The Russian River communites include Forestville, Guerneville, Monte Rio, and Rio Nido. After early development as lumber and farming areas, these towns had their most rapid growth as resort towns in the early 1900’s. Train service from San Francisco provided easy access and the hills and valleys were filled with summer cabins. There was a peak of activity during the Big Band era when there were as many as three big bands playing in famed venues from Rio Nido to Guerneville.
Since then, the towns have had surges of gays, bikers, back to the land people, gays again, and the bohemian and libertarian residents that make this the most eclectic part of the county. A listen to the playlist of low power KGGV-FM gives you a hint of just how diverse this town can be. Safeway in Guerneville is the shopping anchor for the residents of this redwood filled resort area.
Big events here include the blues and jazz festivals that bring more than 5,000 fans to Johnson’s Beach every summer.