Another day, another national accolade for a Sonoma County destination.
This time the winner is Healdsburg, ranked No. 9 in the 2020 edition of TripAdvisor’s annual Travelers’ Choice Awards.
The list, which was released this week, celebrates destinations that saw the biggest spikes in top reviews and ratings over the last year. That means Healdsburg has received a preponderance of positive reviews over the last 12 months.
News of this accolade came on the heels of two other distinctions: So far this year, both Forbes and Fortune have included Sonoma County on their lists of best places to visit in 2020.
But this latest honor is different. Holly Fox, general manager of Two Thirty-Five Suites just off the Healdsburg Plaza, said the shout-out from TripAdvisor is particularly satisfying because it’s based exclusively on traveler reviews—not on the preferences (or eccentricities) of travel editors and the writers who work for them.
“We know Healdsburg is a gorgeous place where the people are friendly and the food and wine are top-notch, but it’s rewarding to see that TripAdvisor reviewers know it too and are sharing their experiences with the world,” said Fox, who also serves as chair of the Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District. “We know travelers rely more and more on reviews so it’s a great sign to see that Healdsburg is so loved on Trip Advisor.”
Specifically, Healdsburg was recognized in a new award category—a category titled “Trending Destinations.” This recognizes destinations with positive traveler feedback that have seen the greatest increase in popularity and traveler interest over the last year.
According to Elizabeth Monahan, communications manager at TripAdvisor, the category hails those destinations that are both accessible and inspiring.
“Having Healdsburg receive a Travelers’ Choice Award is an incredible honor as [it] recognizes the top 1 percent of businesses and destinations on TripAdvisor,” she wrote in a recent email.
Neela Pal, vice president of brand for TripAdvisor, agreed.
“We know the best trips are often inspired and guided by people who’ve been there before,” she said. “From the hot destinations our TripAdvisor travelers are currently loving to fascinating new places whetting the appetites of more adventuresome explorers, these winners are all ones to watch and hopefully visit.”
The official TripAdvisor write-up highlights Healdsburg as “the place to be, with literally hundreds of incredible wineries within an easy drive among beautiful landscapes, as well as some of the coolest boutique hotels, over-the-top spas, and hip restaurants in the country.”
It also refers to Healdsburg as a “charming town,” and “one of the best wine regions in the United States.”
Other destinations in the top 10 of TripAdvisor’s annual Travelers’ Choice Awards were Key Largo, Fla.; Moab, Utah; Anna Mara Island, Fla.; Santa Barbara; Brooklyn; St. Louis; Park City, Utah; Fairbanks, Alaska; and Colorado Springs, Colo.