But why Guerneville, I wondered? Cue the entry for Boon hotelier, restaurateur and creative force Crista Luedtke. In October , she and her then wife sold their house in San Francisco to fund the dream of opening a boutique hotel. Perhaps, like with so many queer-friendly places around the country, labels will matter less here than making sure you can openly choose with whom you share a hotel room.
The SF-inspired food and drink scene in Guerneville grew again this spring. Seaside Metal Oyster Bar, a rustic seafood-based restaurant run by the duo behind Bar Crudo, finally opened its doors after about a year of development. Perhaps, like with so many queer-friendly places around the country, labels will matter less here than making sure you can openly choose with whom you share a hotel room. Soon after I moved here in , everyone I met gushed with fondness over the Russian River town. The next question is, will the casual vacation town known for its rainbow flags become better known in the future for its Michelin stars? Guerneville initially became popular as a resort town in the late nineteenth century, when well-off San Franciscans would take the train to its redwoods-lined riverbanks. But why Guerneville, I wondered? Cue the entry for Boon hotelier, restaurateur and creative force Crista Luedtke. As is often the case with subculture history, the precise answer to that question is up for debate. Regardless of the natural and public-health disasters that have hit Guerneville over the years, the town has weathered it all and is now experiencing another renaissance. As traditional Russian River tourism declined, a different crowd started showing up. The sexual revolution was in full swing across the country, and naturally, that revelry spread to Guerneville from San Francisco. Until California officially repealed its sodomy laws in , it was illegal to, well, be gay at all, let alone put up a flag or hotel advertising as such. Or to put it another way, will Guerneville retain its status as a gay travel destination? In October , she and her then wife sold their house in San Francisco to fund the dream of opening a boutique hotel. The proof of her success is in the lines that form outside the restaurant — along with the difficulty of getting a room at the Boon Hotel on a summer weekend night. She was initially concerned that opening in Guerneville would give her too narrow of an audience, even though she herself is gay. Illustration by Jon Stich. Luedtke knew she wanted something two hours away from the city, in the wine country and affordable.
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River Raid Summer 2016, r3 Hotel Guerneville, Ca. AKA Guerne Vegas
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