If you're driving to our boutique hotel in Mendocino, take the scenic route through the redwoods and vineyards of Sonoma County. It's about a four-hour drive, so you'll likely be in need of a pit stop halfway through the trip. We recommend stretching your legs and grabbing some lunch in the town of Healdsburg, regularly voted one of the top 10 small towns in America. About two hours from both San Francisco and Mendocino, Healdsburg is right in the heart of wine country with fantastic restaurants, upscale boutique shopping, and scenic streets. Here are our recommendations for things to do in Healdsburg.
For lunch, we can't recommend eating at SHED enough. This restaurant/shop combo has a fantastic selection of curated home, garden, and culinary goods from baker's twine and locally-made jams to DIY kombucha kits and mixology supplies. Enjoy lunch on the patio, where the veg-heavy menu will fill you up without weighing you down for the rest of your road trip. The menu changes seasonally, but we love the roasted carrots with Middle Eastern-inspired flavors and the summer squash, nettle, and porchetta pizza.
With a number of high-end boutiques, you could lose an afternoon shopping on the streets of Healdsburg. We love Mr. Moons for its great jewelry selection and quirky gifts, One World Fair Trade for globally-inspired crafts, and Susan Graf Limited for timeless wardrobe basics (including her classic travel pant) and accessories. The vintage wares of Shoffeitt's Off The Square will have you dreaming of giving your home a California-inspired makeover.
No visit to Sonoma County is complete without a wine tasting, but with over thirty in-town winery tasting rooms, it can be overwhelming to pick one. We recommend Hartford Family Winery Tasting Room & Saloon, where you can drop in and sample four of its signature wines for $10. Beer drinkers will want to seek out Bear Republic Brewing Company, a casual and fun brew pub with nearly 20 in-house made brews on tap.
After you've explored these things to do in Healdsburg, hit the road for the remainder of your trip up the coast to Mendocino. We'll be waiting for you at the inns of the Blue Door Group with an afternoon wine hour!