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Overview

This Russian River Valley hamlet has always been a resort destination. The Pomo Indians used to summer here, lounging by the waters beneath the forests of redwood trees. These days, gay and lesbian vacationers rub elbows with Bay Area families looking to find summertime sun. Tucked between Sonoma's coast and wine region, Guerneville caters to campers and people wanting to sleep in restored Victorian mansions. You'll see transgendered ladies drinking coffee in one of the many cafes, kids splashing in the rushing river, and wealthy and privileged men (yes, men) in fancy cars, heading to the males-only Bohemian Grove hidden in these trees. ...

This Russian River Valley hamlet has always been a resort destination. The Pomo Indians used to summer here, lounging by the waters beneath the forests of redwood trees. These days, gay and lesbian vacationers rub elbows with Bay Area families looking to find summertime sun. Tucked between Sonoma's coast and wine region, Guerneville caters to campers and people wanting to sleep in restored Victorian mansions. You'll see transgendered ladies drinking coffee in one of the many cafes, kids splashing in the rushing river, and wealthy and privileged men (yes, men) in fancy cars, heading to the males-only Bohemian Grove hidden in these trees. Enjoy exploring the Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, riding horses, drinking beer in the local breweries or champagne tasting at Korbel Champagne Cellars. In summer, people flock to the river to sunbathe, kayak, swim, and frolic in the chilly waters. In winter, rent a cabin, light a fire, and enjoy an all-night round of Risk with your friends.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Michele Bigley for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer for swimming, winter for hibernating, spring and fall for wine tasting