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Spotlight on Guerneville


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Lynette McLean hates it when visitors head to Muir Woods instead of the less crowded (and closer) Armstrong Woods reserve.

How would you spend your perfect day in Guerneville?

My perspective as an innkeeper is different than when I was a tourist. Then, it was sitting on a deck and watching the trees. Now, it would have to be having breakfast on the deck, taking my dog on a walk at Armstrong Woods, driving to Bodega Bay and having an outdoor barbecue with friends. Guerneville is a low-key town; there's enough to do to be occupied, but not too much, so you feel like you're missing out. I wish I could just turn off the wi-fi at night [at the inn] to encourage relaxation.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Guerneville?

As an innkeeper, it's like having kids—I can't say a favorite. I always point out the taco truck at Safeway. Usually, people aren't comfortable eating at trucks in strange towns, so I like to reassure them. It's so yummy and the people are so sweet. There's nobody doing lousy food [in Guerneville], so that's great. I try and point out places they might overlook, like Bloomsters [Korean Diner]. People think it's just a historical find, and less about food, so I like bringing things to their attention.

Where do you take first-time visitors to Guerneville?

They've got to go to Armstrong Woods. It pisses me off if they've already gone to Muir Woods—they're so similar, but one's full of tourists and the other is basically empty where you can be by yourself.

What do you know about Guerneville that others don't?

Lots of things since I'm an innkeeper—I can't tell you though. Fifty feet from where I'm sitting is the tallest redwood tree in Guerneville. It's absolutely stunning and gigantic. It got hit by lightning a long time ago, and it's maybe eight feet across. It's so old that the bark has started to twist.

If you could change one thing about Guerneville, what would it be?

I like eating outside. I would love to magically make Main Street wide enough to be able to have a 10-foot sidewalk for eating outside [in front of shops]. I think that Guerneville is perfect, with its funky charm and interesting, passionate people, which is definitely what I'd like to keep.



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