A small town on the Russian River pairs fine wines with redwood groves, antiques, and delicious eats.
Tucked away in Northern California’s coastal mountains, a sleepy town delivers summer days of floating on the Russian River, exploring shops on Main Street, strolling through misty redwoods, and dining with fine local wines. Area code is 707 except as noted.
Follow hiking trails and picnic in a primeval grove of coast redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. 17000 Armstrong Woods Rd., 869-2015, parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450.
Rent kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats at Johnson’s Beach. The snack bar pleases with $2 burgers. 869-2022, johnsonsbeach.com.
See the world’s largest champagne bottle at Korbel Champagne Cellars, where winery tours and tastings are offered daily. Pick up gourmet sandwiches, artisan cheeses, and a glass of bubbly at the deli. 13250 River Rd., 824-7000, korbel.com.
Score a piñata, a Marilyn Monroe clock, or a Beatles lunch box at the Guerneville 5 & 10. 16252 Main St., 869-3404, guerneville5and10.com.
Among its fun jumble of antiques, Sonoma Nesting Company carries everything from African masks to French Victorian lamps to decoy ducks. 16151 Main St., 869-3434, sonomanesting.com.
Silhouettes of a dog catching a Frisbee in midair decorate the walls at Boon Eat + Drink. This narrow, classy restaurant touts local wines and beers along with organic fare. Don’t miss the creamy, light polenta lasagna on a bed of greens. 16248 Main St., 869-0780, eatatboon.com.
A French bistro with a flair for California cuisine, Chef Patrick’s serves entrées such as seared ahi tuna with wild rice. 16337 Main St., 869-9161, chefpatricks.com.
Try River Inn Grill’s Swedish pancakes, crepes loaded with mixed berries. 16141 Main St., 869-0481.
Watch the river from the outdoor patio at Stumptown Brewery while feasting on pulled pork and local microbrews. 15045 River Rd., 869-0705, stumptown.com.
This article was first published in July 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.
If You're Going:
Request the Northern California TourBook and the Russian River Communities map at AAA.com or any AAA branch. To find a place to stay, visit AAA.com/hotels. For more information, contact the Russian River Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center: 16201 First St., (877) 644-9001, russianriver.com.