[Editor's Note: You know what's good after drinking too much on Christmas day? A little hair of the dog... in Healdsburg. It's the way Rundown on San Francisco does Sonoma.]
We love wine country. But at times the crowd can seem a little... mature.
Which is why staying near Healdsburg's central square is so refreshing. It's packed with SF-quality bars and restaurants, meaning this small town offers big city fun.
Spread out in a spacious, eco-chic room at h2hotel. Your room comes with a free bike rental, plus access to the all-day-long sun on the pool. Love outdoor space? Book a room on the second floor, your private patio will be huge.
From $265. 219 Healdsburg Ave. (707-922-5251)
Planning on staying a while? Reserve the Ray (named after designer Ray Eames) at Healdsburg Modern Cottages. This ultra-mod pad is the only cottage in this luxury enclave with a full kitchen. So while you're still walking distance to downtown, you can earn your own Michelin stars cooking up a midnight feast.
From $250. 425 Foss St. (866-964-0110)
Combat wine fatigue (boo effing hoo) at Spoonbar where you can watch as your cocktail gets carbonated while you wait. We recommend the Sleeping Beauty, an herbal sipper topped with carbonated blueberries which zing your tongue as they pop in your mouth.
219 Healdsburg Ave. (707-431-2202)
Few restaurants summarize everything Healdsburg is about better than Barndiva. Request a table on the patio and pair a hearty, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with a local Cabernet. Or stick to the hard stuff with a SoCal special: LA is my DNA, made with tarragon-infused rye whiskey and huckleberry reduction, topped with bitter honey foam.
231 Center St. (707-431-0100)
Spend a day floating down the Russian River with River's Edge Kayak and Canoe. Choose from an easy, self-guided half day or a more challenging 11-16 mile full-day trip. Either one is perfect for sweating out yesterday's wine tasting.
$45-90. 13840 Healdsburg Ave. (707-433-7247)
Skip the summer crowds in Muir Woods in favor a quiet day in the primeval forest at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Take an easy mile-and-a-half walk down the Pioneer Trail, or get a workout as you take the 1100-foot climb into the grasslands.
17000 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville (707-869-2015)