With hot summer nights and new restaurants, bars, and shops popping up everyday in Guerenville, the Russian River gem is a must for your bucket list. Go hiking, biking, tubing, canoeing, wine tasting, and partying—or just laze by the river. Guerneville doesn't disappoint.
EAT & DRINK
For what it lacks in space, this little eatery more than makes it up in flavor. Boon Eat & Drink combines fresh, seasonal ingredients for simply sophisticated California bistro fare. The truffle fries are an exceptional twist on our all-time favorite side dish. // 16248 Main St.
Big Bottom Market is an institution on Main Street. It’s a one-stop-shop for delicious sandwiches, soups, salads and foodie gifts. Fresh from the oven, a soft, buttery biscuit with strawberry jam and sweet butter is to die for. // 16228 Main St.
Opened in late 2014, 3 Alarm's sizzling grills are firing up dogs and sausages in a kitschy space with a firefighter theme. It's poised to become the burger joint in town. // 16218 Main St.
With a major renovation and artisan prowess to match, the old bank building is the town's new hub. Look out for Chile Pies from San Francisco, Nimble & Finn's Ice Cream, Commerce Fine Goods shop, a fun photo booth in the old vault, as well as a historical society. // 16290 Main St.
A shoo-in for neighborhood favorite, El Barrio has a modern interior, a full bar stocked with craft booze, and Mexican-inspired snacks. How about Mexican deviled eggs with chile dust to accompany your carefully crafted bebidas? // 16230 Main St.
The brothers behind Bar Crudo, on SF's Divisadero, are bringing an oyster spot to this riverside town. There's a raw bar menu as well as comfy seafood stews and roasts for cooler days, plus craft beers and local wines. Hours are limited—Seaside Metal is open Wednesday through Sunday, 5 to 10 pm. // 16222 Main St.
Every little town needs a good coffee shop. This one serves up solid sandwiches, salads, pastries, and a warming cup of joe. Fuel up here before heading to the beach. // 14045 Armstrong Woods Rd.
If you're up for a hangout that feels like a pool party, with live music, dancing, classic American food, and cookoffs, look no further than Rio Nido. Check online for a schedule of events. // 14540 Canyon Two Rd., Rio Nido
San Franciscans park their BMWs in the lot at this hip stay during the summertime, where casual, stylish cabins ring the private pool, and redwoods surround the place. Get a spa treatment and partake in Boon's new seasonal offering: During the summer, three luxe tents are your opportunity to give glamping a go. // 14711 Armstrong Woods Rd.
Get the party started with DJ beats by the pool at this adults-only hotel and bar. Soak up your brews at the hotel's tasty Betty Spaghetti restaurant. // 16390 4th St.
Schoolhouse Canyon Campground: Under the redwoods and with a private beach for long nights around the bonfire.
Camp Outback: Barbecues and WiFi are on order.
Johnson Beach + Resort: Easy river access, hot showers, and game rooms make this canoeing ground a pleasant stay.
The creative couple behind TomfoolerySF and Edyta Szyszlo Photography has also opened a modern shop stocked with handmade goods sourced from local designers and artists. From indigo napkins to marble plates to kilim pillows, the owers have curated a beautiful selection. // Guerneville Bank Club, 16290 Main St.
Forgot your reads at home? Twice Told Books has everything you need to make your beach time a literary journey. Don't want to tote your novels back home? Sell them back to this cute used-books store. // 14045 Armstrong Woods Rd.
WHAT TO DO
Canoeing on the Russian River
Fill your cooler with provisions, slick on some sunscreen, grab your sunhat, and paddle away. Anchor on the area's small beaches for picnics and swimming. For canoe rentals, check out Burke’s Canoe Trips in Forestville. // 8600 River Rd., Forestville
Pack your beach blanket and savor the hot day on one of many hidden beaches between Forestville and Guerneville. Cool off with cocktails while floating away on a tube. For more lively experience, try Johnson Beach, just a few blocks from Main Street.
(Photo via Redwood Hikes)
Just a 20-minute walk (or five minutes by car) from town, Armstrong Redwoods Park is begging to be explored by foot, bike, or horseback. Picnic tables make breathers more comfortable, and if you happen to have a tent with you, you can stay overnight. // 17000 Armstrong Woods Rd.