Happy New Year of the Pig! Yong-Soo’s family (his parents live in Korea and his sister lives in New York) flew in to San Francisco for the Lunar New Year and we wanted to go on a special family trip.
Let me tell you, family trips can be difficult to plan. Everyone has a different idea of an ideal family trip. In our case, our dad loves nature and being outdoors while our mom would prefer a cozy, relaxing vacation. Our sister loves new experiences in terms of food, culture and lifestyle. As for Yong-Soo and myself, we love being anywhere Humphrey can come with us and enjoy (obvi!).
AutoCamp in Russian River was the perfect option for us since it had so much to offer for all of us who were looking for different things, so everyone could have a great time. AutoCamp is an airstream campsite with luxury amenities. It’s camping made comfortable. And a huge plus is that they are very dog-friendly!
AutoCamp Pet Kit
We were very excited to hear of AutoCamp's new "Pet Kit" launch. As an AutoCamp partner, Humphrey had the honor of being the first dog guest to try it out!
Humphrey enjoying the AutoCamp Pet Kit by our private fire pit.
AutoCamp’s Pet Kit includes yummy treats, a clean stainless steel bowl, and a luxurious blanket bedding by Tall Tails. We had brought our own blanket (a cotton baby blanket) for Humphrey, however ended up only using the blanket in our Pet Kit as the Tall Tails fleece blanket was so much softer, cozier and warmer! We took it everywhere with us so Humphrey would have a soft area to sit at restaurants, wineries and in front of the fire pits at night.
The Pet Kit is complimentary during your stay, but if you love it so much that you want to take it home with you, they’re available for purchase as well. ;)
AutoCamp Russian River
First, let’s talk about the airstreams. We were pleasantly surprised at how space efficient and comfortable the airstreams were. One end of the airstream is the bathroom, which features a walk-in shower equipped with Malin + Goetz products. The other end of the airstream is the bedroom, where you will find a Casper memory foam mattress for a comfortable night’s sleep.
AutoCamp's custom airstream interior (photo via AutoCamp)
The campsite property is closed off, which provides a safe, communal feel. Guest check-in is at the mid-century modern architectural (and I must mention, Instagram-worthy) clubhouse. The staff are very attentive and all of them seem to love dogs!
The indoor fire pit at the clubhouse is Humphrey's absolute favorite (photo via AutoCamp).
Some other awesome features include multiple fire pits (and we learned on this trip just how much Humphrey loves to sit in front of the fire), blue Linus bikes with baskets (if not for riding, for the ‘gram) and red wagons with souped-up wheels that can go “off-road” on the gravel - perfect to transport your luggage from your car to your airstream (or your dog, aka most precious cargo).
Humphrey's proudest moment was going on the big boy wagon.
Every last detail on the property is so tasteful that even solely from a content creator's perspective it was like a dream to stay here. I could whip out my iPhone and take photos pretty much anywhere and it would be so picturesque.
Dog-Friendly Things to Do!
There are plenty of things to do within the campsite, such as making use of the private fire pit right outside your airstream to roast some marshmallows or cuddle up and sip some wine. The clubhouse has a beautiful fire pit with plenty of seating for your group and more. It’s the perfect atmosphere to make new friends.
Humphrey turning himself into a roasted marshmallow s'mores by the fire.
If you do decide to venture out, here are some recommendations from Humphrey.
Downtown Guerneville is a five minute drive (which is hard to believe since the AutoCamp campsite feels so secluded). In fact, you could even walk or bike there easily within 15 minutes.
For dinner on our first night, we went to boon eat + drink, which is known to be one of the best restaurants in the area, featuring organic, seasonal Californian cuisine and a great selection of local microbrews and wines.
(photos via boon eat + drink)
The restaurant has outdoor seating to the front which is fully covered and has space heaters. We ate there as we had Humphrey with us, and it felt very cozy and intimate, and despite it being very cold outside we were nice and warm. In fact, we ran into a couple followers who came out from inside to say hi to Humphrey, and they mentioned it felt warmer and cozier in our “outdoor” section. It’s hard to find upscale restaurants that allow dogs and we’re so grateful that we were able to enjoy a really nice dinner with family including Humphrey!
Next to boon eat + drink is the famous Big Bottom Market where we went for lunch the next day. Big Bottom Market was featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2016 for their biscuit mix and honey. The biscuits are so famously good that their BISCUIT cookbook will be launching April 2019. (sidebar: AutoCamp serves biscuits from Big Bottom Market every morning and this girl could not get enough.)
Humphrey rests his small bottom at Big Bottom Market.
Michael, one of the owners of Big Bottom Market, prepared delicious sandwiches and salad for us to enjoy (and they were all so good! If you’re staying at AutoCamp, don’t miss out on the free breakfast biscuit, then head over to Big Bottom Market and get a sandwich for lunch - and you can always buy the Biscuit mix to bring home!)
We then headed across the street to Equality Vines (all of these cool dog-friendly spots are right by each other! How great is that?). Equality Vines is the world’s first cause wine portfolio dedicated to equality for all people, and gives back to LGBTQ and Women’s Rights causes. It’s worth noting here that Jim Obergefell, who became the lead plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage across the United States, is a partner in this venture.
Love always wins. (Find Humphrey!)
We love when businesses do things differently and truly appreciate the way that Equality Vines presents the partners’ shared passions of wine and equality, and has translated that into a truly unique experience. Each wine we tasted benefited various organizations, and how awesome is it to know that your wine tastes good and does good!
We drove about half an hour from Guerneville to Miramar Estate Vineyards & Winery for tapas and wine pairing. Once we got there, the resident dog named Bridget came running out to greet Humphrey. After some butt-sniff introductions, the pups followed us into the beautiful tasting room where we had four tapas and wine pairings. Everything was so delicious - my personal favorites are the figs stuffed with chocolate and nuts among the tapas, and the La Masia Pinot Noir among the wines.
The picturesque patio right outside the tasting room at Marimar Estate
This was truly a beautiful place with amazing wine and tapas. I absolutely love that it is woman owned and operated. Miramar is the only daughter of the famed Torres wine family in Spain. She is a huge dog lover and has big dog sculptures at the entrance to the property. I was so delighted when Marimar herself came out to the Tasting Room to say hello to Humphrey!
Humphrey was the DD (Designated Doggo) while the humans enjoyed the tapas and wine pairings.
And as if we hadn’t done enough wine tasting, we headed over to Paul Mathew Vineyards Tasting Room. Described as “indie boutique wine producer” and “husband and wife team from start to finish,” they definitely have my respect for doing what they love and staying authentic to their vision.
Barb opened the Tasting Room just for our family and we had a very intimate tasting experience and got to know her (a fellow west coast Canadian!) and the story of their business.
Humphrey got to do some biscuit tasting while the humans did their wine tasting.
All of their Pinot Noirs are excellent, and their Cabernet Franc was one of the best we’ve tried (Barb explained what made theirs unique but I guess by this point my memory retention was functioning at a low. I’ll have to go back again!)
The Great Outdoors
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is located just north of Guerneville and is one of the most beautiful hikes we’ve been on! Being surrounded by the tall, majestic redwood trees was truly awe-inspiring. One thing to note is that there are designated trails that allow dogs so if you do bring your pup with you, be sure to stay on those trails.
This photo really doesn't do this beautiful park much justice. Some things you just have to be there in person.
Humphrey’s Guide to AutoCamp and Russian River
If you made it this far, thank you! We absolutely enjoyed this trip and would wholeheartedly recommend AutoCamp as well as the other businesses mentioned here. Everything we did was with Humphrey and he never had to stay behind (if you’ve read my prior travel blog posts, my policy is that if Humphrey is to come traveling with us he never stays behind and we make the trip 100% dog-friendly).
Here is a quick outline of our recommendations for AutoCamp and Russian River. Feel free to use this to plan your next dog-friendly trip! Make sure to tag us or share with us where you go -- we'd love to see!
For more information: