Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

Recently I wrote about the fantastic stay my husband and I had at Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg, a stately Queen Anne Victorian bed and breakfast inn.

We were just a short walk away from great shopping, restaurants, bakeries, wine tasting rooms, ice cream shops, art galleries and more.

During our visit, we had a chance to visit a few new-to-us places as well as revisit some of our old favorites.

Here is a round-up of some of the fun things to do in Healdsburg. You can read about even more of my favorite places to visit in Healdsburg in previous posts here and here.

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

After a tasty, home-cooked breakfast at the inn headed several miles west, out into the scenic Dry Creek Valley. We were scheduled for a private tasting at Pezzi King Estate, one of eight boutique wineries owned by Diane and Ken Wilson of Wilson Artisan Wines, which includes Grape Leaf Inn in their portfolio as well.

Pezzi King Estate is located high in the hills of Dry Creek Valley and is open to guests by appointment only. This breathtakingly gorgeous winery property offers amazing views. It was like looking at a beautiful painting!

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

We were welcomed by Arden upon our arrival. She invited to sit on the deck by the pool. We would be wine tasting al fresco, overlooking the winery below. It was a lovely cool day with spring showers on and off througout the day. I wore a poncho with white jeans, usually wearing white to wine taste is a no-no in my book but I made an exception this time and was sure to be extra careful with my Zinfandel!

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

Arden, who educated us about Pezzi King’s handcrafted wines during our tasting experience, gave us a lovely plate of cheese from local cheese purveyor, Cowgirl Creamery, to pair with our tastes.

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

Next to our luxurious set up was a beautiful pool complete with a tiled wine bottle in the bottom, no less, and a view looking out over the Dry Creek valley.

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

There were so many beautiful things to see on the property including these flowers that had just been doused by a short spring shower.

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

As an amateur photographer, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to use my new camera in between taking sips of world class Zinfandel!

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

This special tasting was a lovely start to day. It even rained a bit while we were there. I am a pluviophile who has been living in a drought for the last four years, so the rain only added to the experience for me!

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

As I mentioned, tastings at Pezzi King Estate are by appointment only. But there is a Pezzi King tasting room in Healdsburg that you can visit without an appointment. Visit the Pezzi King website for more information.

After our tasting, we returned to downtown Healdsburg and met up with Bill’s brother, Rob, and his wife, Debbie. It was Rob’s birthday so we met up to celebrate with the two of them at one of Rob’s favorite places, Bear Republic Brewing Company.

You’ve got to have cake to properly celebrate a birthday, right? It just so happened than one of the best bakeries in Sonoma County is in Healdsburg, just across from the plaza. After burgers and beer, we stopped by Moustache Baked Goods to have a look. Okay, more than just a look!

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

Moustache Baked Goods offers a mouthwatering assortment of sweet treats. We picked out a decadent chocolate cupcake with sea salt on top and a lemon cupcake with honey and lavender. We shared the two between the four of us. So delicious and moist! Just the right amount of sugary goodness to satisfy all of our sweet teeth!

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

And what goes better with cupcakes than fresh hot coffee? Moustache Baked Goods has you covered on the caffeine as well as the sugar front!

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

Later, Bill and I said goodbye to Rob and Debbie and returned to our charming and luxurious room at Grape Leaf Inn. Soon we’d be walking back to the central Healdsburg area to – what else? –  eat and drink again!!

Last year, Bill and I visited Café Lucia, also located near the plaza in Healdsburg. It was an unforgettable culinary adventure and the first time both of us experienced Portuguese food and wine.

We decided to pay them another visit during our most recent getaway to Healdsburg as I had had heard great things about their Happy Hour. We were not disappointed! We enjoyed a dozen oysters on the half shell (a buck each!), chilled beet soup and their lovely Raza, a Portuguese white wine with a bit of effervescence.

If you find yourself in Sonoma Valley, be sure to visit Café Lucia’s sister restaurants, the well-known and long-standing La Salette and their brand new restaurant, Tasca Tasca, both located in the charming town of Sonoma.

cafe lucia healdsburg

I heard a lot of good things about Chalkboard in Healdsburg and was excited to give this popular restaurant a try for dinner. Nikki, the Bar Manager at Grape Leaf Inn, raved about it and told us the Cocoa Trifoglio pasta with duck confit was a must-have. Intrigued, I ordered it along with incredibly fresh crudo of the day (wish I could remember what kind of fish it was!). Bill ordered the tasty sliders. We shared all of it but I ate most of the pasta. That sweet-savory flavor palate is irresistible to me! I love the idea of sharing interesting – and delicious dishes – and will definitely return to Chalkboard again and again.

chalkboard healdsburg

One of my favorite spots in Healdsburg offers visitors healthy, relaxing, tasty and unique experiences. The Taste of Tea, which I visited and wrote about last year, has something for everyone.

My friend, Hannah Gart, suggested we visit The Taste of Tea together to create a micro-doc (short films for the Internet), that she has with her boyfriend and business partner, Edward Seeton, a producer, videographer and director.

This dynamic couple created Healdsburg Social, which Hannah and Ed have appropriately described as ““the Social News source where visual story tellers are capturing everything Healdsburg.”

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

Before we began our day of filming, Hannah and I had to look stylish, of course! So we picked out a few things to wear in the video at Gathered Healdsburg, a women’s clothing and accessory boutique, a short walk from The Taste of Tea. It has boho vibe carrying tunics, long cardigans, peasant blouses, sun dresses, lots of stylish jewelry and handbags, hats and more. It’s a great place to shop for gifts too….and the prices are right!

I chose a beautiful statement necklace and a light gray fringed cardigan. And Hannah wore a tunic with long necklaces and a floppy hat.

gathered healdsburg

Hannah and I had so much fun while we “worked”, eating wonderful Japanese sweets….

the taste of tea healdsburg

sipping hot green tea and chilled Mar-TEA-nis…

the taste of tea healdsburg

and sharing a big bowl of ramen! We also enjoyed a green tea spa treatment in their Relaxation Lounge. The staff at The Taste of Tea is incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and interesting! They love to talk about tea so bring your appetite and your tea questions to this wonderful Healdsburg pick.

Fun Things to do in Healdsburg

You can watch this fun, educational and entertaining video below. And be sure to subscribe to Healdsburg Social’s YouTube channel. Hannah and Ed are adding new videos regularly!

Have you visited Healdsburg?

If so, what are your favorite things to do there?

 

Make it a rich day!

XO,

Adrienne

Disclosure: Our stay at Grape Leaf Inn and our tasting at Pezzi King Estate were both complimentary. All opinions are my own, as always.

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Welcome to another Rich Life Travels post! Today I want to tell you about our recent stay at Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg, a darling Wine Country town located in Northern Sonoma County, about an hour from San Francisco.

 

Rich Life Travels

This Queen Anne Victorian is situated in a charming and quiet residential neighborhood, just a few blocks from the plaza in downtown Healdsburg where you will find lots of shops, restaurants and tasting rooms.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

When we arrived for our visit I immediately noticed the gorgeous stained glass doors that lead to the reception area.

Grape Leaf Inn Healdsburg 9

Jessica, the inn’s gracious and friendly manager, showed us to our room, the Champagne Suite. It’s the only guest room completely detached from the rest of the inn. We had our own private entrance with a gate.

Grape Leaf Inn

Inside there was a large secluded terrace with chic outdoor seating, ideal for entertaining guests. This enclosed area is surrounded by wood paneling, trellises and potted plants.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

Our room featured a plush King bed with a four-posted bed frame and soft Italian linens.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

Jessica left a note welcoming us to the inn. One of many touches that made this one of the top customer service experiences we’ve had while traveling.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

I love the elegant décor of our room. The vaulted ceilings, big exposed beam and French doors gave our room an open and light feel.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

As did the modern decor like this darling chair and stylish white desk.

Grape Leaf Inn Healdsburg

The bathroom had a single sink with plenty of counter space and storage options.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

Above the bathroom window is a stained glass window, bringing additional light and a pop of color to the room.

Grape Leaf Inn Healdsburg

A spacious overhead shower has an entrance and an exit…

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

leading to an outdoor shower for those who are adventurous, and I am! 😉

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

After we got settled and unpacked our things, we headed back to the lobby to have a look around and get acquainted with the inn. I have a thing for soft blue colors and fell in love with the décor of the seating area on the main floor.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

I poured us a couple glasses of lemon rosemary infused water – available for guests in the lobby – and had a seat on the couch. I didn’t plan it but my outfit matched the décor!

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

Warm-from-the-oven cookies were brought out while we were relaxing in the lobby, as well as, a delectable cheese and charcuterie plate. Diane and Ken Wilson of Wilson Artisan Wineries are the owners of Grape Leaf Inn, a recent addition to their impressive winery portfolio that includes several boutique wineries in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

Grape Leaf Inn Healdsburg 7

Their lovely wines were available for guests to enjoy. Grape Leaf Inn guests have the opportunity to visit any of the Wilson Artisan Wineries locations during their stay and have a complimentary tasting, which we most certainly did – more on that in a future post.

Grape Leaf Inn Cookies

Being able to bring our two small dogs, Coco and Daisy, along on our getaways makes our trips more fun and less hassle. Thankfully, Grape Leaf Inn is pet friendly.

Grape Leaf Inn Healdsburg Patio

We were given a basket filled with goodies for our girls. Bowls, towels, toys and a big jar of treats. Daisy wanted to eat them all, of course!

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

A fascinating feature of the inn is its speakeasy. This door in the lobby leads downstairs to a secret bar that is open for service to guests for a couple of hours during the early evening.

grape leaf inn speakeasy entrance

As many of you already know Prohibition, which began in 1920 and lasted 13 years, led to the creation of speakeasies – or illicit bars –which popped up throughout the U.S.

Apparently elegant private homes were among some of the locations! An underground speakeasy was discovered in the original home. With its very short ceiling and state of disrepair it was not salvageable and was filled in when the inn was renovated. But its discovery left enough of an impression that a new speakeasy was built on the other side of the property.

When you walk down the staircase to the underground bar, you feel as though you’re walking back in time nearly 100 years. And you can’t help but feel like you’re about to do something improper by having a drink in the basement of a Victorian home in a quaint residential neighborhood. It’s fun to imagine what life was like during the Prohibition but I am happy to have not had to experience it firsthand!

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

Nikki, who is the Bar Manager at Grape Leaf Inn, mixed up some drinks for us. Nikki makes her own simple syrups, bitters and shops for fresh ingredients daily. She made me a special basil and strawberry cocktail with organic vodka. It was so refreshing and just the right amount of sweetness. Bill chose a Moscow Mule served up in a copper mug from the cocktail menu.

Grape Leaf Inn Speakeasy

After our speakeasy experience, we invited Bill’s younger brother and his wife to our room for a glass of wine before heading out to celebrate his birthday in downtown Healdsburg. Grape Leaf Inn is close enough to the downtown square to walk. And it’s a lovely walk through a beautiful neighborhood. Lots of charming homes to gawk at!

After a peaceful and restful night’s sleep in our plush bed, I got dressed, grabbed my camera and went to the breakfast room to pour myself a cup of fresh hot coffee. Then I explored the inn’s grounds – including their English country-style gardens – while Bill got some work done back in our suite.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

It stormed a bit during the night and there were pretty pink rose petals all over the stairs and porch.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

Roses dotted with raindrops made for some fun photo taking.

Grape Leaf Inn Healdsburg flowers

On a drier morning, I would love to have coffee at one of these sitting areas found around the inn.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

This porch under the eaves would do nicely, even on a rainy or a very hot day.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

For those of you who love Victorian architecture – I certainly do – you will love taking in the Victorian details and history at Grape Leaf Inn.

Grape Leaf Inn Healdsburg

This is the original front door of the home.

Grape Leaf Inn Front Door

It faces the street around the corner from today’s front entrance. The home was built for the town blacksmith who lived there with his family for several years. I found that out from a book in the lobby about historic homes in Healdsburg.

Grape Leaf Inn 1900

Down the stairs and to the right of the original front door, there is a rose-covered archway that leads to a private garden.

Grape Leaf Inn Healdsburg

On the other side of the door are two rooms where breakfast is served to guests. It’s also where I got my cup of coffee and would later return with Bill for a lovely home-cooked breakfast.

Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg

We were served fresh fruit and granola with yogurt followed by a Mexican-style breakfast with farm-fresh eggs, corn tortillas, salsa and fresh greens.

Grape Leaf Inn Breakfast Collage

Bill and I were invited to take a look at some of the other rooms at Grape Leaf Inn so we walked around the interior of the property after breakfast. My favorite is the Chardonnay room upstairs – one of the largest on the property – which has vaulted ceilings and stained glass as well as a separate lounge area that includes a twin bed and two comfy chairs.

Grape Leaf Inn Chardonnay

There are 12 rooms in the main inn – all decorated differently with both modern touches and antique furnishings.

Grape Leaf Inn Rooms

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this charming Victorian gem in California’s Wine Country.

Grape Leaf Inn

We look forward to returning again and again to enjoy the warm hospitality of the staff, gorgeous grounds, luxurious accommodations, central location and of course, the fresh-baked cookies, tasty cheese plates and outstanding wines.

Grapeleafinncollage

Make it a rich day!

And don’t forget May’s How I Wear My is happening next week (see the HIWM page for details).

XO,

Adrienne

Disclosure: I was invited to stay at Grape Leaf Inn and write a review. My stay was complimentary. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own. 

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