Cecilia’s Vineyard Villa, Healdsburg, and surrounding areas are rich with opportunities for adventure. With so much to see and do, you may need at least several days to relax, enjoy, and explore the diversity of Northern California’s Sonoma County Wine Country.
Cecilia's Guide to local Events,
Shopping, Restaurants, Wineries and other Activities
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About the Healdsburg Area
Climate & Weather
Healdsburg’s Historic Plaza
Around Town and in the Immediate Area
It’s All About the Wine
Dry Creek Valley Wine Trail
Alexander Valley Winegrowers
Western Russian River Wine Road & Redwoods
Sonoma and Napa Valleys
Beautiful Coastal Areas
There’s Plenty More to Do
For the Fisherman
Lake Sonoma Recreation Area
For Biking, Hiking, and Golfing
Even More Adventures
For Lovers of the Arts
Parkpoint Health Club
Where is Healdsburg & Where is the Villa?
Nestled in a serene, vineyard setting, Cecilia's Vineyard Villa is located just minutes from Healdsburg’s beautiful, historic downtown plaza. Founded in the mid 1800’s, this outstanding vacation destination preserves its Victorian small town charm, while offering world class restaurants, art galleries, antique and specialty shops and spas. Healdsburg is the heart of Sonoma County Wine Country with over 60 world renowned wineries nearby which are open for wine tasting year round; dozens of tasting rooms are conveniently located in the downtown area.
Blessed with the moderate weather of our Mediterranean climate, Healdsburg is enjoyed year-round. Our warmer season usually begins in April and our ‘Indian’ summers linger into late October through the grape harvest, with daytime temperatures generally ranging from the 70’s to the 90’s. Even on the warmest summer days, evenings are refreshingly cool. Our ‘winter’ weather, from late fall through early spring, is mild with daytime temperatures in the 50's, 60's, and sometimes even in the 70's, with nighttime generally in the 40's.
The hub of activity of our town, just five minutes away, is our beautiful town square, lined by mature Redwoods, with walkways, lawns, a central fountain, benches, and a gazebo and stage for free summer concerts and morning tai chi. Antique shows, chili cook-offs and ‘art on the square’ are some of our other weekend events. The plaza area is also home to excellent restaurants, tasting rooms, art galleries, coffee houses, boutiques, book stores, apparel, home accessory and other specialty shops. Healdsburg’s open air Farmers’ Market offers local, fresh-picked organic fruits and veggies, baked goods, honey, fresh flowers and other hand-crafted delights, from Memorial Day weekend through November, on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.
There is much to do and a wide variety of activities to enjoy during your stay at Cecilia's Vineyard Villa. Wine tasting and fine dining in our outstanding restaurants attract many visitors, with over 60 wineries nearby and literally hundreds in Sonoma County. Private limo services and a seasonal wine ‘trolley’ are available as your ‘designated’ driver, although dozens of tasting rooms are on or within walking distance of the square. Tasting tours by bicycle are also available. Many more beautiful wineries are less than an hour’s drive in surrounding Napa, Mendocino and Lake Counties. Healdsburg's Bear Republic Brewery and Pub produces awarding winning micro brews for your beer-drinking pleasure.
Recently featured in Wine Spectator, the June 07 issue, Healdsburg, although not yet as well known as Sonoma or Napa, is rapidly gaining recognition as a world class destination and is becoming the ‘crown jewel’ of Sonoma County Wine Country. For wine lovers, there are well over 100 outstanding wineries nearby and our historic, charming and upscale town is located at the confluence of 3 renowned wine growing regions, the Dry Creek, Alexander, and Russian River Valleys.
For those wishing to broaden their wine related adventures even more, the town of Sonoma is only 30 miles away and Napa 40 miles, and this journey makes a great day trip.
The Dry Creek Valley abounds with vineyards, award-winning wineries and tasting rooms and you will probably want to spend a day picnicking and ‘drinking in’ all this enchanting Wine Trail has to offer. Beginning just north of Healdsburg, follow Dry Creek Road west through this lovely valley with its many micro-climates, ideal for grape growing, and which ends at Lake Sonoma and its Recreation Area.
The variety and scenery of this ‘adventure’ is amazing and includes not only the beautiful vineyards and wineries, but also majestic Redwoods and Oaks at the base of the rolling coastal foothills. The spectacular and rugged Sonoma coastline is just 30 miles beyond Lake Sonoma where Skaggs Springs Road reaches Stewarts Point.
Some of the region’s featured vineyards include: Amista, Bella, Dutcher Crossing, Ferrari Carrano, Lambert Bridge, Mauritson, Mounts Family, Preston, Quivira, Rued, Talty, and Zichini Family, with many more to choose from. The fertile Dry Creek Valley is ideal for grape growing, both red and white varietals, producing many great wines.
Brimming with beauty and breathtaking vistas, the Alexander Valley is home to more than 40 outstanding wineries, producing a diversity of distinctive wines. Take the Alexander Valley Road, just north of Healdsburg, and enter this spectacular wine growing region with an abundance of micro-climates supporting many premier wine grape varieties including Cabernet, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah and Viognier.
With over 13,000 acres of vineyards, the valley is 22 miles long and follows the winding Russian River as it flows along the valley floor with beautiful vineyards gracing the hillsides. The many renowned wineries of this region include Clos Du Bois, Geyser Peak, Hanna, Jordan, Murphy-Goode, Rodney Strong, Francis Ford Coppola Presents Rosso & Bianco, Seghesio Family, Trentadue, and a host of other very special wineries and tasting rooms.
This renowned wine road follows the beautiful Russian River through numerous wine growing regions including the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys. About a 45 minute drive west on River Road to the river’s end at the Sonoma coast, is a spectacular scenic route lined with redwoods, through the small towns of Forestville, Guerneville, and Duncan Mills.
The morning fog and cooler coastal weather along this most westerly part of this Wine Road, create an ideal climate for the world class Pinot Noir wines produced from the grapes in this part of the Russian River Valley Appellation. Follow this path and you will pass several of this region’s wineries including Goldridge, Hartford Family, Joseph Swan, Korbel, Russian River, Woodenhead, and more.
Armstrong Woods, a wonderful Redwood preserve, is a bonus attraction just north of Guerneville and offers hiking and picnicking areas in its ‘primordial’ forest of giant Redwoods.
With the town of Sonoma only 30 miles from Healdsburg and Napa 40 miles, the Sonoma Valley vineyards and wineries, and the renowned Silverado Wine Trail of the Napa Valley, offer additional wine related adventures which also can be enjoyed from your ‘home away from home’ in Healdsburg, the ‘heart’ of Sonoma County Wine Country.
The Sonoma Valley includes an abundance of appellations and begins only 25 minutes from Healdsburg, and follows Highway 12 south/east from Santa Rosa through the many vineyards and wineries, the town of Kenwood, with Glen Ellen just to the west and then on to the historic town of Sonoma. A few of the many wineries of note along this beautiful drive include Arrowood, Blackstone, Chateau St. Jean, Charles Creek, and Los Carneros.
The Silverado Trail runs from Calistoga at the north end, to Napa in the south and is home to many more world class wineries with a colorful history, dating back to the Silver Mining Era of the 1870’s. Black Bart and other highwaymen made their living holding up the stagecoaches carrying mining payrolls along this trail, which is now home to more than 40 outstanding wineries including Copia, Mumm, Napa Valley, Rutherford, Silverado, Stags Leap, and Sterling, to name but a few.
The Napa Wine Train offers fine dining and another unique way of enjoying a trip through the vineyards ‘on the rails’.
Take River Road west, as it follows the winding Russian River through the Redwoods, and ends at the mouth of the Russian River, where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. Once there, you can travel north on Highway 1 along the rugged and beautiful Sonoma County Coast to Jenner and then on to Fort Ross Historic State Park.
Fort Ross was established by the Russian-American Company in 1812, for hunting and fur trading. This eastern-most outpost of Tsarist Russia, is now a State Park whose restored buildings included a Stockade, the Commandant’s House, and a Russian Orthodox Chapel. Still further north, you will travel through Sea Ranch and the historic, coastal towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg.
Travel south and enjoy the Sonoma Coast State Beach, a 17 mile string of public beaches, considered one of the most scenic stretches of coastline in the state. Beach goers on the Sonoma Coast should come prepared with warm clothing as these beaches can be foggy and/or windy, especially in the mornings.
The fishing port of Bodega Bay is just a little further south, with bayside restaurants featuring excellent seafood. Diners can watch fishing boats coming and going in the harbor. Ocean fishing trips are available year round and leave from Porto Bodega Marina.
With something for everyone, Healdsburg and the surrounding area abound with interesting and fun activities. The Russian River provides for bird-watching, fishing, seasonal canoeing and swimming. The recreational summer dam is in place generally from mid June through mid September, slowing the river current and raising water levels approximately 4 feet, creating an idyllic ‘lake-like’ environment. Just upstream from the dam, is Memorial Beach recreation area, where canoes and paddleboats can be rented by the hour. Half day and full day canoe trips are available and end near Memorial Beach. Experiencing the views and bird life when on the water provides a unique and intimate connection with nature.
The Russian River is open for fishing year round with fall and winter runs of steelhead and salmon and a summer run of shad. Bass, trout and squaw fish are also caught in the summer months. One day or year long California fishing licenses are available in town. Recreational fishing is also enjoyed nearby in Lake Sonoma, Clearlake and Spring Lake; ocean fishing is about a 60 minute drive away, leaving from Bodega Bay, Fort Bragg or the San Francisco Bay area.
At the end of the Dry Creek Valley, Lake Sonoma is nestled in the beautiful, coastal foothills and was created by the Warm Springs Dam in the early 1980’s. Lake Sonoma is the largest lake in Sonoma County and provides flood control, water for agriculture, and lots of recreational activities, including water sports, fishing, and hiking.
The Lake Sonoma Marina offers a boat ramp, full service marina, rental and a store. Available rentals include patio boats, ski boats, wakeboard boats, fishing boats, canoes, and kayaks. The Milt Brand Visitors Center is located at the park entrance, providing information, with interesting exhibits on the Pomo Indians and the cultural and natural history of the Dry Creek Valley.The Congressman Don Clausen Fish Hatchery is run by the Department of Fish and Game and offers group tours during the salmon and steelhead spawning season, from January through April.
Bike rentals are available for around town adventures as well as guided rides through the wine country. Many hiking trails in the nearby Redwoods or along the coastline provide opportunities for more ‘breath-taking’ experiences. Healdsburg’s Tayman Park is a small public 9 hole, par 35 golf course and driving range; Windsor’s Rooster Run (only 10 minutes away) is an almost 7000 yard, par 72 champion golf course and also available to the public. For a unique golfing experience in the Redwoods, Northwood Golf Club in Monte Rio (about ½ hour away) is a public 9 hole par 36 course. More excellent courses are available within a short drive.
Drive 1 hour north to Willits and board the Skunk Train for an incredible trip winding along a beautiful river, through the Redwoods and fern covered terrain, towards the ocean to Fort Bragg on the coast. Full or half day trips are truly an exceptional experience, especially in the ‘open-air’ cars! The Napa Wine Train (1 hour southeast) offers a fine wine and dining experience as your luxury rail car travels through Napa County wine country. Balloon rides offer a unique ‘bird’s-eye’ perspective of our lovely landscape and vineyards. A 400 acre Wildlife Preserve, Safari West offers guided open-air jeep tours daily, by reservation. Home to over 400 mammals and birds, this lush oasis, less than 30 minutes away, offers an intimate exposure to exotic wildlife. There are too many more adventures to detail here, but we are happy to explore your interests and provide advice and help with reservations.
Sonoma County is also very rich in culture and the arts. Local wineries offer many summer music festivals, and food and wine tastings. Jazz is offered in the lounge at the Hotel Healdsburg and at several other local venues. Wells Fargo and Spreckles Centers for the Performing Arts are both less than 20 minutes away and attract music, theater and comedy events. Several community theater groups offer local productions and the Raven Theater in town, also hosts weekend events. San Francisco is only about an hour’s drive south with many theaters, museums, cable cars, night clubs, the Fisherman’s Wharf and much, much more.
With our $15/day guest passes, you can also enjoy Healdsburg’s premier health club, Parkpoint, with lap, aqua exercise, and child pools, Jacuzzis and Saunas, exercise classes, machines and free weights, lounge and snack bar with large screen TV, massage services, childrens center, etc. www.parkpointhealthclubs.com
For spa and massage services, Healdsburg offers a number of choices for your indulgence. Excellent ‘in-house’ massage services can also be arranged by appointment, with recommendations from the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce, www.healdsburg.com (phone 707.433.6935).
Click here to view the "Where is Healdsburg" PDF made available by the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce
The Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce also has a "Things to do in the Area" PDF available here
With all of these choices and so much to do you may need several days and many return visits to enjoy all of the activities and adventures our lovely ‘paradise’ has to offer!!!