Travel Goal: Sip artisan wine surrounded by vineyards shaded by redwood trees. Dine at farm-to-table restaurants in a quaint country village. You could spend 3 days in Napa, but If you want small-batch-wines, narrow-roads, and a picturesque town square you will want to Skip Napa and Try This Healdsburg.
Less than a two hour drive north of San Francisco, Healdsburg is the best of wine country nestled next to the redwood forest. Drive or bike down winding West Side Drive through valleys of vineyards stopping at friendly family owned wineries. Use the Sonoma County Wine Map to navigate nearly 100 area wineries
You don't have to leave Healdsburg to taste local wine, a dozen wineries have tasting rooms located around the town square. So if you prioritize drinking over driving (I certainly do) you can simply walk to your tastings. Over indulged on vino? Drink Beer at Bear Republic micro brewery or marvel at mixologists in H2Otel's Bar. Take a day off the sauce and float down the Russian River with River's Edge kayak and Canoe rental offering everything you need for a full or half day float. Accommodations range from the swanky H2Otel and Dry Creek Hotel to the nicely located, and affordably priced, American't Best Value Inn.
Healdsburg is everything you expect from California's wine country. Once you have been disappointed by Napa Valley's Hwy 29, check out Healdsburg. California Wine Country Travel Goal Achieved!