Guerneville Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Madasabull
  • Things to Do
    by Madasabull
  • Things to Do
    by Madasabull

Best Rated Things to Do in Guerneville

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo

    Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve

    by VeronicaG Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Giant Redwoods Dwarf a Car Below

    Our venture into wine country included more than tastings, we wanted to see the giant Redwoods located a few miles from Guerneville. We discovered a peaceful, sun-dappled woods, punctuated by the tallest trees on earth--as high as 350 feet!

    The Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve was set aside as a 'natural park and botanical garden' by Colonel James Armstrong in the 1880's. Although he harvested lumber for his livelihood, he appreciated the beauty and value of those forests in which he worked.

    The park has preserved 805 acres, which contains a visitor center, 2,000 seat outdoor amphitheatre, self-guided nature trails, picnic tables and restrooms.

    FYI: There is no camping at the state reserve.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jessicadf's Profile Photo

    Russian River Blues Festival

    by jessicadf Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Every year there's a big blues festival on Johnson's Beach in Guerneville. Sit in the sun, swim in the river and listen to blues legends, old and new. Rock on!

    The 2005 festival is June 18 & 19 with a good sounding lineup:
    Saturday:Al Green, Deborah Coleman, Coco Montoya, Maria Muldaur, and The Johnny Rawls Revue.
    Sunday:: Los Lobos, Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm, Shemekia Copeland, The Tommy Castro Band, and Bettye LaVette.

    Both days on the Wine Stage: Earl Thomas

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Music
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

  • jessicadf's Profile Photo

    Russian River Jazz Festival

    by jessicadf Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    An amazing jazz festival, at the end of the summer on the beautiful Russian River. This year's festival was September 6 and 7 and starred:

    George Benson
    Al Jarreau
    Norman Brown
    Stanley Clarke
    Ledisi
    Bobby Hutcherson/Cedar Walton Quartet
    Lavay Smith & her Red Hot Skillet Lickers
    Brian Culbertson
    Joyce Cooling
    Orquestra La Moderna Tardicion

    Yow!! It was a GREAT show! Rather than stand in line and sit in the crowds on the beach, we hopped in a canoe at our friend's house on the river, and paddled upstream to watch from the water. What a way to go!

    Was this review helpful?

  • jessicadf's Profile Photo

    Fishing

    by jessicadf Written Jul 25, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Small mouth bass

    If you like to fish, this is a great place for it. You'll need to have a California fishing license, which you can buy at the sporting store in downtown Guerneville. You can buy licenses of varying length, from one day to a year.

    Once you have your license, you just have to know that all year round, you may only use barbless hooks (crimp any barbs on your hooks) when fishing in the Russian River. And at certain times of year, you may only use lures -- no bait -- for fishing.

    This little guy was caught on a canoeing trip, where Mark was just idly casting his line and lure. It's a small mouth bass. And yes, we caused as little pain and released him.

    Related to:
    • Fishing
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo

    Kissed By The Sun--Redwoods

    by VeronicaG Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kissed by the Sun

    Redwoods growing on the coast of California average between 200-250 feet in height and live to be 500-1000 years old. However, some grow to over 350 feet and survive for 2000 years! The moist conditions contribute to their amazing growth (picture 2).

    We noticed some of the forested areas were marked "extremely fragile", making it important to stay on the trails and not tromp through these places. A trail guide can be picked up at the park's visitor center.

    The oldest tree at the reserve is The Colonel Armstrong Tree, said to be over 1400 years old. A nod to the Colonel for his efforts to preserve this wondrous forest. The Parson Jones tree is the tallest at 310 feet in height.

    FYI: If you park your car at the park entrance, you can walk in for free.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo

    More of Armstrong Redwoods Reserve

    by VeronicaG Updated Aug 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Take a Trail
    2 more images

    Redwoods grow naturally along the coast from southern Oregon to central California. They are nurtured by moisture-laden fog and considerable winter rains. This climate enables them to reach unbelievable heights!

    There is a small $4 charge per car upon entering Armstrong Redwood Reserve. A narrow roadway leads you deep into its shady splendor; a dry creekbed follows alongside. As you drive further into the forest, you'll most likely want to pull over and take a long look around...but you can't.

    Be patient and continue on and soon you'll come to an area where you can park. Here you can either take a trail or aimlessly wander through the woods (pictures 2 & 3).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo

    Korbel--California Champagne

    by VeronicaG Updated Aug 25, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Welcome to Korbel
    2 more images

    The Korbel Champagne Cellars are located on a 2,000 acre estate in the Russian River Valley. We dropped by on our drive through wine country.

    We had already seen lovely little Healdsburg and some of its wineries and were traveling towards Bodega Bay. There was just enough time to see Korbel before it closed for the day.

    The Korbel family hailed from Bohemia, now Czechoslovakia. Their champagne cellar was founded in 1882, after the Korbel brothers tried their hand at farming and discovered they had a talent for growing things, especially grapes.

    As business grew, they discontinued growing their other crops and concentrated on grapes. They introduced the Pinot Noir grape to the area, although it had been primarily used in the champagne region of France. Soon, their wines were being sought after!

    A tour of the Korbel cellars takes visitors to its old vaults and museum to see how champagne is created. (Please see their website for tour times).

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo

    Korbel-Tasting Room and Facilities

    by VeronicaG Updated Aug 25, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    To enter Korbel's tasting room, one has to pass through the wine shop. The shop is stocked with sparkling bottles of Korbel's champagnes, wines and brandies. I imagine some people travel no further than this room.

    In the tasting room, an extensive counter monopolizes a long wall in the spacious room. It is here that servers courteously pour samples of Korbel's finest from a wide selection of choices. I preferred their BRUT--which was wonderful.

    The following were some of the choices:

    Le Premier
    Natural
    Brut
    Chardonnay Champagne
    Blanc de Noir
    Extra Dry
    Brut Rose
    Rouge
    Sec
    Mocato Frizzante
    Sweet Rose
    Chardonnay
    Pinot Noir
    Cabernet
    Zinfandel
    Cream Sherry
    Port

    Hours for the wine shop are 9am-5:30 pm from May 1-Sept.30 and 9am-5pm from Oct. 1-Apr.30. Tasting Room hours are: 9am-5pm from May 1-Sept. 30 and 9am-4:30 pm from Oct.1-Apr.30

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Wine Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo

    Korbel--The Gardens and Grounds

    by VeronicaG Updated Aug 25, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    Korbel's Gardens were exquisite! The rich, velvety color of the roses set within the multiple hues of the other flowers made lovely vignettes along the pathway (pictures 2-3). There are more than 250 varieties of antique roses on display on the Korbel grounds.

    The Korbel family originally planted the antique rose gardens in 1880 to beautify their summer home. Can you imagine the profusion of color accompanying their morning walks about the grounds?

    It's said that these gardens came into their greatest beauty when horiculturist Phillip Robinson put his 'green thumbs' to work. Now the garden blooms with 1,000 varieties of plants, flowers and bulbs from around the world.

    We arrived too late in the day for an official tour of the gardens, but they are available mid-April through mid-October on Tuesdays-Sundays at 11am, 1 pm and 3pm.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Wine Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo

    Armstrong Woods

    by SteveOSF Written Jul 12, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Redwoods

    Armstrong Woods can be attributed to lumberman Colonel James Armstrong, who desired that some of the natural beauty of the forests that he harvested be preserved. The park is an oasis of giant redwoods, surrounded by hills. The redwood grove is majestic. The oldest tree is over 1,400 years old. The tallest is more than 310 feet high.

    Several trails are available. The Pioneer trail meanders through the redwood grove. The Discovery and Nature Trails are wheelchair accessible. The East Ridge Trail and Pool Ridge Trail climb 400 and 500 feet respectively into the surrounding hills and make for more moderate hiking experiences. More strenuous hikes such as to Bullfrog Pond Campground are also available. See the trail map and recommended hikes posted at the visitor’s center for more information about the trials. I would recommend to always carry water when taking any trails out of the redwood grove.

    My favorite short hike is to take the Pioneer Trail from the parking lot, through the redwood grove, to the East Ridge Trailhead. Then follow East Ridge Trail up the switchbacks into the hills. Then traverse the ridgeline. Finally, emerge from the Ridge Trail at the parking lot. This route is about 2 1/4 miles and involves a climb of 400’.

    The park includes a visitor center, a large outdoor amphitheater, picnic facilities, and campgrounds. Horse rentals are also available.

    Dogs must be kept on a leash and must remain on the paved roads. They are not allowed on the trials.

    In 2008 the day use fees are:

    $6.00 per vehicle
    $5.00 per vehicle for seniors
    Free to pedestrians and bicyclists

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo

    Korbel Champagne Cellars

    by SteveOSF Written Jul 12, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Korbel Champagne Cellars
    2 more images

    The Russian River valley is a great place for wine tasting. However, Korbel offers champagne tasting. Established in 1882, Korbel is one of the oldest wineries in the United States. Korbel survived Prohibition (1920-1933) by making sacramental wine for the Church.

    The cellars were founded by Francis Korbel and his brothers. Francis Korbel immigrated to the United States from Bohemia. He set up a successful cigar box company in San Francisco. In the early 1870s, Francis Korbel purchased property near Guerneville and started a lumber business. When the timber was depleted, the Korbel Brothers searched for other uses of the land. Seeing that the climate and land were similar to the Champagne Region in France, they began growing grapes. By 1882, the winery was established.

    Korbel Champagne Cellars has a tasting room that is open to the public. They produce and offer tastings for a variety of champagnes, wines, and brandy. Some are commercially available at major grocery stores like Safeway, but others are only available at the vineyard. They offer the typical champagnes like Brut, Rose, and Extra Dry, but also offer some more unusual varieties like Rouge, which is a champagne with a deep red color. Its vivid color comes from Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

    Free tours of the winery are offered and worth attending. The history of the winery is revealed in the tour. The process of making champagne is explained. At the conclusion of the tour, some tastings are conducted.

    Korbel’s tasting room naturally has a wine shop and gift shop affiliated with it. They also have a delicatessen that offers some nice sandwiches and salads. You can enjoy your lunch on their patio under the redwoods.

    Several episodes of the 1960s television show “Combat” were filmed on the Korbel vineyards. The winery apparently took advantage of the special effects. Whenever an explosion was to occur, Korbel insisted that they blow up an old stump left over from the logging days.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel
    • Wine Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo

    The Russian River

    by SteveOSF Updated Jul 12, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Enjoying the River

    Guerneville is the primary town within the Russian River resort area. The river remains one of the areas main attractions. Summer weather is usually warm, making a day at the beach quite pleasant. The Russian River has a lot of beach access. Johnson’s Beach located right off of downtown Guerneville is popular. Swimming and sunbathing are the primary activities there. However, Johnson’s Beach often hosts some music festivals, such as the Blues Festival and the Jazz Festival.

    Johnson’s Beach also has a concession that rents canoes and kayaks. Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed on Guerneville’s signature beach. So if your dog wants some summer aquatic fun, it would be best to take him to one of the other nearby beaches. Some of the resorts along the river also have their own beach.

    Swimming in the Russian River is best in the summer months when the “summer dam” is in place at the downstream edge of Johnson’s Beach. The dam regulates the water flow and pools water to make Johnson’s Beach into a nice swimming hole. In the winter months, the river can get a bit too wild and cold for swimming.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo

    "Jazz on the River"

    by Callavetta Written Aug 10, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    BWB:  Braun, Whalum and Brown on the Beach

    I love destination Jazz festivals and have been to some of the best; Montreux, Winter Park.... But to me, the best of the best is "Jazz on the River" , or what we commonly refer to as The Russian River Jazz Festival.

    Imagine floating on an inner tube in the cool cool river among the redwoods, listening to Dave Koz and his cool group? Dig your toes in the sand, sip a Pinot Noir and sway to the cool vibes of Craig Chaquiso. Or jump up and dance to Jeff Golub and Mindi Abair!

    The festival also has craft and vendor booths and an area for wine tasting. My only complaint is that no glass is allowed into the closed off beach area. So it's necessary to "decant" that Pinot Noir into a plastic bottle.

    Parking can be tricky but there are frequent shuttles that run from the distant parking lots.

    There are two levels of tickets: Gold Tier and regular. Gold Tier buy you a reserved seat in low beach chairs right in front of the stage. Regular means you bring your own seat and find a place wherever. We got gold tier seats for one day of the weekend performance and found it was a little to loud up their in the front. We had a lot more fun the next day when we mingled with the concert goers and met fun people.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo

    Armstrong Redwoods

    by Callavetta Updated May 14, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The oldest living things, at up to 2,000 yrs. old
    4 more images

    Armstrong Redwoods is a beautiful reserve of California Coastal Redwoods. These Giants are one of California's most popular tourist attractions and Armstrong Redwoods park offers an easy, friendly place to visit. There are camping and picnic areas and the park offers a variety of hikes and walks ranging from just under a mile to just over 10 miles. Occasional naturalist and docent programs are held to educate visitors about the history and ecology of the Coastal Redwoods. Coastal redwoods are the oldest living things, with some of these trees up to 2,000 years old. The tallest in the park is 310 feet.

    Stop in town and pick up a picnic and a bottle of local wine. Enjoy a quiet picnic next to the creek under the Dogwoods. It's a stop that can't be beat!

    Visitors who park outside the entrance kiosk may walk into the park for no charge. There is a $6.00 per car fee to drive into the park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo

    Korbel Vineyards

    by Callavetta Written Aug 10, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Riddler

    In a region just loaded with wineries and wine making tours, Korbel is a must stop. The sparkling wine maker lives in a beautiful and historic building with beautiful gardens and landscaping. Gaze across the road at the vineyards, stretching out across to the Russian River.

    The tour starts with a brief film about sparkling wine making and then you will join a real person who will take you through the wineries and past displays and demonstrations.

    You'll finish your tour in the tasting room where your guide may take you out into the garden and lead you in the tasting of 5 or 6 different bottles of sparkling wine.

    Some visitors eschew the tour and go straight to the formal tasting room. There you can taste, and purchase, the wineries offerings. The gift shop has a host of interesting and clever items for purchase. You can also purchase picnic supplies and there are picnic areas on the grounds.

    Tours are free and offered daily from 10 am until about 4 pm.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Guerneville

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

67 travelers online now

Comments

Guerneville Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Guerneville things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Guerneville sightseeing.

View all Guerneville hotels