Just up U.S. 101 from San Francisco the Sonoma Wine Country has steadily grown in popularity with gays and lesbians not only as a place to visit, but to live year-round or on weekends. The town of Guerneville, in the redwood-shaded Russian River, is the heart of the region's GLBT community, and it's here in early June that the popular Sonoma County Gay Pride Festival takes place (the date is June 3 through June 5, 2016), but there are events throughout the week, including a Friday night Art Walk, a Saturday Pride Pool Party at the R3 Hotel, and a Saturday night Disco Dance. The inviting Guerneville Lodge, in the heart of the Russian River, is the official host hotel of Sonoma County Pride.
On Sunday, the Sonoma County Gay Pride Parade takes place in downtown Guerneville from 11 am until noon; this is followed by the Sonoma County Gay Pride Festival, at Guerneville Lodge, from noon until 6 pm, featuring plenty of fun goings-on and live entertainment.
Also, later in the month, local gay tour and tasting company Out in the Vineyard presents Sonoma Gay Wine Weekend, taking place June 17 through June 19, 2016, and comprising dozens of great events: tastings at top vineyards, meals at some incredible restaurants, and a number of fun parties. This is becoming the must-do gay event for Sonoma County wine lovers each year.
Sonoma Gay Resources
Looking for hip hotels and charming gay-friendly inns in Sonoma County? Check out the Russian River Hotels Guide and Sonoma County Hotels Guide for recommendations at all price points, from economical to luxurious.
Bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Weekend. Check local gay websites, such as GaySonoma.com and GayRussianRiver.com, and for tips on what to see and do in the area, see our article on the Top 5 Attractions in the Sonoma Wine Country. Also take a look at the excellent GLBT site produced by the region's official tourism organization, the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau.