Canopied by redwoods in a tight valley along Sonoma County's Russian River, Rio Nido (pop. 522) packs a lot into a double-wide-trailer roadhouse, a Tudor-style historic lodge, a post office, a fire station, a public pool, and numerous summer homes and cabins clinging to the hillsides along Rio Nido Creek.
At the entrance to town, the refurbished double-wide trailer houses the family- friendly local institution known as the Rio Nido Roadhouse. It features American roadhouse-style food (think ribs, burgers, pizza, done with wine-country flair), a full bar and, on weekends, live music on an outdoor stage, with towering redwood trees providing the feel of a natural theater setting. Patrons can also swim in the adjacent public pool.
Steps away from the roadhouse sits the refurbished English Tudor-style Rio Nido Lodge at the Russian River. Built in the 1920s, when Rio Nido was a resort wonderland, the lodge sometimes offered overnight accommodations for performers playing at the local amphitheater or dance hall. The former guest boasts names like Bing Crosby, Janis Joplin, Carlos Santana, and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.
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