A triathlon is defined as a multi-sport race with three continuous and sequential endurance races. Maybe we’re going out on a limb, but we’d venture to say that many of us do NOT have the training, endurance, or stamina to even think of doing a triathlon (and if you do, then we take our hats off to you!). But what about an epicurean triathlon? Now that’s doable!
Just an hour north of the Golden Gate awaits a Bay Area gem, the city of Healdsburg — a town made for the epicurean adventurer. This quaint city offers an escape from the hustle where you’ll always find something for everyone: Secret vineyards, off-the-beaten path tasting rooms, farm-to-table cuisine and rich history are all what makes Healdsburg so special. You can soak up the sun, visit some classics, and discover something new all in 24 hours time.
And amongst every adventure, there is a quiet, captivating charm about the warm summer days and cool summer nights in Healdsburg Square. Here is a look inside our epicurean escapade: The best to see, do, eat and drink in 24 hours in Healdsburg – most within walking distance of Healdsburg square.
A delicious adventure in local flavor.
Now this is a cooking class with panache.
A culinary education business in heart Healdsburg. The goal at Relish is to celebrate seasonal, local food and provide a fresh and inspiring learning experience for everyone at every event.
Relish combines talented chefs, fabulous cuisine and captivating rural settings, including the beautiful Relish Culinary Center in downtown Healdsburg, to create one-of-a-kind authentic food experiences, including cooking classes, tours and other creative culinary events for individuals, groups, and businesses.
You’d be surprised at the how easy it can be to make a simple, well-thought-out meal. With 15 years of delicious adventures under Relish’s belt, the most delightful part of this presentation, in our humble opinion, is Founder and Owner, Donna Del Rey, who is the life of the party. Her presence is warm, her comedic timing is just perfect, and she and her staff will welcome you with open arms.
Each class is customized differently, and during our two-hour course, we learned how to build a simple 3-course meal from scratch using local ingredients. Donna and her staff effortlessly guided us, about 6 guests, through each step while making it all easy, fun, and interesting. We learned about the food we were eating, where it came from, and great preparation technique. And yes, there are options for vegetarians. In fact, vegetarians may learn a thing or two about how to prepare your veggies.
This is a great option for team building, community-building, local education, and – oh yeah – you’ll learn how to cook, too!
Our recommendation: Ask Donna for recommendation in gluten-free and vegan preparations; she knows all the tricks of the trade!
Sit back, relax, and kick your feet up.
Put away your devices, sit back, relax and close your eyes or open a book. The Spa at Hotel Healdsburg is a wine-country staple for relaxing in luxury. Easy-breezy does it, where a vibe of relaxation meets professional service and efficacious treatments. No matter which service calls your name, you’ll be able to recharge for entire day at the Spa, if you choose.
In addition to six serene treatment rooms—which include a couple’s suite—the Spa offers comforts you’ll only find at Hotel Healdsburg: a serene garden patio, Jacuzzi and access to the swimming pool nestled in olive grove.
If we can make one recommendation, The Healdsburg Signature Massage is beyond bliss. Probably the best part is that the therapists are warm, welcoming, and make you feel at ease. Before your massage, you’ll have time to address any specific concerns, before being lathered in an aromatic oil, followed by a variety of techniques that include deep tissue acupressure and hot stones to address your specific needs.
Before or after your massage, don’t forget the relaxation lounge. And if you’re looking to relax throughout the day, kick your feet up or go for a swim at the pool area.
Our recommendation: Go for a treatment, then stay and relax for a couple hours at the pool.
More than Meets the Taste Buds
Intriguing decor, a cozy atmosphere, and overall good energy sums up Barndiva. With two options of the main restaurant, and the annex, Studio Barndiva, this experience is a whole mood.
We are huge fans of the eclectic dining scene at Studio Barndiva, where country meets chic, for the quintessential modern country experience. Just as the name suggests, the Studio is the place where one can experience art, music, short films, food, cocktails, and conversation. Complete with a fireplace, group seating, and a semi-private dining area – where we were seated – Barndiva will make the scene for any evening.
Supper in Studio Barndiva is a three-course, pre-fixed menu that is a Mediterranean inspired, farm-to-table treat. As you admire the interesting decor within the Studio, take note: their hand-crafted cocktails are elixirs from heaven.
Other unique parts of Barndiva: Walk to the back of the Studio, where you’ll find some interesting art installations and a fascinating collection of Cigarette cards, from the owner’s personal collection. Once your curiosity is piqued, then see if you can take a peek at the outdoor garden area, an absolutely picturesque space for dining, dancing, and large-scale events.
Our recommendation: Arrive early, and enjoy a hand-crafted libation while you take in the scenery. After dinner, take a stroll around the Studio Barndiva Gallery area.
A Cozy B&B With Old-Fashioned Sensibility
Healdsburg has one of the most diverse selections of hotels in the Bay Area, from the ultra luxurious, to minimalist modern, to cozy-country accomodations. And then there are the off-the-beaten-path gems like Haydon Street Inn.
This mansion turned into into a quiet, cozy inn is a great option for travelers looking for of comfort, warmth, and relaxation. The Inn owners, husband and wife team John and Keren, give genuine service and are always available to share their insider insights on area wineries, restaurants, and attractions. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Keren and the family dog, who helped us to our rooms and gave us tips on things to do.
A few other notes: Rise bright and early for seated breakfast. Also, fresh-baked cookies are available in the kitchen. And finally, there is a TV only in the common area (but trust us, with so many other activities just a couple of blocks away, you may not feel like watching TV). Hayden Street Inn can be a nice option for couples looking to slowly, and quietly wind-down.
Our recommendation: Pack a Lush bath bomb and be ready to soak in a luxurious bubble bath to cap off the night.
A few other activities to consider…
End the night on a lively note
If you’re still looking for another hotspot before ending the night, look no further than Duke’s in Healdsburg Square! This sports bar is fun, relaxed, and chill all at the same time. We sat at the bar, and lo and behold, we were carded! (Believe me, we are many years older than 21). What a way to feel good…Thanks Duke’s!
With that being said, if you’re craving a little after-dinner-something, Duke’s has plenty of options for spirited eats, snacks, and sweets. And then there’s the bar. This is as well-stocked of a bar you’ll find in the Bay Area, so don’t be afraid to go for something different!
Our recommendation: This may be one of the few late-night joints in Healdsburg Square. So, go big! Grab a stiff cocktail or two, indulge in bar food, and close the place down!
Go for the Tasting, Stay For the View!
Don’t miss one of the the best views in Healdsburg! On our way out of town, we had the pleasure of a tasting at Wilson Winery, which boasted one of the most scenic moments of our epicurean triathlon. This is the first winery of the Wilson Family and flagship winery of nine sister properties, with award-winning zinfandels and other speciality reds. The experience here is warm, friendly, and you’ll learn all about how terroir factors into their final product.
Our recommendation: With these instagram-worthy views, why not stay awhile and make a day of it?! Bring a picnic, do the Signature Tasting, then take some some photos and make sure to tag Wilson Winery !
Get Your Zen On
If you can use a little restoration after indulging in epicurean heaven, then go for a Restorative Yoga class! If you’re feeling more energetic, Yoga on Center also offers Vinyasa Flow, Slow Flow, Barre, and a wide range of movement for all bodies and levels alike.