The museum of movie memorabilia at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Sonoma County
Film buffs will not want to miss the museum at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

5 Fun Things to do in Geyserville

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Situated on the Russian River and surrounded by distant mountains, Geyserville (pop. 862) will surprise you. Downtown is only one block long. As you meander along its wooden sidewalks past 19th-century false-front buildings, you'll feel as if you've stepped back in time. But, as you'll quickly see, this tiny spot is jam-packed with delectable eateries, winery tasting rooms, and diverting galleries and shops.

In Geyserville's surrounding countryside you'll also find many award-winning wineries, excellent B&Bs and inns, opportunities for outdoor adventure, and a modern casino.

Here are 5 fun ways to spend your time in Geyserville:

Go Swimming at Francis Ford Coppola Winery

The luxurious pool is surrounded by chairs and umbrellas at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Sonoma County
Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Film director Coppola wasn't exaggerating when he described his Geyserville winery as a 'wine wonderland.' With a design influenced by Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens amusement park and awesome views guaranteed to take your breath away, family-friendly Francis Ford Coppola Winery is all about having fun. Aside from the various wine-tasting venues, you'll find two connected swimming pools bordered by European-style cabins with showers, a sunbathing terrace, a movie gallery, a performing arts pavilion, and a park with game tables and bocce courts. 

The winery also serves as a museum, since Coppola's movie memorabilia is housed here-including his Oscars, Marlon Brando's desk from The Godfather, and the 1948 Tucker Sedan used in the movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream. Go swimming (the pool is open April to October), enjoy a tasting, take a tour, roll bocce, buy an exquisite gift in the shop, dine on something delicious. And if you hit it right, you just might catch a glimpse of Coppola himself.

Try Your Luck at River Rock Casino

This attractive, 62,000-square-foot gaming facility, open 24 hours a day, offers spectacular views of the Alexander Valley, live entertainment, and four dining venues, from full-scale buffet to quick snacks. River Rock Casino is home to more than 1,100 slot machines and 20 gaming tables, as well as a high-limit room and a penny slot lounge.

Celebrate the Outdoors at Lake Sonoma

Boats docked in the marina at Lake Sonoma, Sonoma County
Lake Sonoma Marina

Nestled into a valley overlooked by mountains and bordered by 50 miles of shorelineLake Sonoma Recreation Area was created in 1983 during the construction of Warm Springs Dam. It's managed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lake Sonoma offers a diversity of recreational activities for public use.

You'll find secluded coves for boating, fishing in the stocked lake, areas for water-skiing and jet skis, boat and canoe rentals, an archery field, camping (both drive-in and boat-in), a public boat ramp, the full-service Lake Sonoma Marina, more than 40 miles of trails (for hikers, cyclists and equestrians), swimming, a state-of-the-art fish hatchery, and picnic areas. The Lake Sonoma Visitors Center & Fish Hatchery contains cultural and natural history exhibits about the Dry Creek Valley, and offers tours of the fish hatchery and ranger-led programs. 

Check out the Western Downtown

A statue of a horse is outside of the western store
Bosworth & Son General Merchantile

It's only a few blocks or so long, but 'downtown' Geyserville has plenty going on. At Bosworth & Son General Merchantile you can buy all kinds of hats, clothing, and gifts at this former buggy shop that has been a thriving store since 1911. Or, find the perfect vintage piece to haul back home at Gin'gilli's Vintage Home.

Want to taste wines? Try family-owned Ramazzotti Wines; delve into Bordeaux-Style blends at Mercury Geyserville. At Locals Tasting Room, you can sample and compare wines from many local boutique producers.

Hungry? Try amazing Italian dishes at Catelli's; Craft brews with local fare at Corner Project Ales & Eats; Neapolitan-style pizza and handmade pasta at Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria; and bar bites with classic cocktails at Geyserville Gun Club Bar & Lounge.

Visit Isis Oasis

For a one-of-a-kind, only-in-Geyserville experience, take a tour of exotic birds and cats - against a backdrop of ancient Egypt - at the 10-acre Isis Oasis Retreat Center. The sanctuary was established in 1978 by artist Loreon Vigne, who has transformed it over the years into an Egyptian-themed retreat center. Step into the Temple of Isis, which is usually open for meditation; visit the collection of exotic birds and animals (some species here are threatened in the wild); and marvel over creative structures like the Hobbit Hut, Cob Sphinx, and Isis Sun Bench.

Workshops are held at Isis Oasis; onsite camping is available; and you can rent accommodations (which allows access to the main pool, sauna, and hot tub). The small Isis chapel is always open. For other facilities, drop-ins are welcome at certain Sunday public events and services, or call for an appointment.

Find more info about restaurants, hotels, and things to do in Sonoma County.

Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodgriguez.