LATE NIGHT Staying up past midnight can mean drinking too much, so have safe transportation available.

By Chris Andrews

There’s a lot going on this New Year’s Eve, and it’s not too late to make reservations or snap up tickets. Many local restaurants are ringing in the New Year with extravagant prix fixe menus, specialty drinks and lots of bubbly. 

Of note are the seven-course dinner at Chalkboard Restaurant (29 North St.) at Les Mars Hotel and the festive New Year’s Eve tasting menu at Dry Creek Kitchen (317 Healdsburg Ave.), where the evening begins with caviar and Champagne, and ends with a dark chocolate grapefruit torte.

If dining at DCK, plan on continuing the evening at the nearby Spirit Bar at Hotel Healdsburg (25 Matheson St.), which will offer specialty cocktails and live music by the Opportunists.

Other fine-dining options on the big night include Valette (34 Center St.), with a 6-course dinner that includes an indulgent foray into courses with oysters and caviar, duck and lobster. 

Spoonbar (219 Healdsburg Ave.) offers a three-course dinner with grilled swordfish and porcini tagliatelle, plus a jazzy musical backdrop provided by John Schott, guitarist, and Marc Capelle on keyboards.

The Matheson’s (106 Matheson St.) New Year’s Eve Dinner is notable for its six courses featuring winter-rich flavors from start to finish, including a caviar “parfait,” nettles with truffled brie, rabbit confit and a hot chocolate cake. Post dinner, consider visiting the Roof 106 lounge, which will stay open until midnight, with a DJ, dancing and cocktails to round out the celebration.

The Second Story Restaurant (25 North St.) offers the perfect fête for vegetarians and those who love them with their plant-based New Year’s Eve dinner, which features add-on truffles and intriguing sparkling options. 

Little Saint Wine Lounge will have a Champagne Happy Hour on Dec. 31, from 3pm (midnight in Paris) until 6pm.

TOAST FOR TWO It’s traditional to ring in the new year with a glass of Champagne.

Meat lovers will find their nirvana at Goodnight’s Prime Steak (113 Plaza St.), where the seven-course dinner peaks with a bourbon whiskey dry-aged ribeye and ramps down with an assortment of regional cheeses.

For those willing to venture out a bit, the Blue Ridge Kitchen at the Barlow in Sebastopol (6770 McKinley St.) will serve up tantalizing wood-oven roasted vegetables, meats and seafood for dinner, followed by a full-on New Year’s Eve bash with dance music by Spike Sikes and His Awesome Hotcakes. 

Farther away still, the Coast Kitchen in Jenner (21780 Highway 1) offers a dinner-and-dancing package with a tempting five-course dinner featuring local seafood and live music by the Sun Followers.

Music and Revels

Healdsburg has plenty of its own partying to go around, starting with great beverages and music at the Elephant in the Room (177 Healdsburg Ave.). New Year’s Eve starts off with the John Courage Trio, followed by the Gill Brothers Band. 

Coyote Sonoma (44 Mill St.) and Wilson Artisan Wineries will host their 2024 Karat Gold New Year’s Eve bash with Pride & Joy, a Motown-inspired band, providing irresistible dance sets through midnight.

Lo and Behold Bar (214 Healdsburg Ave.) will offer dinner and a New Year’s Eve party until “late,” with DJ Kevin West packing the dancefloor. 

Another notable bash will be held at the Geyserville Gun Club (21025 Geyserville Ave.) with its legendary bar. Food will be offered, and the evening’s festivities will include the Two Lions Band pumping out dance sets until well into the New Year. 

For those wanting to just hang out with friends, Duke’s Spirited Cocktails (111 Plaza St.) and Maison Wine Bar (210 Healdsburg Ave.) will stay open late on the big night.


A few fun parties for kiddos are also scheduled for New Year’s Eve. As one might expect, they take place earlier in the day. 

The Charles Schultz Museum will host activities, crafts and a balloon drop, as well as its usual exhibits, and the Poppy Bank Epicenter in Santa Rosa offers a huge assortment of distractions: laser tag, magicians, karaoke, trampolines, bowling, face painting and more. It also offers a generous buffet of kid-friendly foods.

Once the sun goes down, the whole family can find something to agree on at the Northern Lights self-guided tour through light sculptures and pathways leading through tunnels of twinkle lights to whimsical stops along the paths. It’s at the Luther Burbank Center’s Sculpture Garden (50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa).

And while you’re out on the town and the rest of the family is at home, know this: Only a few restaurants are open for carry-out in the evening. They include Bollywood Kitchen (107 Vine St.), PizZando (301 Healdsburg Ave.) and KINSmoke (304 Center St.); most other establishments close by 5pm or shortly thereafter. Plan to pick up your favorite carry-out in the late afternoon, or swing by Big John’s for provisions for the kids and grandparents.

Getting Home

Local transit will not be running on New Year’s Eve, and if there’s no designated driver, the best plan is to reserve rides in advance through Lyft, Uber or a local taxi service. Don’t imagine rides can be arranged on the fly, as New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest evenings of the year for drivers. 

If it’s a good-sized group, consider hiring a limo, especially if heading into Santa Rosa, Geyserville, Sebastopol or spots on the coast.

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Christian Kallen has called Healdsburg home for over 30 years. A former travel writer and web producer, he has worked with Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other media companies, usually in an editorial capacity. He started reporting locally in 2008, moving from Patch to the Sonoma Index-Tribune to the Kenwood Press before joining the Healdsburg Tribune in 2022.


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