Tucked a few miles inland from the Sonoma coastline and nestled along the Russian River, the little village of Duncans Mills boasts Old West charm that makes it an ideal stop for those exploring the area. Here are three fun things to do when visiting this charming hamlet.
Listen to music at the Blue Heron Restaurant & Tavern
When you have beer, music, and burgers in the same place, you just know it’s going to be good. Add to that the cozy rustic redwood dining room, some Sonoma County wine, and you have a must-experience stop on the way home from the coast.
Their full menu is served both in the tavern and dining room, where you can feast on fish & chips, burgers, or homemade fare such as chicken pot pie, while gazing out at the redwoods. In the summer months (around here that is May through September) you can listen to music outside on the garden patio, and tap your toes while munching on barbecued oysters. The rest of the year, enjoy your beer or wine, while listening to local musicians playing inside.
Blue Heron Restaurant & Tavern, 25300 Steelhead Blvd., Duncans Mills, 707-865-2261
Experience art at Christopher Queen Galleries
Although called an art gallery, Christopher Queen Galleries is more like a museum. Situated near the courtyard and fountain, this two-story art gallery features an extensive collection of early California paintings, dating from the 1860s to the 1940s, and includes works by famous artists who are represented in major museums.
When you walk upstairs, you feel like you’re walking through a gallery at a museum, looking at breathtaking scenes of old California. The downstairs gallery is a changing exhibit of contemporary art displayed salon style, adding to the charm of this beautifully displayed gallery.
Christopher Queen Galleries, 25171 Highway 116, Duncans Mills, 707-865-1318
Camp at Casini Ranch Family Campground
As the Russian River meanders from the coastal redwoods to the ocean, the hillsides merge into wooded and grass covered slopes surrounded by trees. Just five miles from the ocean, Casini Ranch Campground is nestled close to the river and not far from Duncans Mills. There is one mile of the Russian River where you can boat, swim, fish, and relax.
In addition to relaxing at the river, the campground hosts other family fun activities including feeding the ducks at the duck pond, Saturday evening hay rides, and outdoor movie nights. The campground is great for families, who come here year after year. It offers all the amenities: full hookups, showers, General Store, game room, WiFi, and secluded spots for tents. And if you have an unlucky day fishing for steelhead and salmon, there are some great restaurants close by to dine.
Casini Ranch Family Campground, 22855 Moscow Road, Duncans Mills, 800-451-8400
For more ideas about what to see and do, and where to stay, read Guide to the Russian River Resort Area and 10 Getaway Resorts and Lodges in the Russian River Area.