Monday, February 6, 2012

where is healdsburg california?

Downtown Healdsburg
Just about everyone I know has asked me; where exactly is Healdsburg? Others have asked if I live on an actual vineyard.  (not quite, but close!) Don't feel bad, though! Last time I checked, there wasn't a "wine country unit" in any geography class that I know of.

I first visited wine country in the summer of 2010.  Two of my good friends Brie and Chris from Washington DC were getting married in San Francisco.  After their wedding, I met up with my Aunt Louise, and we did an epic road trip up the west coast, all the way up to my hometown of Bellevue Washington.
Passing through wine country in August of 2010
Up until that moment, my only knowledge of wine country came from the movie Sideways, (or if we're getting technical, I guess it would really be Lindsay Lohan's character, "Hallie", in Disney's 1998 remake of The Parent Trap.) I knew it was *somewhere* in California, but I had no idea it was further north of San Francisco!

As we crossed the Golden Gate bridge out of San Francisco, Louise (who had lived in San Francisco for many years) suggested that we stop in wine country for lunch on our way to Crescent City.  I was surprised and excited.  This was the first time that I realized how far north wine country is. I had always assumed it was somewhere in the depths Southern California!  Turned out, its about an hour and a half north of San Francisco on the 101.  (I know, I know, you are probably wondering how I went from not knowing where wine country is, to moving here in less than 1.5 years, but we'll save that one for another post) :) 

Historic Healdsburg Poster on display at Zin
Healdsburg is in the heart of Sonoma County wine country, at the convergence of three wine producing valleys: Alexander, Dry Creek, and The Russian River Valley.  As you can imagine from that description, Healdsburg is indeed mostly vineyards, valleys, and winerys. (and those awesome windy wine country roads like they show in Sideways.) Just being here makes me feel relaxed. 

Mustache Bakery
Healdsburg really seems to have a corner on that whole "rustic chic" thing. At the very center of Healdsburg lies a small town square.  It is filled with adorable boutiques, world class restaurants, tasting rooms, and several incredible bakeries.

You won't find many chains in Healdsburg, the closest mall is 20 minutes south of here in Santa Rosa.  The closest Nordstroms is an hour away.  (I'm coping).  There is, however, exactly one (1) Starbucks in town, which is precisely my minimum requirement for any town (no matter how charming) to qualify to have this Seattle girl as a resident.  There is also a completely lovely local coffee shop called The Flying Goat, which most locals understandably prefer. 

Outside of the town square are a handful of residential developments, which are immediately surrounded by all of the vinyards.  This is where we're staying while we look for our own place, and we plan to settle here.  So while we don't live on a vineyard, we are surrounded with them!  It's beyond amazing.

Now that I've answered your question, I've got one for you: When are you coming to visit?? :)
Today's song (ideal for getting lost on the back roads of wine country) is Far Away by Washed Out (linked here on Spotify).

No comments:

Post a Comment