Once a sleepy ag town best known for its Future Farmers of America parade, Healdsburg has emerged as northern Sonoma County’s culinary capital. Foodie-scenester restaurants and cafes, wine-tasting rooms and fancy boutiques line Healdsburg Plaza, the town’s sun-dappled central square (bordered by Healdsburg Ave and Center, Matheson and Plaza Sts).
Traffic grinds to a halt on summer weekends, when second-home-owners and tourists jam downtown. Old-timers aren’t happy with the Napa-style gentrification but at least Healdsburg retains its historic look, if not its once-quiet summers. It’s best visited weekdays – stroll tree-lined streets, sample locavore cooking and soak up the NorCal flavor.