Sublime Summer In Sonoma's Healdsburg

Healdsburg is still a town for those seeking the good life. In 1851, Ohio-born Harmon Heald gave up on the Gold Rush and built a cabin, small general store, and post office in what is now known as Healdsburg. The land was rich and the sunshine was abundant. The Russian River supplied farmers with plenty of water and settlers in the 1860s found they could grow nearly any crop in the region. Today, the quaint town of Healdsburg has a population of only 11,000 or so, yet visitors from around the world are enticed to savor its romantic setting, outstanding farm fresh cuisine, and the slow, simple life of a small town. Healdsburg is one of my favorite day trips from San Francisco, and I paid a visit this summer to discover more of this Sonoma county gem. 

A number of exceptional Victorian-era homes dot many of the quiet residential streets of Healdsburg, and a few have been meticulously repurposed into charming luxury inns. John Harasty, the former executive chef of Churchill Downs, and his partner Keren Colsten operate the lovely Haydon Street Inn. This Victorian was previously a convent for Irish nuns who taught at a local Catholic School. The home was re-opened in 1984 as an inn after a laborious renovation. The property is quaint and sprinkled with citrus, olive, and walnut trees among rose and lavender bushes. Harasty’s culinary skill is reason enough to stay at this inn. The daily three-course breakfast is divine and home made, from the sausage to the scones. The bacon, orange juice, pressed olive oils, and tomatoes are also sourced on the property or nearby. Every evening, the inn hosts a wine hour with rich hors d’oeuvres or wood-fired pizza, made right on the patio.

Katherine Bond

Katherine Sutton Bond is a freelance travel and luxury item writer for She's traveled the world and sampled some of the leading hotels and destinations of the globe. She often covers luxury events and technology. ...(Read More)

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