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Napa Valley Sonoma Valley Guerneville & Russian River
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Napa Valley Sonoma Valley Guerneville & Russian River
  Northern California Wine Country
Napa, Sonoma, Guerneville, Russian River

Every cultured queer traveler should experience wine country. Napa, Sonoma, and nearby Guerneville on the Russian River are extremely gay-friendly destinations. The rolling hills dotted with vineyards are magnificent, and the area is cultured, quaint, and serene. The Mediterranean climate in the mornings and evenings can be foggy and chilly, so pack a sweater and long pants, along with lighter clothes for warm afternoons. In the evenings, the temperatures can get rather cool so be prepared to change outfits often. Gay wine country is perfect for a romantic getaway, honeymoon, relaxation, or with a group of friends.

Napa Valley

The picturesque town of Napa is filled with historic Victorian homes, stunning contemporary architecture, world-famous wineries, exclusive restaurants, and mom-and-pop stores. Modern and sophisticated yet charming and quaint, Napa Valley offers great gay events like the Big Gay Wine Train and Napa Valley Pride.

Napa Valley serves as a retreat from the urban city life that is San Francisco and the bay area. As gay-friendly as Napa is there are no LGBT specific nightclubs. You don’t have to worry about hiding who you are here. Even without any gay or lesbian bars, Napa is very gay-friendly. So don’t expect to find one centralized location for the LGBT community.

Sonoma Valley

Sonoma is a charming town nestled in the rolling hills and sweeping valleys of the Valley of the Moon. Sprinkled with vineyards and history all over, Sonoma was once the capitol of the short-lived California Republic. History buffs can tour the Spanish mission, nineteenth-century barracks, and historical landmark buildings. These are clustered around the grassy central plaza of Sonoma’s historic downtown, which is lined with boutiques, cafes and restaurants. There are plenty of quaint and stylish hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and vacation rental homes to choose from, all within walking distance of Downtown.

Sonoma is very gay-friendly and offers world class cuisine at amazing restaurants. Many of the restaurants are closed between the last week of December and the second week of January, so don’t plan your vacation during those weeks. There are a number of fabulous festivals year-round in Sonoma. The popular Gay Wine Weekend is held in Sonoma every year and attracts hundreds of gay and lesbian travelers. The scenery is most beautiful during and leading up to harvest time from June through October.

Guerneville & Russian River

Amidst the magnificent Redwoods of Northern California sits the funky town of Guerneville. A popular vacation destination for LGBT families and couples, Guerneville is well known for its natural beauty, laid-back attitude, friendly population, good restaurants, proximity to wine-tasting and redwood forests, and liberal atmosphere.

Gays and lesbians are by far the most visible visitors to Guerneville, especially during the weekends from late spring through early autumn, when the area is constantly booming with activity. Guerneville is the ultimate gay and lesbian playground. There are year-round events, festivals, and parties galore to keep you busy, and just as many perfect places to relax and enjoy nature at her finest. Don’t worry about getting around Guerneville without a rental car; once you’re there, you’ll be able to navigate the small town by foot.

There’s plenty to do in Guerneville. From kayaking in the river, hiking through the towering redwoods, wine tasting, sunbathing on the riverside beaches or resort sundecks, bicycling, spas, and even hot air ballooning. The town is a vacation destination for people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, and hosts an annual Lazy Bear Weekend in late July or early August, and Polar Bear Weekend, in mid-January. The Russian River Women’s Weekend during the week before Memorial Day in Guerneville is great for the ladies. Sonoma County Pride, towards the end of May, is another great gay event that takes place every year.

Many of the resorts, hotels, and vacation rentals in Guerneville are gay-owned and operated. Some are even gay-exclusive! You’ll have no problem finding the perfect place to stay and be Gay. This is a great place to bring your four-legged friends, as there are several Dog-friendly lodging options.

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