If you’re following @thesassylife_ on Instagram, you already know that for President’s Day weekend, we made a trip to Guerneville, CA to spend the weekend at AutoCamp! Guerneville is a small town (technically unincorporated) in Sonoma County about 90 minutes north of San Francisco.
What is AutoCamp?
It’s where you go camping in luxurious Airstream trailers! Yes, it’s basically “glamping” and if you want to call it that, I won’t stop you. The trailers are decked out with almost everything you need and little extras like bathrobes and high-end bath products, making it feel more like you’re staying in a mini 5-star hotel suite rather than roughing it in a tent. AutoCamp is all about making “adventure simplified” and they do a great job of that.
What are the the Airstreams like?
The Airstream trailers are really cool. I had to lead with that. They’re beautifully designed with simple, mid-century modern-inspired (that’s a mouthful) furniture and fixtures.
As soon as we stepped into our trailer, we saw a nice couch/futon with a few pillows. To our right was a full bathroom (toilet, shower, sink, mirror, etc.). To our left was a kitchenette with a little counter space, a sink, microwave, mini-fridge, cups, plates, bowls, wine glasses, etc. We were fully stocked with everything we needed. Once you move through the kitchenette, you’re in the bedroom which features a queen-sized bed, night stands, and a small tv in the corner.
There are two heaters in the trailer so we were able to stay extra warm during the frigid nights.
Right outside the trailer was a little wooden patio set that seats four, and a fire pit. You’re provided with roasting logs to use for the little fire pit. We just ended up going to the communal fire areas when we felt like it because there weren’t too many people around there anyway, and we didn’t have to start the fire ourselves.
The only things we brought were our weekend bags and some food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in case we didn’t want to go out. Oh, and alcohol of course–vodka for moscow mules and rosé.
The campgrounds are gorgeous. The grass is lush and green. Redwood trees border the campgrounds, and there are even a few here and there on the site, too. There are two communal fire pits to hang around–one large fire pit outside, and a slightly smaller one inside the building. In the building, you’ll also find the concierge, a few shelves and refrigerators full of supplies in case you need to stock up on some basics, some beautifully designed communal bathrooms, and some nice tables for you to chill at in case you want to step out of your camp area. The indoor area is full of heaters to make sure guests are warm and cozy. There are also some picnic table and swinging chairs right outside the building as well.
Right outside the entrance to the building are a bunch of bikes you can borrow and use. We took the cruisers for a quick ride around the neighborhood, which was really fun.
Things to do
Hike in the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
There’s nothing like breathing in crisp, fresh air among the redwoods. This reserve has trails for a variety of levels–an accessible trail that takes you to the three big redwood trees, and a few ridge trails that give you beautiful views of the forest. Parking does fill up, so be patient in the parking lot or park along the side of the entrance road.
Taste Sparkling Wine at Korbel
Chances are, you’ve probably seen Korbel sparkling wine at your local Target, grocery store, or liquor store. In Guerneville, you can head to the Korbel Champagne Cellars and set out on a winery or garden tour, or just check out their deli/market.
Stroll through downtown
A historic theater, a flea market, and a dime store are just a few of the places in this small little downtown area. Art galleries and antique stores are nestled among restaurants, making for some fun window shopping time.
Kayak or Canoe
Canoeing in winter months isn’t advised for beginners, but in good weather, canoeing and kayaking down the river is a must! There are even options to stand up paddle board if that’s more your thing. There are a number of kayak/canoe adventure companies who offer different routes and boating options, so be sure to shop around to find what’s best for you. There are also various drop off and pickup spots making it easy for you!
Hang out by the River
The beaches along the river are a little rocky but some of us don’t mind! Be ready to step through some rocks but bring a good camping or lounge chair and hang out by the water! Try the Monte Rio Beach or Steelhead Beach Regional Park. Steelhead Beach Regional Park also has some trails and picnic areas.
Places to Eat
We came to Boon Eat+Drink for lunch and had delicious farm-to-table meals (a steak sandwich, steak cooked medium rare, and a meatball sandwich). The restaurant itself is quite small but cozy.
Here’s a spot to get Mexican food and a nice cocktail! Also, they serve brunch on Sundays if that’s your thing.
We grabbed lunch here another day and upon looking at their menu, we realized their biscuits are one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” Yeah. We did not order biscuits though–we ordered some fresh sandwiches that came with little salads. Delicious and healthy.
I loved this place so much, I had to stop by twice. Located in the old bank building, this shop carries a bunch of tasty pies with flavors that seasonally rotate and some really good handmade ice cream. I had the strawberry balsamic pie, the pear caramel pie, and the black sesame ice cream (not all in one day though) and all three were very good.
FYI Boon owns Big Bottom Market, El Barrio, and Boon Eat+Drink.
There are also some good diners in the area, a taco truck, and even a restaurant that serves California cuisine for dinner. Though the downtown is small, there are plenty of options for everyone.
Where to Shop
On Saturday mornings, you can count on the flea market by Safeway being open! Comb through some goodies and see if you find any treasures.
Guerneville 5 & 10
The 5 & 10 is the dime store, which is a relic of the past. Upon walking in, you’ll see toys, greeting cards, stuffed animals, board games, puzzles, candy, and so much more filling up the entire store. Navigating through the store is like a fun little maze.
Sonoma Nesting Co.
Take a look at some antiques at Sonoma Nesting Co.!
Rates for an Airstream trailer through AutoCamp can vary quite a bit depending on the season and on the number of people staying in your trailer–anywhere from $170-$600/night. Some nights are already completely booked for the spring and summer, so if you’re making a reservation be sure to make it ASAP. Tents are also available when it’s warmer, and they’re cheaper than the Airstreams.
Some, but not all, of the available trailers/tents are dog-friendly. Be sure to book a dog-friendly accommodation if you’re bringing along a furry friend. We saw quite a few families with their dogs and the dogs seemed thrilled to be outdoors with their families.
Cell phone service is quite spotty. We used wifi all throughout Autocamp. We got service when we were in downtown Guerneville, but not very good service. You’ll probably have to use wifi the majority of the time.
The doors to the airstream are quite small, so people who are around 5′ 7″ will have to crouch a little to get in without hitting their head. The height of the airstream can also be quite tight for some taller folks.
Overall, we absolutely loved our stay. We found it quite relaxing to be at AutoCamp and thought there was a lot of privacy as well. We are even thinking of making the trip to the Santa Barbara AutoCamp to see what that one is like!
Have you been to AutoCamp or been “glamping” before? What was your experience like?
And if you have any questions on AutoCamp Russian River, I’d be happy to chat! Just leave a comment below.