Monday, May 28, 2007

Summer Family Fun in Rio Nido

If you're looking into family activities or summer vacation options, you simply MUST check out Rio Nido. Despite the rustic, unassuming appearance of our secluded, eccentric little enclave, Rio Nido truly is an amazing summer paradise for year-round & visiting families alike. First, I'll list the summer attractions & events. At the end of this post, I'll also provide a list of accommodations for folks who'd like to visit Rio Nido

My husband & I bought our home here three years ago & it's one of the BEST decisions we've ever made. We adore our cozy, beautiful, friendly community nestled in a canyon by the river amongst the redwoods, & our daughter thinks it's sheer paradise year-round ... but summers are a total blast around here. We have a public swimming pool, a nice & shady playground, weekend peewee mini-golf, & an assortment of fun public events throughout the summer. Here, parents & grandparents have places to go & things to do where they can kick back a little & relax, while being able to keep children in sight & know that they're safe & having an awful danged-lot of fun.

First of all, we have the Rio Nido Pool which is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 11:30am-5:30pm for $6.00 per person (free for children under 2 years). Also, call for lower group rates if a bunch of you want to go. They also offer very reasonable weekly, monthly, & season memberships. There's also a diligent lifeguard; a wading pool for little ones; a small video arcade for the older set; a grassy picnic area; & a reasonably-priced snack bar which serves delicious, well-prepared burgers & sandwiches with fresh veggies, generously-slathered PB&J sandwiches on whole wheat or white bread for a mere $1.75, & an assortment ice-cream & popsicle treats for under $2.00 a pop. Oh ... & did I mention that there's also a real bar? Mmmm ... pina coladas. If you live in or are staying in a place here in the canyon, you don't even need to worry about driving home, because you can walk! The Rio Nido Pool & Roadhouse is located at 14540 Canyon 2 Road by the entrance from River Road & the Rio Nido Inn. Call 869.0821 for more information.

On weekend evenings, drop by the charming little Peewee Mini-Golf (located off of River Road between Rio Nido Road & Canyon Seven Road just before the picnic area). They're open Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings from 5pm-8pm. For just 50 cents (!), they give you a putter & ball & let you play as long as you want.

When the kids need to get their ya-yas out, take them to the pretty, little, shaded playground at Bruno Farnocchia Memorial Park past the Post Office & (like almost everything else) between Rio Nido & Canyon 7 Roads. There are also picnic tables, a giant redwood stump which children find fascinating for climbing & hiding, & a winding path for beginning bicyclists & tricylclists.

Our Rio Nido Home Owners' Association hosts a series of really fun events which are open to the public. All events are held in our large, public picnic area, which is located just off of River Road between Rio Nido Road & Canyon 7 Road. Membership is available to all property owners in the Canyon for only $15 per year. Associate memberships are available to renters for the same price. Please support our community.
  • Homeowner's Association Meeting -- Saturday May 26th: 10-12pm.
  • Memorial Day Chicken Barbecue -- Sunday May 27th: Grilled chicken, yummy beans, salads & rolls are served from 4pm-8pm. Adult plates are $8, kids plates are $4 (they give you LOTS of food). Baked goods, soft-drinks, wine & beer are also available for extremely reasonable prices. The band plays from 5pm-9pm & starts off with fun songs & games for the kids (Hokey Pokey, Chicken Dance, etc.) & then rocks out with some dance & swing tunes.
  • Independence Day Weekend -- Hot Dog, Hamburger Night -- Saturday June 30th: Food served from 5pm-8pm ($6 adult/$6 child). Music & dancing 5pm-9pm.
  • Pancake Breakfast -- Sunday July 15th: 9am-12noon. Adults $4, Kids, $2.
  • Pancake Breakfast -- Sunday August 12th: 9am-12noon. Adults $4, Kids, $2, followed by the Rio Nido Art Festival.
  • Rio Nido Art Festival -- Sunday August 12th: 10am-3pm. Come before 12noon for the yummy pancake breakfast. Enjoy artwork or purchase unique souvenirs by local artists. If you're a local artist or craftsperson & want to participate, we welcome you. Please contact Beverly at 869.8284 or Susan at 869.2538. The registration fee is a VERY reasonable $25 & may be open to negotiation. We've had excellent turn-out over the past three years.
  • General HOA Membership Meeting -- Saturday August 25th: 11am. Meeting is open to members & associate members. After 3 years of membership you can be on the board.
  • Labor Day Chicken Barbecue -- Sunday September 2nd: Food served from 4pm-7pm ($8 adult, $4 child). Music & dancing 5pm-9pm.

If you've got kids & live nearby or plan on visiting, please mark Rio Nido's Summer Potluck Marshmallow Roasts on your calendar!
  • Saturday June 23rd
  • Saturday July 7th
  • Saturday July 21st
  • Saturday August 4th
Hosted by our fabulous, friendly, community-oriented, & amazingly-organized neighbors Domenic & Suzanne, with sporadic help from other neighbors like us, these events are held evenings before dusk in the picnic area. I don't know the exact time when they start or end (even though we've attended these events) but you can pretty much count on things being in full swing between 6pm & 9pm.

Admission is free: Roaring campfire, marshmallow skewers, & kid's movies (shown after dark), & will be provided. Marshmallow's & s'more fixings (chocolate bars & graham crackers) will also be provided, but may run out.

Please bring: A food item & beverage to share, if you can; a second layer of clothes for everyone in your group (it gets cold at night); a towel or blanket for your kids to lie on while watching the movie; & some extra marshmallows & s'more fixin's if you happen to think of it. Cash donations are not required, but would be highly appreciated.


If you can find a place to stay here in the Canyon, you'll have even more fun because you'll be able to walk to all of our events, the pool, the park, etc.
  • Balalaika Vacation Homes: Spacious, newly& beautifully-constructed, 2br-2ba, vacation homes with decks & other amenities offered for $145-$245 per night (in-season -- prices are even better off-season). You can visit their Web site or contact them via phone at 707-869-8400, or via email
  • Rio Nido Inn: Alas, this gorgeous, tudor-constructed, & historic local landmark -- located right by the local swimming pool & in walking distance to other attractions & short driving or biking distance to others -- with its charmingly appointed rooms & beautiful antiques appears to be totally going to seed. Forget about continental breakfasts -- their kitchen was damaged by flooding & they haven't fixed it. Nor would you have a place in which to eat this fictitious breakfast, because the kitchen & dining areas are also in disrepair. The recent duct-taping of a cardboard box over a broken window pane does not bode well. Nonetheless, it's fairly comfy & extremely cheap. If that's your speed, bargain them down when they quote you a price. Their phone number is 707.869.4444.
  • D & G Equities: This is the big real estate management company here in Western Sonoma County, & they handle the lion's share of local vacation rentals -- & year-round rentals too. Give them a call at 707.869.9030.
  • Craig's List: Type in, select San Francisco Bay Area, then North Bay (Nbay) , then Vacation Rentals, then Russian River, & you'll find the best deals (alas, also the worst deals) on local rentals.
Please note that rental, home & vacation rental listings for Rio Nido are sometimes mixed up with Guerneville properties because our towns are adjacent & have overlapping boundaries.


Russian River Rattina said...

Yikes! Please disregard my recommendation for the Rio Nido Inn. The owner hasn't been running it very well & the place is up for sale. Do NOT stay there unless you: (a) need something REALLY cheap; (b) can bargain them down to even cheaper; (c) bring your own sheets & towels; & (d) can actually find someone to take your phone call or let you in.

Hopefully someone will buy it & turn it into the lovely, historic place it once was.

Anonymous said...

You have posted a phone number that has been disconnected! I would not put my dog in that place, you should not recommend this place to any one ever.

Anonymous said...

This place is only good for RAT'S to stay in. If you feel like a rat such as Friedman is, feel free to stay and make a nest!

Lex said...

Howdy there!

I'm hoping to close escrow on my 1st home by the end of this month - and it just happens to be on Canyon 2 in Rio Nido!
Could you tell me - how do I get in contact with the homeowners association? I'd love the excuse to get to meet a few people and get involved with things, time permitting.