An hour’s drive north from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, Geyserville — perched along the Russian River, where it’s surrounded by miles of vineyards and overlooked by distant mountains — provides the perfect Sonoma Wine Country getaway escape.
But that’s been true from the tiny town’s earliest days. Back in 1847, when Geyserville was still part of the huge Rancho Tzabaco Mexican land grant, a series of fumaroles, hot springs, and steam vents were discovered nearby. Eventually this collection of geological features came to be known as “The Geysers.”
Within a few years "The Geysers" were attracting tourists (among many famous visitors of the day: Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Jennings Bryan). A nearby settlement sprang up to provide meals, overnight accommodations, and other services; it eventually took the name of Geyserville.
By the turn of the century Geyserville possessed a block-long downtown with a saloon, a hotel, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a store, along with handsome Victorian homes and many modest bungalows.
Today Geyserville looks much the same as it did more than a century ago, retaining most of the same buildings. The town boasts only one stop sign, with nary a gas station in sight.
But make no mistake: this is not your great-grandparents’ Geyserville. Today the town offers a hip vibe in a comfortable, laid-back kind of way. You’ll find excellent boutique accommodations, top-notch dining, many fun things to do, and some of the best wineries in California, in the Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley wine regions of Sonoma County.