Jenner is a very small town overlooking the mouth of the Russian River in California. What you see here is about all there is in town. It is a quiet, relaxing place. Jenner is an excellent base to explore the Russian River area: it's on the coast, close to the redwood forests (including a state reserve), and near the Russian River wine country. As with most North Coast towns, Jenner can be considerably cooler than inland; but often a ten-minute drive inland will take you from cool fog and rain to sunshine.
From San Francisco: Highway 101 north to Highway 116 West in Cotati. Travel 9 miles to Sebastopol and turn left on Bodega Highway to Highway 1 north to Jenner.
- Explore the coast. Drive north or south on Hwy 1, and you will find many trails and "state beaches". Casual swimming is discouraged because of rip currents and heavy surf. Near the mouth of the Russian River, Goat Rock State Beach has an easily accessed sandy beach, picnic tables, and restroom facilities. The beach is home to a colony of harbor seals which are fun to watch. To protect the seals, no dogs are allowed.
- Dive for abalone, a shellfish prized as a delicacy. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the California abalone regulations, including a minimum size limit of 7 inches, and prohibition of using scuba gear when diving for abalone.
- Scuba dive. Note: Jenner is just outside of the notorious "Red Triangle", an area where swimmers encounter great white sharks more frequently, and it's safer to look like a seal in the water.
- Explore the river estuary by kayak. Try Lotus Kayak Rentals, near the Sea Gull gift shop, Phone: +1 707 865-9604.
- Rivers End, 11048 Highway 1, ☏ . F-Su. Expensive, fine dining, with great views of the sunset on the Pacific Ocean.
- Sizzling Tandoor, 9960 Highway 1, ☏ . Indian specialties. Less expensive by half.
- Fort Ross Lodge, 20705 Highway One, ☏ .
- Jenner Inn and Cottages, Highway One, toll-free: . cabins: $130, luxury suites: $300+.
- River's End Inn, Highway One, ☏ .
- 1 Ocean Cove Lodge, 23255 Highway One, toll-free: .
- Sea Ranch Resort. An expensive oceanfront lodge, with warm wood buildings and a good restaurant. $235-$400.
- Timber Cove Inn, 21780 North Coast Hwy 1, toll-free: . Is a romantic oceanfront retreat with a lovely restaurant. They allow pet dogs. Has an excellent restaurant menu; the room is made of timbers and stone, and cats lurk peacefully underfoot in the bar area.
- Old Mill Cottage, 4486 Bodega Ave, ☏ . A 1-bedroom apartment, really, with a kitchen sufficient for breakfasts and simple dinners, a sitting area, a deck, and a loft which will sleep two more people. Satellite TV on a small TV in the bedroom. Cash only. Inkeepers Rick and Debi Santé are quite friendly. $135/night.
- Fort Ross – off Hwy 101. Original and reconstructed buildings of the southernmost Russian settlement from the early 1800s.
From Jenner, escape north on Highway 1 as it winds its way up along Russian Gulch Beach, Fort Ross (where Russia maintained a trading outpost and fort in the early 19th century), Kruse Rhododendron State Park, Gualala, and points beyond. The road is curvy and often runs with no guard rails high above the rocky coast—not for the faint-hearted or those prone to car sickness.
|Routes through Jenner|
|Fort Bragg ← Fort Ross ←||N S||→ Bodega Bay → San Francisco|
|END ←||W E||→ Monte Rio → Petaluma|