Monte Rio, historical “Vacation Wonderland” has been drawing beach lovers for over a century. There is no better place to spend lazy summer days than the gravel flats and sandy beaches along the tree-lined Russian River. This stretch of slow-moving water meanders among some 50 miles from the sun-baked vineyards near Healdsburg to the cooler forests of shadowy redwoods near the coast at Jenner. Monte Rio Beach is a place still firmly rooted in small town, old time Americana; with amenities including a children’s swimming area, canoe and kayak rentals, boat ramp and a concession stand offering a variety of warm weather treats. There is even a dog-friendly section of beach for your “River Rover.” During summer months, the river is gentle with very little white water. The dams are installed around mid-June, creating a deeper river that is ideal for boating and swimming. However, during the winter rainy season, the river is very swift, deep, muddy and not a safe place for swimming or boating.
On Independence Day weekend, the Monte Rio Water Carnival, a tradition since 1914, continues to delight vacationers and locals. A parade of whimsical floats, followed by a “water-curtain” of the U.S. Flag from the bridge, accompanies a spectacular fireworks display.