Napa is crowded, touristy, and overpriced.
With over three million tourists visiting Napa Valley per year, it’s the most crowded wine region in California –– not ideal for an exclusive, secluded, and private luxury elopement. And a Napa Valley elopement will cost you –– the wine, lodging, restaurants, and scenery that can be found elsewhere (like Sonoma and Mendocino) for half the price. When wedding couples ask us for ways to enhance their wedding or elopement experience, we urge them to skip a Napa Valley elopement, and instead opt for a wine country elopement idea.
Eloping to Sonoma Valley
An elopement at Mountain House Estate allows you to experience all that Healdsburg, CA, has to offer, so we highly recommend eloping to Sonoma Valley. Condé Nast Traveler Magazine named Healdsburg a top place to visit in 2021. And we couldn’t agree more, which is why we want to share our favorite luxury accommodations, spas, restaurants, wineries, experiences, and more in and around Healdsburg, CA.
This private home sits on 4.25 acres in the heart of Healdsburg, CA. It’s the perfect accommodation before or after your wedding or elopement at Mountain House Estate; featuring gorgeous interior spaces, gardens, a swimming pool, jacuzzi, and much more, it’s truly a private oasis.
If a downtown condo is more your style, this Suite will suit you perfectly. Just a minutes walk to Healdsburg Plaza, and in the heart of downtown Healdsburg, the Cloud Suite is surrounded by locally-owned shops and galleries, restaurants and eateries, and of course, tasting rooms.
Note: If the Cloud Suite is booked for your dates, this Suite is also located near the Healdsburg Plaza.
Our favorite luxury hotels in Healdsburg, CA
Hotel Healdsburg puts you right at the center of the action and offers luxury accommodations and so much more. Rooms range from $400-$1,000 per night. Some of our favorite features of Hotel Healdsburg are:
- The Spa (skip to the next section to read about the Spa at Hotel Healdsburg)
- Dry Creek Kitchen
- Dry Creek Kitchen offers Progressive American fare and over 500 handpicked wine selections. Boasting views of the Healdsburg plaza, the restaurant will open the floor-to-ceiling doors to expose the trellised terrace when the weather permits.
- Garden Pool
- The Garden Pool features sun-shaded chaise lounges surrounded by a garden of olive and fig trees, hydrangea, boxwood, and roses. And if you want refreshments by the pool, the pool bar offers drinks and dining services during the summer months.
- Complimentary Harvest Breakfast
- The Harvest Breakfast includes freshly baked goods from the kitchen, fresh fruit, smoked salmon, coffee, juice, and made-to-order eggs.
- Spirit Bar
- The Spirit Bar is a great place to mingle with locals or try out their menu of small bites, craft cocktails and beer, a broad sampling of wine, and live music on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Fireplace Lounge
- The hotel serves wine, cocktails, bites to eat, and beer in the Fireplace Lounge, adjacent to the courtyard garden.
Hotel Trio is the newest luxury hotel in Healdsburg. Like Hotel Healdsburg, it features a complimentary breakfast and equally as important, a heated pool. If you’re looking to explorer Healdsburg or the Healdsburg Plaza, their complimentary shuttle will get you there. If you have wedding guests and they don’t want to spend as much, the Best Western is nearby and close enough for you to gather and plan activities together.
The Spa at Hotel Healdsburg
If you’re looking for a luxury spa experience, The Spa at Hotel Healdsburg is just that. We love most of the massages, body wraps and scrubs, and facials that feature local products from Sonoma County farms. Our favorite is the Wine and Honey Wrap, which sources local honey and organically-farmed Sauvignon Blanc from Quivira Vineyards.
If you want a less expensive option than Hotel Healdsburg that is more quaint, Bella Villa Messina is an excellent option for your wedding or elopement. Bella Villa Messina overlooks Healdsburg and offers panoramic views of picturesque Sonoma Wine Country. They also offer a wine & cheese cocktail hour from 5:30 pm – 7 pm.
Our favorite restaurants and eateries in Healdsburg, CA
You don’t have to go to Napa for a 3 Michelin Star restaurant like the French Laundry (famous for Governor Newsom’s dinner); we have one right here in Healdsburg.
The SingleThread Farms restaurant offers an eleven-course tasting menu showcasing the seasonal bounty and customized to your dietary needs. The restaurant was awarded 3 Michelin Stars in 2019 and 2020 from the Michelin Guides San Francisco, Bay Area and Wine Country Restaurants. SingleThread is the first restaurant in Sonoma County to win this honor, and the second year it’s been awarded 3 Michelin Stars. Every detail has been taken into account, and the experience is worth every penny.
For those who don’t know, Michelin awards zero to three stars based on anonymous reviewers’ inspections. The reviewers concentrate on the quality of the food, mastery of culinary technique, restaurant personality, and consistency of the food. Two stars mean ‘excellent cuisine, worth a detour,’ while one star means an excellent restaurant in its category.’
This restaurant is usually booked weeks in advance, so if you want to check for reservations, visit this website.
Valette is the second-highest-rated Healdsburg restaurant on TripAdvisor, and for a good reason. The owner and head chef, Dustin Valette, makes it a point to use locally sourced and grown ingredients for his menu and features various wines. The restaurant is approachable, inviting, and offers delectable seasonal fares.
Wine tasting experiences in Healdsburg, CA
Designed and inspired by Tuscany, Ferrari-Carano is a marvel for architect-lovers. At the winery, visitors may taste classic and limited release wines in the Villa Fiore Wine Shop, in the Enoteca located in the underground cellar, or on Il Terrazzo, the outdoor terrace overlooking the vineyards. Their gardens are spectacular, and visitors come from all over the world to take photos and walk amongst the flowers.
And they’re serious about their gardens. In the springtime, they plant over 1,000 tulip bulbs, a beautiful feature. If you want a status update on their tulips, they have a hotline dedicated to that: (707) 433-6700.
The Estate’s mission-style architecture pays homage to Michel-Schlumberger’s European roots while honoring the Spanish’s influence in Northern California’s early history. The winery’s distinct look –white stucco walls, natural terracotta tiled roof, a bell tower, and grand courtyard, offer a panoramic view.
Our favorite places to taste wine at the Estate are in the salon, courtyard, and terrace overlooking the vineyards. They also offer local cheeses, artisan salumi, and seasonal accouterments along with their flights of wine.
Private wine tasting tours in Healdsburg, CA
Healdsburg Wine Tours is a company that offers an exploration of Sonoma Wine Country by private transportation. Whether you want to plan your itinerary yourself or take advantage of their knowledge and expertise, your private tour includes an in-depth look at vineyards, gorgeous olive groves, organic and sustainable gardens, and barrel cellars. They also teach you about the history of winemaking, sustainable farming, and winemaking practices.
Are you looking for an off the beaten path experience in Healdsburg? Or a private, secluded vineyard picnic lunch? How about artisanal food, wine, cheese, and olive oil pairings? If you want a luxury experience, Designated Drivers Sonoma can provide you an exclusive experience. Most importantly, this allows you to safely drink and have a designated driver transport you to each wine tasting experience.
Experiences that are Unique to Healdsburg, CA
Perhaps the best way to view Sonoma Wine Country is from the sky – and a hot air balloon ride is just perfect for that! Imagine yourself above the valley floor at sunset, taking in the views with your sweetheart. The “Private Flight for 2” package offers just that.
Shop at the Historic Healdsburg Plaza
Whether you’re looking for the perfect souvenir or want to find upscale attire and clothing, you’ll find many quaint shops in the historic Healdsburg Plaza that offer everything from antiques and jewelry to books, home goods, wine, and more. During the Summer and Fall, the Healdsburg Farmers Market showcases local artisanal foods and handcrafted goods from vendors all around Sonoma. It makes for a truly unique experience when considering your eloping to Sonoma Valley.
The Healdsburg Plaza has a wide array of art galleries providing different art mediums and styles. We recommend visiting The Paul Mahder and Arena Gallery.
Although hundreds of incredible wineries are in Healdsburg, the Healdsburg Plaza allows you to visit multiple tasting rooms one day. We recommend visiting Williamson Wines, Seasons of the Vineyard, and GC Lurton Vineyards while exploring the square.
Other food & drink tasting experiences in Healdsburg, CA
Young & Yonder is a Sonoma County Distillery located in Healdsburg, CA, offering a great selection of spirit tastings and cocktails. Our favorite spirit is their Lime Vodka. Two blocks from the downtown Healdsburg Plaza, it’s worth a visit if you want to taste something different than wine.
This coffee shop is a little off the beaten path and away from downtown Healdsburg, but it’s worth the drive. They roast their beans at their Cloverdale, CA, location. In addition to caffeinated substances, many visitors love their baked goods. It’s a great start to your day!
If you’re a fan of charcuterie boards, you’ll want to pay a visit to Journeyman Meat. Whether you want a souvenir for your return trip home or want something to snack on during your Healdsburg adventures, Journeyman Meat offers unique tasting experiences, gift baskets, and more. All of the meat is locally sourced.
Don’t lose your time researching a Napa Valley elopement; instead opt for a “Sonoma County elope” package or experience to have an exclusive, secluded luxury elopement.
If the words “private, exclusive, luxurious, distinct, local, organic, and sustainable” resonate with you, then an elopement at Mountain House Estate with luxury accommodations, dining, and experiences in Healdsburg, CA perfectly suits you. Less boastful and offering more than Napa Valley, eloping to Sonoma Valley is a genuinely unprecedented experience for your destination wedding or elopement. Contact us to learn how to plan a luxury elopement experience with Mountain House Estate.