Have a casual breakfast and plan your wine tasting outing for the afternoon. Talk
to the concierge at your lodge or take a short drive over to your town's visitor
center. There are several maps available for planning a drive, the foremost of
which is the Wine Road guide. There is the option of going to the tasting rooms
in town -probably save that for the evening and use the day to experience the
beauty of the vineyards, estates and their cellars. Try and end up at a winery
with a restaurant or deli around lunch time. For a more adventurous morning, explore
our website for activity ideas.
If you are less spontaneous than planning your wine tasting outing the morning
of, visit our in depth Wine County guide for
a wealth of information. In the online section
there are several additional websites to help you plan your day.
Of course every restaurant in the Russian River has an excellent wine list to
choose from and many lodges have wine bars. So there is no need to stop your tasting
when you leave the wineries.
There are four parks that cover approximately 16 miles of coast north and south
of the River's mouth. They are Sonoma
Coast State Beach, Fort Ross State
Historical Park, Salt Point State
Park, and the Kruse Rhododendrun
Park. They all have hiking trails, beach access, picnic areas, restrooms and a
full list of other activities and facilities.
In addition to the parks there are 3 great coastal towns
(see the coastal region heading). From south to north they are: Bodega Bay, Jenner
and Gualala. You will find great restaurants here overlooking the ocean and serving
up fresh seafood.
Start the day with a hike along the beach at Bodega
Dunes. Bodega Dunes is just a few miles north of Bodega Bay, so plan to head
there around lunch time for some fresh seafood at the marina (salmon, crab, etc.,
depending on what is in season). Then head out to Bodega Head for some great views
of the coast.
There are a lot of options for the afternoon. We have listed some of them in the
visit the coast section.
Suggested Activity -
Kayaking at the Jenner Estuary.
The Jenner Estuary (picture) is
the calm, protected stretch of river shielded from the Pacific Ocean by Goat Rock
Beach. You can rent kayaks just upstream at the town of Duncan's
Mills. They will drop you off at Jenner where you can paddle around then head
upstream back to Duncan's Mills when the wind picks up and carries you home.
Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve is an old growth
Redwood forest located outside of Guerneville along Armstrong Woods Road. There
are a ton of incredible sights here and definitely has enough activities for to
fill multiple days.
The minimum you should do is park at the entrance and take a walk through the
Redwood grove. This is a flat walk with well maintained trails suitable for all
ages. Dog owner's can take they pets along the meandering one lane road and not
miss a thing.
Plan a picnic in the park. Drive in to claim a spot, setup then build up a health
appetite exploring the area. The trails are littered with signs talking about
the wildlife and plants of the park as well as history. The visitor's center has
treasure hunt maps for kids.
After lunch head up the hill to Bullfrog Pond. The more adventurous may want to
ride their bikes up the 1100 foot climb. At the top you can look out over the
Russian River Valley on one side, and the Austin Creek State Recreation area on
the other. If someone wants to volunteer driving the car down, the rest of your
group can walk back along either East Ridge Trail or Pool Ridge Trail.
The Russian River is comprised of four regions and sixteen tourist friendly towns.
The regions are
• Resort Region (Lower Russian River)
Region (Upper Russian River)
• Coastal Region
• Inland Region
You can learn more about the towns and regions at the Towns
& Regions page. Or visit or Town Comparison page
to see the highlights of each town laid out.
The towns are competitive with each other so we are going to leave out any suggestion
here. Most of them have visitor centers, so you may want to start your day's activities
there. Here is the list of Visitor Centers and
Lake Sonoma is a complete recreation area.
The lake extends 9 miles up Dry Creek and 4 miles up Warm Springs Creek resulting
in an un crowded environment. Activities include
• Mountain Biking
• Site Seeing
Definitely visit the fish hatchery and the Overlook. The fish hatchery is located
at the base of the dam, adjacent to the visitor's center. Tour guides will show
you the facilities and explain the life cycle of the salmon. The Overlook is a
outlook point built on the highest peak above Lake Sonoma. The views are spectacular
looking out over the whole lake one one side and the wine country on the other.
Lake Sonoma is dog and mountain bike friendly. Most of the parks in the area are,
but here you can take them on the trails.