and is a symbol for the community.
A long tradition of hospitality
From its early days in the 1870s, Healdsburg has welcomed visitors to the region. Many of these early tourists wanted to fish and hunt along the Russian River, outdoor pastimes that remain popular today. Healdsburg also had a thriving wine industry in the 1870s, but most of the early wineries faltered during the Prohibition era. A surprising fact about Healdsburg: Between the 1930s and 1970s, prunes, not wine grapes, were the largest agricultural crop in the region.
According to Frommer’s, Healdsburg is one of a select few wine country towns that has elevated hospitality to an art form. This is exemplified by the many beautifully restored 19th-century inns in the area. Madrona Manor Wine Country Inn & Restaurant stands out for its beauty and location overlooking Dry Creek Valley. The Raford Inn is noted for its Victorian architecture and outstanding views of the Russian River Wine Valley.
With its proximity to three distinctive and important Sonoma County wine appellations, Healdsburg is ideally located in central Sonoma County wine country. Its food scene easily matches fine food experiences in other wine country regions. Notable local eateries include a candidate for “World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” Single Thread and Barndiva, which offers sophisticated modern country cuisine amid modern art in a barn.
Healdsburg vineyards and wineries
Healdsburg’s downtown is home to many wine-tasting rooms, which offer diverse local vintages, because the community is located between the Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley appellations. Beyond “downtown,” you will find more than 130 distinctive and beautiful Sonoma County vineyards and wineries, including Jordan Winery, which makes only cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. Russian River Valley wineries tend to focus more on cool-climate wines, as their terroir is nestled amid redwoods, with much cooler temperatures than other appellations. Beyond the Memorial Bridge are several other distinctive terroirs, including Gary Farrell Winery and Chalk Hill Estate Winery, which has its own AVA.
An outstanding example of the most beautiful and distinctive vineyards and wineries in the Healdsburg area is in Dry Creek Valley, the Ferrari-Carano estate. Ferrari-Carano includes an Italian palazzo complete with several stunning balconies overlooking 5 acres of Italian- and French-inspired formal gardens. Some of Healdsburg’s heritage estate vineyards and wineries have been held by the same family since the 19th century. From charming pied-a-terre getaways in the town of Healdsburg to estates in one of the three AVAs that surround the community, Latife can assist you in selecting Healdsburg homes for sale and investing in real estate in Healdsburg.