SONOMA, Calif. - While the state continues to see coronavirus cases rise, some cities are not stopping their Fourth of July festivities.
"We, of course are always welcoming to people. But, I do want to be very clear that, for this weekend, most of the hotels, I think all the hotels I check in are already sold out. Things are basically full right now," Tim Zahner, director of the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau.
Wrestle with the growing spread of coronavirus, increased hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths, a lot of Californians are submitting to wanderlust.
So, there are a few very enticing places likely to receive more visitors than they could possibly want or handle right now.
Though many of these charming and interesting places are open this weekend, you not the only one thinking of going to them.
At mid-day, the Friday traffic into the resort RussIan River town of Guerneville was a very slow roll.
Now, with ocean beaches suddenly and surprisingly essentially closed, from Monterey County through Sonoma County, many folks are seeking alternatives such as Guerneville.
"The town will be fully definitely," said Jeff Bridges, owner of Guerneville's famous R3 Hotel which is only renting out a third of its rooms for safety. "All of our rooms that are available are occupied and we are observing strict social distancing and wearing masks." said Mr. Bridges.
But some of the tidal wave of day trippers will not observe the masking and distancing rules designed to prevent viral spread.
"Yeah, I think everybody up here is concerned about that," said Bridges. But ne notes that rule breakers are not tolerated by the overwhelming majority of guests and residents who do comply, "Of course you get one or two people think otherwise and they're quickly corrected. Let's put if that way."
The charming town of Sonoma, recently made a short video welcoming folks back, when the heaviest restrictions in the county were lifted.
Nonetheless, there are still restrictions such as masking and social distancing.
"We are, of course, open as much as we can be but we're also very mindful of safety." said Zahner.
With fewer eatery seats available, and big crowds expected, it's better to shift a Sonoma visit to another weekend or during or the wide open mid-week.
"We, of course are always welcoming to people. But, I do want to be very clear that, for this weekend, most of the hotels, I think all the hotels I check in are already sold out. Things are basically full right now," said Zahner.
The hidden gem of Bolinas, for decades essentially discouraging any tourism out of wanting to remain hidden, will be fully continuing the long tradition of not welcoming guests.