If you are looking for an uncomplicated vacation to somewhere laid-back and surrounded by raw beauty look no further than Russian River.
From there we took a drive to the rocky shoreline of Johnson Beach. It’s pretty quiet in the spring but traffic picks up during the summertime when you can rent canoes, umbrellas and
You can still feel the free spirit of the 60s in downtown Guerneville— We grabbed coffee at the Big Bottom Market where they serve delicious freshly made biscuits with whipped butter and jam. Don’t be put off by the slow service—it’s simply the pace of this bohemian town.
One of the best things going on in Guernville is Chili Pies Banking Co. located in an old refurbished bank that sells some of the best pie I’ve ever had—you must try their signature apple chili pie!
Just a 15-minute drive from Guernville is Duncans Mills, an old lumber mill which is filled with charming shops. We hopped on the old railroad cars which gave us a glimpse into Duncans Mill’s past.
Another 13-minute ride from Duncans Mills is Goat Rock Sate Park on the coast in Jennner. Take a jacket with you because the coast is moody and can be 20 degrees (or more) cooler than the inland area of Russian River.
We stopped for lunch at Cafe Aquatica which sits right on the waterfront. The wait for our food was no different then our wait for coffee in Guerneville. It’s simply the way things roll here. Sitting outside we relaxed and listened to live Spanish guitar.
Afterwards we stopped in at Stumptown Brewery known for their craft beer and located right on the river. Check the weather on their webcam before you go and make an afternoon of lounging in the sun on their expansive deck.
Onward for a little wine tasting at Porter Creek Winery in Healdsburg about 18 minutes from downtown Guernville. We loved these Russian River burgundian styled wines as much as we loved the setting.
Close by is Gracianna Winery which had just opened their tasting room. This venue is incredibly elegant—it’s a wide open tasting room adjacent to their patio which overlooks their stunning vineyards.
The 1950-ish style of the Monte Rio Theatre is a landmark. The funky murals and faded marquee only add to its charm.
We later stopped at Seaside Metal for their happy hour menu. Most everyone comes here for the $1.50 oysters but we had a hankering for the herb and jalapeño mussels. If it’s dinner you want their menu will not disappoint!
Moondance, our vacation rental through Russian River Getaways, is located right on the river and newly renovated. We spent our last night on the deck taking in the view of this tranquil space.