We want you to have a great time while visiting Sonoma County! That includes knowing about local regulations related to vacation rentals and staying safe. Additional information is available through the provided links, and we are happy to answer questions, but we are not a replacement for emergency services. Call 911 if needed.
Vacation Rental Ordinance
Sonoma County has a strict vacation rental ordinance which sets the maximum occupancy for each home, quiet hours, a restriction on barking dogs, and more. Violations put the house’s permit at risk and your stay in jeopardy. That’s no fun for anyone!! We value the relaxed nature of the Russian River area and the peaceful experience of living in wine country. So do our neighbors, so thank you for honoring the requirements of the vacation rental ordinance and for being gracious visitors. The conditions of the permit and vacation rental ordinance are incorporated into the terms and conditions of your reservation, but if you’d like to read the official document, we encourage you to do so. This link downloads the vacation rental standards from the County of Sonoma website.
Russian River Vacation Homes Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated December 4, 2021)
Vacation rentals and other lodgings are open for all travel. Please take all precautions to minimize risk of exposure, including getting vaccinated prior to travel, traveling with groups within your bubble, staying home if you show symptoms, getting tested before traveling, and following local orders.
Please take a moment to understand the risk you are taking and responsibilities you assume when traveling during the pandemic. Latest coronavirus updates for Sonoma County.
SAFE TRAVELING GUIDELINES:
- You are required to follow all local social distancing orders. This includes wearing a mask where required to do so and keeping 6 or more feet from others.
- Cancel or postpone your stay if you feel sick, or if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. We encourage visitors to get a COVID-19 test before traveling, and to take the temperature of everyone in your group before leaving for your trip.
- Notify Russian River Vacation Homes right away if anyone in your group tests positive for Coronavirus during or after your stay.
Our physical office is open in person Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. And with remote support on Sundays. We ask that you call ahead or wait on the porch before coming into the office. We’ll meet you outside to confirm your vaccination status.
During-stay maintenance for issues that cannot wait. Be aware that outdoor vendors, such as spa cleaning companies and yard service, will do their best to visit between stays. However, if you are staying for longer than a week, you may see the service person at the property.
Cleaners use the CDC recommended list of effective supplies and procedures for disinfecting homes. The office has provided all cleaning and inspection vendors with PPE and CDC approved disinfectant.
All reservations made after April 30, 2021, fall under our standard cancellation policy.
The following cancellation policy applies to reservations made through April 30th, 2021
- Reservations cancelled more than 30 days from the arrival date will be refunded minus a 2% administration fee on the total booking value. Starting May 1st, our standard cancellation policy goes into effect and 50% of the rent is retained for cancellations 30 days or more prior to arrival. (For reservations made 30 days or more prior to arrival, there is a 48-hour grace period from making the reservation to cancel without penalty).
- Reservations cancelled within 30 days of the arrival date are subject to our standard cancellation penalty and the rental fee will be retained for any nights not rebooked.
- All Reservations for Any Reason can be moved or used as a credit toward any stay for one year from the arrival date (or through December 31st, 2021, whichever date is later) and we will waive the change date fee, as long as we are notified in writing at least 7 days prior to arrival.
- Reservations can be moved to future dates through 2021 at the last minute free of charge, including the day of arrival, for the following circumstances: Guests who test positive for COVID-19 and provide documentation (this includes other confirmed guests in your group), future Sonoma County travel shutdowns.
We are no longer offering outright cancellation refunds for COVID-19 related cancellations. The COVID-19 health crisis is now a foreseen event and travelers are now aware that COVID-19 can impact travel plans. Consider purchasing Travel Insurance, which covers some COVID-19-related reasons for cancellation.
This policy is for reservations made directly through riverhomes.com only. Reservations made on third party sites, including HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb and Booking.com, are subject to the cancellation policy on the listing site used to make the reservation.
If you are visiting Sonoma County for an event, race, or festival, it is likely suspended or will be rescheduled for a later date. Check with the ticketing agency or event website for more information and we hope you’ll stay with us for the rescheduled event! We know many event organizers are also struggling to address concerns, so thank you for being patient.
We Appreciate Your Patience!
This is an unprecedented situation and we're constantly reacting to new information and changes in local and global policies. Thank you for working with us! We want you and your future visits to Sonoma County happy and healthy too! And a reminder that we are here for you and look forward to supporting your needs as the situation progresses. To reschedule your dates or if there is anything else we can help with, please reach out!
Almost everything! Most restaurants offer indoor, outdoor, and to go options. Bars, wineries, and other “tasting” locations are open, but many now require an appointment. Shops and services are open too! Nearly all require masks, and some ask for proof of vaccination. We recommend calling first or checking online.
Sonoma County created a website with resources and guidelines. You may find it useful for planning your trip.
Safe Travels Promise:
For your safety and that of the community you’re visiting, we ask all guests to read and follow the Safe Travel Promise. It was written by Sonoma County officials and travel organizations. It’s available here and posted in each vacation home. We want you safe and healthy for many years to come!
General Apps & Alerts
There are several excellent apps and alert systems available. You can sign up for these before your stay and uninstall or unsubscribe after your stay. Apps and websites specific to power outages and fires are listed in those sections.
Nixle is a great way to receive up-to-date text messages from local agencies. For example, the sheriff’s department uses Nixle to broadcast alerts such as evacuation orders, as well as alerts for smaller incidents such as avoiding a specific area. Sign-up is by zip code (which is listed in your confirmation email) and you can stop receiving texts anytime. We recommend guests sign up for Nixle alerts before checking in and unsubscribing after.
Here’s the link for Guerneville’s current weather, but you can switch it to any town in the area. We find Weather Underground to be particularly reliable.
For real time updates about fires in Sonoma and other counties (you can narrow your alerts to just Sonoma County), we recommend the Watch Duty app. It’s also available as a webpage.
SoCo Emergency App:
Many emergency alerts are based on zones. It can be confusing to find out what zone you’re in, even if you are familiar with the area. Knowing what zone you’re in will help you to determine if your location is affected by a local mandatory evacuation, warning, or shelter-in-place. To find your zone using the link above, enter the home address (located in your confirmation email) and refer to the map.
Drought Conditions & Burn Ban
In drought conditions, fire danger is very real in Sonoma County and burn bans are enacted. We ask guests to refrain from using wood-burning outdoor firepits in the dry season and many are dismantled or put away. Wood-burning firepits are now seasonally available during the winter and spring months as long as fire danger is low. Please do not bring your own firepit (wood-burning or gas) to a home, and do not rebuild dismantled firepits on the property. Neighborhood residents are on high alert for fire activity. Reports of guests using wood-burning firepits in the dry season may result in expulsion from the property.
The lower Russian River floods periodically and we watch the conditions very closely. Here are two of the site we utilize to see how high the water is now and how high it’s predicted to be.
NOAA: for forecasts, historical data, and local reference points.
California Dept of Water Resources: for current flow at multiple stations along the Russian River.
See the evacuation and alerts section for knowing when it’s time to evacuate and the safest route to do so.
River Beach Safety:
The County of Sonoma maintains a website dedicated to beach safety and water monitoring and a separate page for blue-green algae monitoring. Please visit these pages for the most accurate and up to date information.
Power Outages & Public Safety Power Shut-offs
PG&E Outage Map:
For power outage information, check the home’s address on the PG&E website. Contact the office if the power outage is localized to the home only.
PG&E Public Safety Power Shut-offs:
During fire season, PG&E assesses regions to be part of their Public Safety Power Shut-Offs. We do our best to notify all guests ahead of time, but you can also check to see if the area is being monitored or scheduled for a power outage on PG&E’s PSPS site.