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...more
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...more
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...more
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 BensonAl JarreauNorman BrownStanley ClarkeLedisiBobby Hutcherson/Cedar Walton QuartetLavay Smith & her Red Hot Skillet LickersBrian CulbertsonJoyce CoolingOrquestra La Moderna TardicionYow!! It was a GREAT...more
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...more
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...more
14880 River Road, Guerneville, California, 95446, United States
Good for: Families
12850 River Rd., (formerly Ridenhour Inn), Guerneville, California, 95446, United States
Good for: Business
16650 Highway 116, Guerneville, California, 95446, United States
Good for: Couples
Another recommendation from my friend in Rio Nido who says this the only place they ever eat at, we were so happy with it that we almost went back the next day!Walking in, you definitely know this place is devoted to brewing. The worn couch in front of the fireplace, the bras and bills hanging from the ceiling, and the walk-up window to the bar...more
Located just off of Main Street on Armstrong Woods Road, my friend recommended we try this coffee as opposed to the Main Street locale, and were glad we did. This is your typical cozy, trendy coffeehouse with young baristas, chalkboard menus, tasty local treats to eat, local artists' photos on the wall, chess boards for use, people reading papers,...more
While winding along River Road north of Santa Rosa & our bed and breakfast our stomachs started to growl/rumble... And when that happens, I get CRANKY. We are not the biggest fans of Korbel sparkling wine, but their winery looked beautiful and had a sign out front alluding to a delicatessen. "STOP!" I begged. And we were pleasantly surprised!We...more
Main Street Station is located in the heart of downtown Guerneville. They serve pizza and Italian food. The pizzas are fairly good. Main Street Station features live music nightly. Usually these are jazz acts. But blues, folk, and pop are also presented. Their website has a list of upcoming acts. Typically a small cover charge is applied during the performance hours. Most performers will often have a tip jar readily available.
Main Street Station is an intimate setting for listening to live music. Having dinner while listening to live acts is nice. The Main Street Station is a great place to spend and evening in Guerneville.
I doubt there's anywhere to get a rental car in Guerneville. If you're going to go around town, you can either walk, bike or drive a car. To get up and down the river, however, boats are the way to go! I've seen jet skis, but I think they're really obnoxious when there are swimmers and kayakers in the water...
You can rent canoes at Johnson's Beach. Or you can find a friend that has a boat or bring your own.
Since I dream in chocolate and am accused (falsely, I might add) of being a hippie, I of course had to hunt down Hemp & Chocolate in Guerneville. Most of the store was devoted to hemp clothing and accessories, while the chocolate was tucked around the corners of the counter display, leaving the front available for a glass pipe display. Slightly...more
The Guerneville 5 &10 right on Main Street is one of those places where you walk by and eye something fun, in our case a cool pirate ship kite and a flamingo kite, walk in, suddenly find yourself wasting time reading funny cards, and try to make your escape. My sister managed to do that, but not before I eyed a candy aisle tucked away in the corner...more
A small, but well stocked, sporting goods store, you can purchase your basic California fishing license, as well as stamps for other types of fishing (such as abalone diving) here. Friendly and informative stafff, and right downtown in Guerneville. Very convenient. Fishing license, tackle, rod, reel, dry bag, sun screen, mosquito repellant,...more
A favorite getaway activity for is sitting around a firepit with friends. I first gained a fondness for this in the bush of South Africa. However, this doesn't just happen in Africa, does it? At my friend's home in Guerneville, there's a wonderful firepit, perfect for relaxing with friends after a long day on the water. S'mores anyone?more
Russian River is California's premier leisure canoeing destination. Just north of San Francisco but beware and take some precautions.April through October (7 months)The river is slow-moving and safe during the canoeing season. If coming with children try to plan your trip in the mid-May through mid-September period. The shoulder periods of the...more
The Russian River does occasionally flood. Summer visitors should not worry about flooding as the floods occur only after severe winter storms. However, the worst floods put Main Street under several feet of water. Major floods occur with a frequency of about nine years. Immediately after a flood, access to the area is typically controlled and only...more
The Russian River is prone to flooding pretty drastically every several years or so. Apparently the native american name for the river had to do with how fast the river level can rise and fall (I need to find out that name!). This photo shows the level after about 2 inches of rain in 24 hours. Must have been towards high tide. ;-)more
Luggage and bags:
No big bags required. A duffel with your weekend gear, or perhaps your backpack if you're going to camp. A "dry bag" if you plan on boating on the river and want to keep your camera, keys, extra clothes dry.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sandals that you wont lose when you go in the water (such as Tevas).
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen and mosquito repellant. And aloe, for when you get too much sun.
Photo Equipment: Whatever you'd like. There can be some really good bird watching, so a good telephoto would be great if you want to capture the birds on film. We saw what we think was an eagle, but there wasn't enough zoom on my camera to be sure.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: You can rent kayaks and canoes, but you can also bring your own. Towels, etc. you should bring for yourself.
While you are visiting Guerneville, you may want to take advantage to the proximity to the many wonderful Russian River Wineries. Many of these are small, family run vintners, and as such, are far preferrable to visit that the big corporate entities that are found in the more popular Napa Valley.Russian River Valley Wineroads Map, offers an...more
170 Reviews and Opinions
Johnson's is a nice alternative for $20/canoe/day to Burke's upriver. There is a beach with no alcohol allowed (they reserve the right to search your cooler), free parking, and rentals. We just stopped by looking for a place to picnic and didn't stay (we were looking for a grassy table area) but it was pretty packed at noon on a summer Sunday.Check...more
You can rent a canoe at Burkes Canoes in Forestville and paddle your way down the Russian River four miles down to Guerneville. Canoes hold two to three people and cost $50 per canoe. Kind of expensive, but it's a really fun way to spend the day. They say you can make the entire trip in 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. I think, however, that's if you don't...more
You can rent paddle boats or canoes at Johnson's Beach. There are other canoe rental places farther up the river as well. You'll notice their signs as you drive down River Road, towards Guerneville. For Johnson's Beach, just park, go to the beach and you won't be able to miss the rental stand. Boats!more
Favorite thing: Kayaking is a good thing... exploring the Russian River by a kayak is really peaceful, good exercise and a heck of a lot of fun. If you're with friends it can get really goony and good.