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Abalone Cove - A Tranquil Retreat on Russian River

Bedrooms 4
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 4 nights


About the property

House, 4 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 3 Baths, (Sleeps 8)

5-star reviews from over 70 guests! Here's what they LOVE about Abalone Cove - stay with us!

- Quiet location - great for multi-generational vacations

- Large deck with outdoor dining & hot tub

- Everything for great meals, including well-stocked pantry and super quiet high end dishwasher

- Direct river access with 4 boats: 2 single kayaks, a tandem kayak, and a canoe

- Separate cottage with queen bed and pull-out sofa is perfect for added privacy

- Pets welcome

- Pay by check and avoid extra fees

Our home in Duncans Mills offers 4 bedrooms with queen beds (master suite with stunning river views, 2 small bedrooms, and separate cottage with queen + sofa bed) and 3 bathrooms (one in cottage) for the perfect family vacation. Guest limit: 8. Parking for 4 cars.

Additional amenities:

- Outdoor toys include croquet, water toys, bikes

- Gas grill and fully stocked kitchen for guests who love to cook and eat

- Additional port-a-crib for young travelers

- Fireplace and wood provided

- Quite, safe street

- Hiking preserve a short walk from house

- Fast WIFI and unlimited long distance

- High-speed wireless internet

- Three TVs (modest in size - 2 are 32" flat screen) are located in living room, cottage and master bedroom

- Cable with free on-demand movies, DVD library, Apple TV in cottage

- Large Safeway and Food for Humans Natural Foods in Guerneville, just 15 minutes away

Serene paradise on river, surrounded by redwoods with spectacular views of coastal hills, yet less than 10 miles to the "city" of Guerneville and 25 minutes to wineries. Enjoy the small, friendly town of Duncans Mills, between Monte Rio and Jenner. Decks and lawn get mid-day sun, yet also offer cool ocean breezes. The best home base for area explorations to Guerneville, Occidental, Freestone, Bodega Bay, Fort Ross! Lots of good restaurants within 10 minutes.

Or... stay at home and cook. Fully stocked kitchen includes many stockpots, saute pans, roasting pans, baking supplies, 2 coffee makers, coffee grinder, waffle iron, small cuisinart, blender, and toaster.

Activities within 30 minutes include: biking, hiking, canoeing/kayaking, exploring art galleries and antique stores, history (the museum on the Russian River Railroad or Civil War re-enactment in summer), redwood grove at Armstrong Woods, rodeo (summers only), Spa (Osmosis is only 20 minutes away), swimming, whale watching, wine tasting in Russian River, Dry Creek and Sonoma valleys.

Abalone Cove pays 12% of all rental and cleaning revenue to the County of Sonoma, under Transient Occupancy Tax #607N. They require us to tell you the following: quiet hours are 10pm-7am; only 1 car allowed per bedroom (that's 4 cars max for us).

Keywords: river, rental, paradise, vacation, getaway, quiet, outdoors, hot tub, family, water

More Details

Melanie Russell
Member since: 2007
Speaks: english, french, spanish
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
December 10, 2017

About Melanie Russell

I must have been crazy when I thought I could afford a vacation home! Just fell in love with this area about 12 years ago and, well, one thing led to another. When the house is not rented, I spend lots of time enjoying the quiet and natural beauty of Abalone Cove and the surrounding area. This is my home away from home - I hope you enjoy it just as much.

When I'm not escaping to Abalone Cove, I'm a nonprofit fundraiser in public health who lives in Marin county with my two teens, Kelly (cattle dog), and Frank Sinatra (blue-eyed cat).

Michelle is our neighbor, friend and property manager, who lives down the street and is a true gift to us and our renters. We try to make sure you have everything you need at the house. If I've missed anything, Michelle will take great care of you before and during your stay!

Melanie Russell purchased this house in 2006

Why Melanie Russell chose Duncans Mills

If you love to kayak, hike, trail run, eat, drink great wine, hang out with friends, roast marshmallows, relax in the hot tub - all are plentiful here. Some of my favorites are the zins of Dry Creek Valley (45 min drive), the heavenly pastries at Gold Coast Bakery in Duncans Mills (15 min walk), and the fabulous trails in Willow Creek Preserve a quick walk down the street (thanks to the initial protection by LandPaths).

What makes this house unique

At Abalone Cove you'll feel a world away from the hubbub, yet fabulous dining and wine tasting is so close - Cape Fear restaurant is 5 minutes in Duncans Mills, Guerneville is 15 minutes, Korbel is 20 minutes, and Russian River and Dry Creek's world famous wineries are within a 45 minute drive.

The house has both privacy and direct river access - a rare combination on the Russian River! It is cosy, comfortable and the natural setting is absolutely gorgeous.

Guestbook comments from the owner

From our guestbook...

Great house in lovely setting. Lots of classy touches. Enjoyed croquet games - first in many years! Fine place to gather family members from five locales. Sun and redwoods thoroughly enjoyed all.
Aug 2007
  • 1 of 7


Duncans Mills House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Included
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Dirty hot tub forfeits security deposit due to cleaning and water expense to refill. We're sorry!
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Broadband Access
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Covered Parking ...
  • Fireplace
  • Free Long Distance
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Fireplace
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Upstairs bathroom - toilet , shower , Closest to bedrooms in main house
    Downstairs bathroom - toilet , tub , With small, clawfoot tub perfect for kids' baths
    Cottage bathroom - toilet , shower , Part of cottage suite
    Outdoor shower - shower , Hot & cold water on deck to rinse before/after hot tub
  • Three full baths plus outdoor shower on deck
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Master suite with river view - 1 queen , with sofa and armchair to enjoy daytime and night!
    Green room - 1 of 2 smaller bedrooms upstairs, across hall from Master
    Blue room - 1 queen , 1 of 2 smaller bedrooms upstairs, across hall from Master
    Separate cottage - 1 queen , 1 sleep sofa /futon , Access a few steps across deck - has separate bath
    Baby supplies - 1 baby crib , Portable crib and high chair available for your use
  • 3 bedrooms are upstairs in main house and share a bathroom. An additional bathroom is downstairs in main house. Cottage is right across the deck with a separate entrance, queen bed, sofa bed, desk and full bath.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • 1 bicycles
  • 8 garden chairs
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • churches
  • health/beauty spa
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
River front home with direct river access, large lawn, 2 kayaks, 1 canoe, croquet, portacrib. Perfect for all ages!


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(72 traveler reviews)

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Abalone Cove - A Tranquil Retreat on Russian River
average rating of 4.9305553 based on 79 reviews

Beautiful setting,comfortable house, welcoming owners

  • 5 of 5

We had a great time. Quiet, off-the-beaten-path, well equipped, lots to do and also beautiful to do nothing.

  • Submitted: Jul 27, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Our family had a wonderful time at Abalone Cove

  • 5 of 5

Our family had a wonderful time at Abalone Cove. Mel was responsive to any and all issues as they occurred. Nothing major just some unavoidable nuisances.

The space was more than adequate for us. We originally planned for 6-8 people but only ended up with 4 staying overnight and 2 other family members joining us for day and evening activities. The separate cabin was perfect for my mother who had her own space - heat, bath, and cable tv. It really made the trip because she can't climb stairs and the bedrooms in the main house are all on the second floor. The kitchen had everything needed to cook all meals. The gas grill was great and a spare filled tank is there in case you run out.

The views from the master bedroom and the deck were great. Deer, all types of birds, hummingbirds and water fowl were in the yard and over the Russian River. It was 70's most days and 50's at night. Perfect for using the wood burning fireplace at night. Hot tub was great as well.

Hiking was easy to access right down the road. Armstrong woods is a short drive away and a great place to hike and see some historic redwoods.

Kayaks were fairly easy to launch into the river but caution is needed by checking the wind and tides.You can swim at Monte Rio and in the summer you'll see tons of people with tubes walking around.

The General Store in Duncan Mills had whatever you need when you don't want to drive to Guerneville to the Safeway there. Also the Bakery in Duncan Mills has pizza and bake goods which were very good. There are a couple of restaurants there as well. We walked the 20 min every day into Duncan Mills to see what was happening! There was even a Rodeo one weekend.

Vineyards are abundant and in particular Korbel Champagne nearby was very accommodating in providing access for my mother who walks with an assistive device. Plus the tasting was free!

If you aren't familiar with the area you should know that some of roads are narrow and winding but this adds to the rustic flavor of the whole experience!

All in all it was a relaxing yet fun time at Abalone Cove and we would recommend Mel's place to families and groups who are looking for a space to enjoy the area and each other.

  • Submitted: Jul 20, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great family retreat!

  • 4 of 5

We all loved the home. Great setting, comfy home, and very restful. We kayaked, played croquet, napped, read and enjoyed family dinners. We would definitely come back. Thanks Melanie!

  • Submitted: Jun 7, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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San Francisco

Beautiful house, deck and grounds

  • 5 of 5

We were 7 people and one dog. The house was very comfortable, with plenty of space for all of us. The views were beautiful; we all enjoyed the deck, hot tub, and the kayaks. It was wonderful to have a fireplace in the evening for our "gourmet group". We cooked great meals, and the kitchen was well appointed. The grounds were lovely. The little 'cottage' was a definite plus. A great time was had by all.

  • Submitted: May 7, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Laguna Niguel, CA

Great Family Home

  • 5 of 5

My husband & I and my daughter's family ( 2 adults, 2 kids & a dog) stayed at Abalone Cove from 4/8 -4/15/17. It was perfect. The house is big and has lots of windows. There is something to see from every window. The kitchen is large and well-appointed. There is also a full sized washer & dryer. The backyard is beautiful. It's truly a tranquil retreat. Everything was so green with lots of big trees, flowers and grass. Across the river there were cows, wild turkeys and deer. We did get some rain so the river was moving pretty fast so we didn't get a chance to use the kayaks or canoe. Almost every afternoon we take a snack and some wine and just relax in chairs and just talk. We used the fireplace almost every night and played board games and did a puzzle. One of the special features for us was having all the bedrooms upstairs. This way an early riser could get up and go downstairs for some coffee or just read in the large kitchen window without disturbing the rest of the household. The town of Duncan Mills is easily within walking distance and you'll find a great bakery/coffee shop, a general store and a couple of restaurants. We walked in almost every day. But there's no reason to leave if you don't want to. As long as you have enough food, the house has everything you need. We also used the attached cottage. It has a large room which runs the length of the deck and a VERY comfortable bed. It was great to just lie there and listen to the rain. There is also a bathroom room in the cottage. Mel is a great host. Very responsive to e-mails and will make things right if there is an issue. We all have stressful lives and this was the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the family. Thank you Mel for a much needed vacation in your lovely home.

  • Submitted: Apr 24, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

The house and property was perfect for our family Easter holiday. The pictures were true of the house and backyard. The separate cottage was perfect for my brother to have his own space. Wish I hadn't told him he could have it! The view from the kitchen, master bedroom and cottage was beautiful. So peaceful to sit out in the backyard down on the rivers edge. Melanie was awesome with quick responses to questions and situations. Would highly recommend Abalone Cove for a relaxing vacation or a quick weekend getaway!

  • Submitted: Apr 22, 2017
  • Stayed: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
30 Miles
Sonoma County Airport
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
The Blue Heron Resteraunt and Tavern
Nearest Golf
6 Miles
Northwood Golf Course
Nearest Motorway
1.5 Miles
Hwy 116
Nearest Restaurant
1.6 Miles
Cape Fear
Nearest Beach
5 Miles
Goat Rock State Beach
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning $175 + Tax
Pet Fee $50 + Tax
Refundable damage deposit $250
Tax Rate 12.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.