Russian River Valley News

Russian River tourism at Johnsons Beach, Guerneville

Russian River tourism at Johnsons Beach, Guerneville

Russian River Valley News

Russian River Valley News – JUNE 2024

By Vesta Copestakes

It’s High Season on the Russian River so we might as well indulge in all the activities that tourists enjoy. After all – if we live in Vacation Wonderland, so let’s enjoy it in all its glory!

Since this is also the month for Father’s Day, I’m going to recommend some ways to enjoy spending TIME with our fathers. What all parents want most of all is time with our children, especially when the kids grow into adults and move on to their own lives.

Sharing a meal comes at the top of the list because everyone likes to eat! We can sit across from each other, be doing something so we have our hands busy, and simply talk. Russian River Pub (11829 River Rd, Forestville, russianriverpub.com), The Farmhand (15025 River Rd, Guerneville, thefarmhand.net), and Baked on the River (17071 CA-116, Guerneville, bakedontheriver.com) have delightful riverside outdoor dining spaces that are family-friendly. Monte Rio and Johnson’s Beaches (see below) also have food stands right on the beach.

Grab sandwiches, etc. and head to any of the Regional Parks beaches (list below) which have parking (fee or membership pass), picnic tables, and the perfect spot to lay a blanket riverside. You can even make it easy on yourself by taking advantage of the Regional Parks River Shuttle to avoid full parking lots or the need to leave a car at both ends of a float trip. An all-day ticket is $5. Children and teens 18 and younger ride for free. The River Shuttle runs weekends and holidays from Memorial Day until Labor Day weekend, departing every 30 minutes between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from El Molino High School, 7050 Covey Road, in Forestville to Steelhead Beach Regional Park and Sunset Beach River Park. Go to russianrivershuttle.mytrakk.com. (Reservations are not required, but seats are first-come, first-served.)

If your parents are still physically active, I’d like to suggest you get ON the water to view a totally different world from what you experience at waters’ edge. You can smell how earthy water can be. See birds flying in and out of waterside trees, watch fish jump to catch a flying insect, and sometimes even spot turtles sunning themselves on a log or rock. It’s amazing the calm that comes over you when you are surrounded by water!

R2T2 (see below) also has a taxi service that can make river trips easy so you can hop a ride back to your vehicle instead of parking two vehicles, one at the beginning and one at the end of your river trip.

Lower Russian River Water Access

SoCo Regional Parks – (707) 565-2041 – parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov

  • Riverfront Park – 7821 Eastside Road, Windsor 
  • Wohler Bridge – 9765 Wohler Road, Forestville 
  • Steelhead Beach – 9000 River Road, Forestville
  • Mom’s Beach – 10584 River Drive, Forestville 
  • Sunset Beach – 11403 River Road, Forestville

Johnson’s Beach – Guerneville – (707) 869-2022 Johnsonsbeach.com

Monte Rio Beach – Monte Rio – (707) 865-9956 – mrrpd.org

If you want to run the river in a rented canoe, kayak or tube, you’d better reserve your trip in advance. These businesses listed below serve the Lower Russian River from Forestville to Monte Rio. 

Canoe, Kayak, Tubes Rentals

Summer changes everything when you live where people come to play. If you start finding it annoying, just join them so that you don’t feel left out. Summer will end and all this will be ours again soon enough.

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This column has been reprinted with the permission of Neighbors of the Russian River Valley.*

* River Valley News column will be published in the April 2024 Neighbors of the Russian River Valley (Best Version Media), a monthly magazine distributed to neighbors in the Russian River Valley. Reprinted with permission. For more info, go to their Facebook page, here.

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