February 14 kicks off three different holidays in short order: Valentines Day, Presidents Day and Chinese New Years. While each has it’s own flavor, a theme for each is shopping. To that end, I’ve attached below a piece written by Megan Perkins of Russian River Vacation Homes on Shopping in and around the Russian River. Let’s support our local merchants!
Russian River Shopping Areas
There are several distinct and fun shopping areas along the lower Russian River and within a quick drive!
From the stoplight at Armstrong Woods Road and River Road to the Flea Market in Safeway’s parking lot on weekends, there are bookstores, wine specialty shops (not like you’d find in Napa or Healdsburg!), local artist galleries and an old-fashioned 5 and 10! Plus this dog-friendly town has water bowls in front of many shops and dogs in the businesses. Check out side streets for a local food co-op and hidden treasures!
Guerneville’s up-the-river neighbor, Forestville offers several shops for the art and food-minded visitor. Nightingale Bakery is open several days a week to the public and will draw you in by your nose… Also the home of a hardware store, art galleries, restaurants and an herbal emporium.
Monte Rio (self-proclaimed Vacation Wonderland):
Most exciting on sunny, warm days, the area around the Rio Theater (large, old, mural-ed Quonset hut that serves as our local movie theater – instead of previews, you watch old family vacation slide shows) vendors set up in the lot next to the theater and in the mini huts next to the theater café…
Arts and crafts, pottery, photography, natural herbs and soaps, all things hand made and locally crafted are for sale in Occidental. This is a town to find a good parking spot and walk around until you’ve seen everything. During fair-weather seasons, the Friday night farmer’s market is fantastic with live music and great crops.
Some of the best antique-ing and browsing in the county! Not to be missed – the cluster of shops in the old train depot! Wander all the way around so you don’t skip any of these eclectic shops… Unique succulents, exotic teas, fantastic jewelry and all the antiques you can pack into your car, truck or semi! A good place to stop for lunch too… Remember to cross the street, get a cup of coffee and check out the candy shop too.
Sitting on the Pacific Ocean, Jenner is on Highway 1 approx a hop, a skip and a jump north of the intersection of Hwy 116 and Hwy 1. Local shops tend toward the nautical and natural…
If you turn south at Highway 1 and follow the coast a few minutes, you’ll find yourself in Bodega Bay… Try the clam chowder – everywhere! Seashells, salt-water taffy, kites and other goodies may attract your eyes here.
Not to be confused with its coastal neighbor, the town of Bodega is the home of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds! It is also the home of a fantastic local crafts-persons co-op, a surf shop, antiques and oddities and art stores, and resale clothing. Park the car and wander through all the shops before moseying along to the next town.
If you need something that can’t be found in Guerneville, but you don’t want to drive into Santa Rosa – Sebastopol is the place to go for more art galleries, antique and home shops, natural groceries and herbal stores. Sebastopol is also known for an abundance of garden shops and plant nurseries… From carnivores to natives you’ll find a plant you have to have!
Humble Graton hosts just a few shops and restaurants, but they are great! Antiques, art, local produce, and food and teas are your best bets here…
Written by Megan Perkins
Russian River Vacation Homes
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