Guerneville, Monte Rio, Rio Nido, and Duncan Mills encompass the river communities, all situated along the Russian River on Highway 116. Approximately 90 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge, these communities were established as weekend and summertime getaways for the city folks.
The present name, Guerneville, was introduced to honor Swiss immigrant, George Guerne, a local businessman of the 1800s who owned the town's sawmill. As the local tee shirts say "don't call it Guerneyville."
Guerneville is a small-town paradise. The old HWY 116 bridge was replaced but left as a pedestrian span across the Russian River. It connects to the plaza and town center. The main street has many small shops and intimate restaurants. Johnson Beach is a public beach with wide expanses of sand to access the river for swimming and fishing right in the heart of town.
The extensive redwood forests on the surrounding mountains are second growth, having been replacement plantings for much of the logging done in the 1800s.
Visit the old-growth redwoods at Armstrong Woods State Park, the Guerneville Rodeo or Summertime Russian River Jazz Festival. Fishing, boating and swimming or golfing at Northwood are favorite leisure activities. There are many beaches and the main one, Johnson Beach is the summer cooling off spot.
There is a wide variety of housing from old vacation homes to new estate homes.
Guerneville has cool, very wet winters and warm, relatively dry summers. The river is known to flood on occasion. Although rainfall is rare during the summer months, fog often comes up the river from the Pacific Ocean, producing enough condensation to create the perfect micro climate for the redwoods.