Roadtrip Destinations: Wine CountryWords by Victoria Abbott Riccardi
Whether you’re planning a honeymoon or destination wedding, California wine country checks all the boxes. It has sweeping vineyard views, plenty of outdoor activities, scrumptious, farm-fresh food and, of course, superb wines.
One of the area’s best-kept secrets is Healdsburg, nestled in Sonoma County on the lush banks of the Russian River. Only 90 minutes by car from San Francisco, the city centers around a 19th-century plaza lined with galleries, eclectic boutiques, seasonal restaurants, like Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen, and over 30 tasting rooms. Healdsburg also has several luxurious inns and hotels, including SingleThread Farms, a small Japanese-style inn with a 3-star Michelin restaurant, the design-centric Harmon Guest House and romantic Honor Mansion.
Harmon Guest House, with its funky, slatted wood exterior, speaks to couples looking for luxury with an artsy edge. The light-filled, balconied rooms have French oak floors, custom-built furniture and homespun furnishings. In-room spirits, mixers, snacks and bathroom products hail from local producers and, although the property has no restaurant, over 20 eateries lie within walking distance.
More traditional couples will love Honor Mansion, an AAA Four Diamond property set on four acres of beautifully landscaped lawn, which makes an intimate setting for an outside ceremony. The property has 13 uniquely designed rooms and vineyard suites with private patios and hot tubs for two. All rooms come with a full gourmet breakfast, afternoon refreshments and evening wine and cheese.
Healdsburg abounds with wineries to visit, including the beautiful, ivy-clad Jordan Vineyard & Winery known for its award-winning sparkling wine, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, which you can enjoy during a seated wine tasting and food pairing featuring fruits and herbs from the winery’s garden. J Vineyards & Winery has gained fame for its sparklers and offers a five-course luncheon paired with wine in the property’s Bubble Room.
For honeymooners or wedding couples eager for a charming, less-discovered West Coast destination, Healdsburg has it all – picturesque views, magnificent accommodations and wedding venues, California fresh cuisine and superb wines to toast your new life together.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Jordan Vineyard & Winery (1st, 2nd, 3rd); Honor Mansion (4th)
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Special Digital Edition 2020.
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