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Weekender: Eat, Play, and Stay in Healdsburg

Jenna Scatena | November 5, 2012 | Story Weekend Escapes

For those with an aversion to hoards of tourists, partiers who think San Francisco is one big Greek Row, and the riff raff bound to take over the city this weekend during “eventocolypse” (read: Fleet Week, America’s Cup, Litquake, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and then some), take this as your cue to flee the city. Go somewhere warm. Somewhere lively, but not crowded. Where the purslane on your plate is from the farm around the corner, where the wine flows from tasting rooms on every corner and cocktails sparkle in the sunset’s glow. Someplace like… Healdsburg. This isn’t the Healdsburg your grandma told you about over Easter Brunch when you were young. This is the new Healdsburg—brimming with new restaurants, bars, and more than enough sunshine and al fresco tables to go around. If you leave now, you still have time to escape the gridlock.

This is the answer to your question “Does the world really need another thin-crust pizzeria?” Yes, we do, but mainly for this perfect summer pizza: lemon and arugula topped with fresh buratta. Pizzando opened two weeks ago inside Hotel Healdsburg and serves fizzy bottled cocktails a la Spoonbar, their notorious sister space down the street.
301 Healdsburg Ave., 707-922-5233

Mustache Baked Goods
Similar to the above answer—when wondering if you really need to go all the way to Healdsburg for cupcakes, consider this: Unlike many cupcakeries that offer (albeit pretty) sugar bombs, the men behind Mustache decided to utilize the sweetness of local ingredients like Meyer lemons and olive oil (for the cake) and blackberries and rosemary (for the filling and frosting) in The Mistress cupcake. Or, go for the nostalgic homemade Oreos. (Can’t make it to Healdsburg? Check out their new popup at Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission, every few Sundays.)
381 Healdsburg Ave., 707-395-4111

Head due west across Highway 101 to Copain winery, perch yourself on their vineyard-strewn hilltop overlooking the Russian River Valley, and indulge in a wine-and-food paired picnic. Just be sure to reserve your spot at least 24 hours ahead of time.
7800 Eastside Rd., 707-836-8822

Campo Fina
Don’t mistake Campo Fina, which opened this summer, as simply a restaurant. Walk through the long, narrow Manhattan-like eatery, duck below the open beamed canopy, and next to the outdoor wood-fire oven. Here you’ll find a killer bocce ball court. If you’re thirsty, order the house-made basil lemonade, or the Palace (rosé, lemon juice, strawberry-basil shrub, and tonic).
330 Healdsburg Ave., 707-395-4640

Healdsburg Bike Loop
A five-minute walk from downtown is Healdsburg's Wine Country Bikes, your go-to bike rental shop. Pick one up for the hour or the day, then cruise through the Healdsburg Bike Loop or Dry Creek Valley.

Hotel Healdsburg
Smack in the middle of town, and upstairs from Pizzando, the rooms at Hotel Healdsburg strike a balance of modern-sleek and country-rustic (kinda like Healdsburg itself). Tibetan carpets cover dark pecan wood floors, most rooms have views of downtown or their garden, and their pool is hidden from the rest of town so you can relax in a quiet, understated ambiance. Breakfast is included. Starting at $355 until Nov 25.
25 Matheson St., 707-431-2800

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