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Welcome to Guerneville

With a population of around 4,500, Guerneville is a little bigger and more well-known than other towns that dot Sonoma County. Originally a logging community, things have changed rapidly, and know it’s a town that has progressive people and plenty of natural beauty, much like the rest of the Sonoma area.

Lay of the land

People from around the world come to Guerneville to enjoy the natural beauty. The town is adjacent to the Russian River and located within the Fila Creek Watershed with plenty of Redwoods to enjoy. In the past, the area was very popular with wealthy Bay Area residents who wanted to rest and relax. Though, with the advent of airplanes and growth of international travel, Guerneville is not as popular as it once was. However, the town is still popular, and it enjoys plenty of visitors.

One amazing and overlooked benefit of Guerneville is that it still exudes small-town charm that other larger cities and towns don’t. It, like many towns founded in its time, has a plaza in the town center, and there are permanent chess tables and a public beach area, all easily accessible. With small shops for bait and knickknacks, and one can see the charm. With the Russian River so easily accessible, many end up staying longer than expected.


The location of Guerneville is hard to beat as it’s between the Pacific Ocean and Highway 101, along with the towns along it such as Santa Rosa. Highway 116 runs right through the town, and it only takes around 20-minutes to get to the ocean. A relaxing 30-minute drive east will get you to Santa Rosa, where it’s easy to enjoy the amenities of a larger and more established town. While not a good idea to commute to, San Francisco is only about 90 minutes away by car, which makes it a great weekend getaway. There are a few bus options to get you to Santa Rosa, but this is car-county.

Local Highlights

With the Russian River running right through town, this is obviously a big hit in the area. People can sunbath, fish or simply enjoy the views. There are plenty of bait shops, and people in town are always eager to give advice on the best fishing holes. The river is open to the public, and locals are very welcoming and friendly with people from out of town. Further down the road, but certainly not too far is Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. With 805 acres of Redwoods, visitors can enjoy the visitor’s center, self-guided nature trails, and plenty of picnic facilities. Truly a gem of a place to visit.

Seeing as the town is not too far from the Bay Area, it is politically liberal, and attracts many like-minded people. The town hosts the annual Polar Bear Weekend in Mid-January, which is a charity event for the LGBT community. IT also hosts Women’s weekend in the summer. There is also plenty of culture to check out like The Mortuary Orchestra of Guerneville. Again, while a small town in the woods, this isn’t backwoods at all!

As mentioned, one thing that makes Guerneville a great place to live is the location. You can be at the Pacific Ocean in about 20 minutes, where you can check out the Sonoma Coast State Park. A little further to the north of Guerneville is the Austin Creek State Recreation Area, which you will probably have to yourself as it’s not as popular as other sites in northern California, but don’t worry, it’s a beautiful state recreation area that you can enjoy.

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