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Wine Country is a destination for countless visitors from across the United States and even other parts of the world every year. I've taken a couple of tours of the area with family and friends, and I've always enjoyed myself thoroughly. I'm also fortunate in that I get to drive through this part of California often for work, so I'm not only reminded of the good times I've had but I also get to enjoy the scenery while I head to the next set of meetings. I've always wanted to see what life was like for the people who live here, though, and time has never permitted me to do that. On a recent trip, I pledged that I'd never fail to take advantage of an opportunity to spend some time in one of these communities if one should arise. That's exactly what happened recently. I wound up with an open day on my schedule, and rather than rush to my next destination I decided to stop and enjoy one of these places. I was going to explore Healdsburg. I had HotelTonight with me, so I knew I could book a Healdsburg, California hotel room as soon as I needed one.

The Artistic Influence

As I pulled into this community of approximately 12,000 people, it didn't take long for me to form a hypothesis as to why the city was so attractive and tasteful in just about every aspect. I saw no fewer than 12 – 15 art galleries downtown, which is a lot for a smaller city. I walked through a few of them and saw modern sculptures, mosaics, classic-style oil paintings and interpretive art that was interesting but a bit difficult to figure out. There's a thriving arts community here, and I think that affects the look of a place.

The Shops

The city itself almost feels European in a way, as there is a plaza in the middle of town where people gather, and local businesses branch outward from it. I had a lot of fun walking through some of the many local shops that were near the center of town, all of which were locally owned. I talked to some of the workers and owners there, and they are used to welcoming visitors. Everyone was extremely friendly and thrilled to be living where they are. I also got some good information on where to eat that night.

The Cuisine

After a bit more shopping, I was hungry and ready for dinner. I had heard about a tapas place that was nearby, and I decided to give that a try. The restaurant is a refurbished beautiful old house, and they serve Spanish treats. I had a fried artichoke along with some sardines and some octopus among other small plates. I had some wine from a local vineyard that was also quite delicious. I probably ate more than I should have, but the welcoming setting and delicious treats kept me there.

HotelTonight – Healdsburg, California Hotels

I was full, satisfied with my meal and ready for a hot shower and some sleep. I opened my HotelTonight app and booked a Healdsburg, California hotel room within a few swipes. It was only a couple of blocks away, and as I walked towards my room I couldn't help but appreciate that I had taken advantage of what turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to experience a beautiful place.