Happenings in Healdsburg, CA

Ryan and I decided 2 years ago that our big Christmas gift to each other would be a trip somewhere. We both figured we have enough stuff and we LOVE to travel, so this annual trip idea was birthed. This year we decided to keep it simple and go somewhere close to home (last year we went to Seattle, look out for a “Past Adventures” page coming soon!), so we picked the town of Healdsburg in wine country.

I think we may have picked the worst weekend ever to go adventuring as the “storm of the decade” was expected to hit full force. Luckily, I married an amazing man who has my trust whole heartedly and would never do anything to put our lives in jeopardy, so I felt save driving through the storm. Because of the storm, there were hardly any people around, lots of the wineries and restaurants were free for the picking. Luckily, Ryan’s brother knows someone who lives in Healdsburg and they were nice enough to let us stay in their guesthouse… it can be quite expensive to stay anywhere near Napa. This little guesthouse which was over their garage was perfect for us and just a ten minute walk to downtown Healdsburg. The guesthouse was stocked with everything we needed: a bathroom with towels, opening skylights so we could hear the rain, movies with the option of chromecast and our sweet hosts also gave us a bottle of Korbel champagne!

We headed down from Chico on Friday afternoon and arrived in Healdsburg just in time for dinner. We were told Campo Fina was one of the best restaurants in town and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint! It was a quaint little Italian spot with a great local vibe. Our waiter was spectacular, both in attitude and looks (he was a ginger with a great ‘stache and a man bun) and the food was out of this world. Ryan had wild boar bolognese and I had winter squash gnocchi…pair this with some good wine and we were golden!

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Since it IS vacation, we slept in late and moseyed over to Costeaux, a cute french bakery, for breakfast. They had killer coffee and a pretty authentic line up of breakfast options, including brie cheese which happens to be one of my favorite cheeses! We ordered a chocolate croissant to go (because why not??)… biggest bummer of the day was accidentally dropping that chocolate masterpiece in a puddle:(

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The highlight of this weekend getaway was definitely visiting the Castello di Amorosa (read all about it here) which is a completely authentic medieval style castle that took 15 years to build and opened officially in 2007. I highly recommend paying just a little extra to have the guided tour (it costs about $25 just to be admitted) because you can go places in the castle that others can’t! We were able to tour the whole place, including their wine cellars which are over 45 feet underground. We also had our own private tasting room after the tour… they only sell their wine at the castle itself, so we took advantage of that opportunity. Plus, our guide’s name was Carly, she even spells it the right way, it can’t get any better than that! The whole tour and tasting was about 2 hours… totally worth the time considering it was raining.

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We decided our wine tasting adventure couldn’t be over yet so we decided to head over to   J Vineyards and Winery to have us some sparkling wine (my personal fave!). Again, we paid a little extra for a different experience at this winery because the normal tasting area was pretty busy. We spent our time in the Legacy Tasting Room and splurged with our flights of champagne to also include a cheese spread (YUM!). Because Ryan and I don’t drink often, this was the second and last winery we visited. We decided to spend the rest of our afternoon at Flying Goat Coffee where we did another of our favorite things.. playing Shanghai! Shanghai is a card game passed down through Ryan’s family and we teach it to everyone we possible can. If you’re ever interested in hanging out with us and learning how to play, just message me.

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For dinner on Saturday night, we went to a tapas bar called Bravas. I have to admit that we were a little unsure of this place especially because we didn’t know what half the menu said! But, it turned out to be AMAZING! They had this potato dish called Patatas Bravas that was to die for (I told you that Ryan and I are foodies!), you have to try it if you are in Healdsburg.

Our breakfast joint in the Shed on Sunday morning was the last of our excursions in Healdsburg. I was about to nix this place because it looked way too hipster for our taste BUT I am so glad we gave it a chance. It is a farm to table style place and the food and coffee went beyond our expectations. I had the Grain Belgian Waffle and OMG, I wanted about 10 more after it and Ryan said the same thing about his biscuits and gravy. Don’t pass this place up!

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We had a wonderful, rejuvenating experience in Healdsburg and we feel ready to take on 2017!

~C

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