I've visited Guerneville over 10 times since moving to San Francisco in 2016, and each time I return, there's a new gem to uncover.In early July, I was eager for a break from my small San Francisco apartment and decided to spend a few days visiting friends in Guerneville and getting reacquainted with the town. Here's what the trip was like and why I think the small town makes for the perfect place to support LGBTQ businesses year-round.After making my way across the Golden Gate Bridge and passing by several state parks, I arrived in Guerneville and headed to my hotel.R3 hotel is a self-proclaimed LGBTQIA+ entertainment resort. Two on-site bars, known as the Main Bar and Pool Bar, serve modestly priced drinks to thirsty patrons, both guests and locals, bobbing to Top 40 hits.At the pool, I mingled with other hotel guests. One of them, Steven Harrison, was visiting with friends to enjoy the nearby Russian River, a popular swimming destination during the hot summer months.Guerneville is becoming to San Francisco what Palm Springs is to Los Angeles, Harrison told me. We all realized we feel the exact same way about this charming town. It's really great here and so friendly.Three-year-old Olive, a German short-haired pointer I was pet-sitting at the time and brought with me from San Francisco, took no time at all to jump on the bed and make herself at home.The show attracted onlookers who told me they'd come to Guerneville from all over the Bay Area and even as far as Los Angeles. Jubilee, a San Francisco-based drag queen, was among the three performers that weekend.Rainbow Cattle Company first opened in 1979. It has a Western saloon and country dive bar aesthetic, and when I visited it was blasting a mix of techno and country music. Pride flags are strung across the ceiling above the well-worn pool tables and the neon rainbow sign outside lit up the downtown walkway at night. The bar hosts Giveback Tuesday events each week that help raise funds for local charities.I saw many similar banners throughout town.Most of the people I saw at Rainbow Cattle Company were mature gay men who all seemed to be either local regulars or long-time patrons visiting from out of town.Guerneville's two foremost coffee shops, Coffee Bazaar and Country Coffee Organic Espresso & Tea, serve decent homemade pastries and espresso drinks that are pleasantly affordable, especially when compared to similar offerings found in San Francisco. Coffee Bazaar also sells jars of honey, vinegar, cheese, and oils from local farmers. When I got to the register to pay for my coffee, the friendly employee also gave me a puppuccino for Olive.Next door, queer-owned bookshop Books & Letters keeps a diverse collection of literature — there's a section specifically dedicated to literary works from both notable and rising queer talent. If you feel like typing a note on an old-fashioned typewriter, you can do so on the store's pristine unit available for customers to use.Cofounders Matt Grove and Jim Obergefell call Equality Wines a wine portfolio dedicated to equality for all people. A portion of the proceeds from all sales go toward initiatives that support reproductive rights, access to education, gay rights, and more. The wine shop is open for both indoor and outdoor tastings, as well as bottle service reservations and walk-ins.The store, called the Center For Sacred Studies Earth and Spirit Gift Store, is brimming with spiritual decor, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, incense and aromatherapy items, and a massive variety of precious rocks and crystals.The dime store, Guerneville 5 & 10, also sells sewing, painting, and craft supplies, as well water floats, towels, and swimwear for shoppers planning a day on the Russian River.I also enjoyed browsing Sonoma Nesting Company and Fife Creek Antiques and Collectibles, two antique stores with interesting and reasonably priced collections. After filling my canvas bag with historic postcards and quirky knickknacks, I stopped at the Guerneville Taco Truck, which has been owned and operated by the Vazquez brothers for over three decades, and ordered the Taco Plate. It came with two soft corn tortilla tacos with chicken, cilantro, onion, homemade salsa, and rice and beans on the side. At just $7, it was an amazing value and money well spent.Solarpunk Farms is currently working to build a regenerative farm in Guerneville, and plans on offering fresh, organic produce and dry-flow bouquets in the future.The restaurant boon eat + drink has an organic garden and outdoor seating area open on the weekends, where I enjoyed a salmon dish served with a summer succotash of tomato, corn, and zucchini.The bridge is over a hundred years old, and crosses over the Russian River. It was once a part of Old Route 116, and now serves as a pedestrian passageway to nearby hiking trailheads.I saw schools of painted koi fish on the sidewalks throughout town, signature works by SF-based painter Jeremy Novy who's been stenciling his orange and black koi around the Bay Area for over 15 years.Everywhere I went in Guerneville, I was struck by how friendly and welcoming the locals were. With fewer than 5,000 residents, the whole town felt like everyone knew each other and the friendliness was evident even to me as an out-of-towner. In every store I entered, owners and clerks smiled and struck up jovial small talk.Sitting at the poolside bar at R3 and clanking margarita glasses with new queer friends, I also became friendly with the bartender who, without my asking, poured a big bowl of water to give to Olive.If you're looking for a quiet, queer-centric vacation in Northern California, Guerneville is the place to be. The town may be small and not offer the traditional attractions of larger metros like San Franciso, but its close-knit community, support of queer-owned businesses, and general slowed-down pace of living make it an enjoyable and relaxing place to get away.