So the big question is why visit the River during May and June...
Simple. Great weather... it's warm during the day but not so hot you aren't inspired to go on a hike in Armstrong Woods. Cool enough to snuggle in bed in the morning and fewer crowds at your favorite spots. July and August are the peak tourist months so the locals know that the time to really enjoy our beautiful destination is in May, June, September and October.
So what are the locals doing?
We're heading out to check out the newest wineries and distilleries and cider and breweries. (somebody's gotta do it). When we aren't drinking we're known to eat. Lots of great food at fantastic local restaurants. You won't find a lot of national chain restaurants in Sonoma County. Our Farmer's markets are starting to open back up for the summer. But mostly we're getting outdoors and enjoying a hike on a splendid afternoon or a walk on the beach at sunset.
Oh, and if you're planning to stay this summer? Book your reservation NOW! Weekends are filling up in July & August.
But really, what's going on? Well...
Oh, and many of the local establishments will have special events going on, take a look at their websites for details.
If you haven't visited before, just scroll down and we'll let you know what you've been missing. For all of our regular fans, a quick update on what's going on...
* For Activities (festivals, theme weekend, etc.) check out our calendar AND these local event calendars (R3 Hotel, Russian River Chamber, Sonoma County Tourism, Wine Road) Gay events in town include Women's Weekend (May); Sonoma County Pride (June); Lazy Bear (Aug ) and, of course, all the major summer holiday weekends (Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day). Every 2nd Saturday the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence throw a big ol' BINGO party to raise funds for any number of worthy causes (check out their calendar)
* Restaurants & Bars: New additions in the last few years would include: Dick Blomsters Korean Diner which has taken over Pat's Diner (keeping the best of Pat's breakfasts & lunches and adding Korean Fusion fare); Seaside Metal (specializing in seafood and local beers & wines), 3 Alarm (specializing in hot dogs), and El Barrio (tequila, mescal & burbon with tasty appetizers) all on Main Street and the Juicy Pig (BBQ and other comfort food) on the corner of 4th and Mill St..
* Needing a Spa Day? We've got lots of options for you to choose from. Get a massage at your favorite inn or resort. Pamper yourself with a facial. Although many of our salons offered manicures (and pedicures) we now have a Nail Salon. They have the huge massage chairs with a foot jacuzzi (featuring all the latest tech for safe & hygenic foot care).
* Farmer's Market: We've got our own FM every Thursday afternoon from 3pm to about 7pm. At least once a month there is live music as well. Based on last summer... we found a wonderful assortment of fresh fruit, vegetables, organic meats, local fish and cheeses, along with plants, flowers and some crafts.
All the time:
Nightlife: We've got live music at several of our local restaurants and bars (and, of course, at the River Theater), kareoke and local theater productions.
Outdoors: Hiking, Canoing, Kayaking, Horseback riding, Segway Touring, Wine tasting, Zipline through the Redwoods! Birding, wildflowers, tidepooling, fishing, kite flying (ok you need to go to the ocean for this as the trees get in the way!)
Warm & friendly locals. All ready to make your visit to our part of Sonoma County memorable (in a good way).
Hope to see you at the River soon!
The Russian River is the West Coast's favorite LGBT playground. Situated in the heart of Western Sonoma County, this string of offbeat river villages attracts thousands of LGBT visitors every year for a wide range of activities and fun.
Enjoy new experiences every time you visit. Gorgeous dry, sunny days dominate May - September, perfect for sunning by a pool with your friends or canoeing down the River. You can go biking, hiking and wine-tasting during the day, and every evening there is something happening at the bars & clubs.
Or you can decide to do nothing at all and relax after dinner to the sound of the wind in the redwoods.
Boasting over 250 of the world's most award-winning wineries, 76 miles of scenic coastline, pristine beaches, the mystical Russian River and majestic redwoods, Sonoma County is uniquely experienced with the Russian River as your home base.
The River offers all types of gay and gay-friendly accommodations from resorts and inns to camping under a canopy of brilliant stars. Local restaurants range from simple taquerias and burger joints to four star restaurants. Special weekends feature jazz, wine, women, leather and bears.
Guerneville is the focus of the area's gay nightlife - one of the few resort towns in the country where you can proudly walk down Main Street day or night.
Whether visiting for a weekend, a week or longer, you won't find any other getaway that matches the Russian River's unique and spectacular natural beauty, combined with friendly businesses and residents who genuinely appreciate diversity.
Come out to the River and see why so many people return year after year.