Rustic and elegant, sophisticated and quirky, world renowned and so-tacky-it’s-fun — all that and more describes the laid-back town of Guerneville in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley.
Founded in the 1850s, over the decades Guerneville has been a logging town, a late-19th-Century vacation destination for wealthy San Francisco families, a popular resort and concert venue from the 1930s through the 1960s, and a Gay-friendly recreational destination and the center of a burgeoning wine region from the 1970s on. Still Gay-friendly and surrounded by acclaimed wineries, in recent years the town has gone through yet another rebirth, and is currently evolving into a foodie dining destination and flourishing resort area.
If you’re able to spend time in this truly unique place, be prepared to eat well, drink well, and in general just have a good time relaxing in a small, funky, river town. Here’s a suggested two-day itinerary for enjoying all that Guerneville has to offer, a little more than an hour’s drive north of San Francisco.
From US 101 (the multi-lane freeway corridor running north-south through Sonoma County), take the River Road exit at the north end of the city of Santa Rosa. Follow River Road as it winds its way west along the river, all the way to Guerneville. It’s easy-peasy.