Healdsburg is uniquely centered around great wine and running water. It is perfectly sited to profit from a warm sunny climate that is ideal for growing noble grapes and for supporting all sorts of river-related activity. The Russian River and its largest tributary—Dry Creek—flow through town. Today, these streams are flanked by dozens of wineries ensconced among lush vineyards that extend to redwood forests in hills to the west, and the river is the year-round centerpiece for the region’s fresh-water recreation.
The heart of town is the fully developed plaza—a classic among the few intact examples of Early California towns. Healdsburg’s bucolic charm is apparent in luxuriant landscaping and in a riverside park popular for swimming, canoeing, and fishing. Century-old buildings blend comfortably with Healdsburg’s post-millennial avant-garde landmarks like the hotel on the plaza. All are suited to adult visitors here to enjoy a town that celebrates the river that runs through it and the pleasures of wine.