48 Hours in Jenner on the California Coast

Find your perfect two-day getaway in gorgeous seaside Jenner

Slow down, relax, and immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Jenner, nestled on the Sonoma County coastline.

A view of Jenner from the north, where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean, Sonoma County
The Russian River from Jenner Beach, California

Located where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean, Jenner (pop. 136) is a place where the pace is up to you. Challenge yourself with a rugged hillside hike with stunning views, paddle a kayak on the river, stroll on a beautiful beach, sit on the sand and watch sea lions, or sip Sonoma County wine with Pacific Ocean views.

A couple walks along the coast at sunset in Jenner, Sonoma County
Jenner, California along the Sonoma Coast

Whatever you choose to do and wherever you go in this rustic coastal community, the people will be friendly, and the scenery will be amazing. Here’s a two-day itinerary with a few suggestions for spending time in Jenner. 

Day 1

Brunch at Café Aquatica

Start your day at Café Aquatica, a charming roadside retreat for a casual, organic meal, and a hot cup of coffee. Enjoy pastries, breakfast burritos, or bagels with cream cheese and lox. The café deck overlooks a beautiful estuary, offering views of local flora and fauna.

Kayaking With WaterTreks EcoTours

Nature and outdoor enthusiasts can live out their vacay dreams via a kayaking tour with WaterTreks EcoTours, owned by Suki Waters, a local Native American guide and kayak instructor. Visitors can explore quiet estuaries or the Pacific Ocean while learning about wildlife, Sonoma County history, and more.

Afternoon Adventures

If you’re seeking some fun out of the water, take a short drive south on Highway 1 to Goat Rock Beach, which offers views of immense sea stacks (tall, rocky columns that rise out of the ocean), white-capped waves, dunes, and the massive, flat-topped rock that gives the beach its name. The spot is popular for birdwatching and hiking and features several trails, including Kortum Trail, a 4.6-mile loop that connects Blind Beach, Shell Beach, and Wright’s Beach. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the 6.2-mile Pomo Canyon Trail follows the historical trading route of the Pomo and Miwok peoples, leading hikers into a redwood forest with a seasonal waterfall.

Wine Tasting in Downtown Jenner

Before dinner, browse for locally crafted souvenirs at Jenner Sea Gifts and Wines, a small shop offering jewelry, clothing, chimes, seashells, and local wines. Then, visit Tasting by the Sea, a wine bar behind the gift shop. Here you can enjoy a wine tasting or order wines by the glass and bottle while enjoying gorgeous views of the Russian River. Evenings are particularly lovely on the bar’s large outdoor deck, which includes a cozy fire pit.

Dinner at River’s End Restaurant

Perched on a bluff just up the hill from the Jenner Visitors Center, which overlooks both the Russian River and the Pacific Ocean, the cozy River’s End Restaurant serves delicious dinners and fine wine against a backdrop of spectacular sunsets. Here, beautiful and eclectic seasonal menus showcase local Sonoma County meat and produce, like Dungeness crab.

Day 2

Breakfast at Coast Kitchen

Timber Cove Resort’s Coast Kitchen restaurant offers organic, seasonal Sonoma Wine Country coastal cuisine with clean, crisp presentations, served amid stunning ocean views for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

After breakfast, it’s time to hit the road. The stretch of coastal Highway 1 just north of Jenner is not about getting there — it’s about the beautiful drive. Enjoy a slow, easy pace and use the turnouts to stop for a stretch and to take in breathtaking views, each with unique delights.

Explore Fort Ross State Historic Park

At the first stop on Highway 1, dive into history at Fort Ross State Historic Park. From 1812 to 1841, Fort Ross was the hub of the Russian settlements along the West Coast. Faithfully reconstructed buildings recall the once-thriving colony, including the stockade, a Russian chapel, barracks, blockhouses, and a windmill. Visitors can explore the park at their own pace, with helpful staff available to answer any questions and assist you.

Wine Tasting & Small Bites Pairing at Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery

After a morning of fort adventures, it’s time to sip some wine and enjoy stellar views at Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery. Known for its zesty Pinot Noirs and crisp Chardonnays, this vineyard is closer to the Pacific Ocean than any other vineyard in California. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays through Tuesdays, Fort Ross offers Wine Tasting and Small Bites Pairings. Their in-house chef sources all the products locally, providing guests with a true farm-to-table experience.

Outdoor Adventures at Salt Point State Park

Just a few miles north of Fort Ross Vineyard, the beautiful 6,000-acre Salt Point State Park stretches along the Pacific Ocean coastline, with more than 20 miles of hiking trails, two campgrounds, an underwater park, and recreational activities that include horseback riding, fishing, and scuba diving. The park features rocky spires, panoramic views, kelp-dotted coves, forested hills, a pygmy forest, and a lively visitor center with many activities. As you explore, watch for Tafoni sandstone — stone riddled by honeycomb-type erosion that produces ribs, ridges, holes, and other patterns. Download a Salt Point State Park brochure.

Sunset and Dinner at River’s End Restaurant

For top-rated dining on the Sonoma Coast with sensational views, River’s End Restaurant offers a feast for all your senses. Book a dinner reservation during dusk for sensational views of the sun sinking into the Pacific Ocean — best enjoyed with a local Sonoma County beer or wine.

Where to Stay in Jenner

From the rustic and romantic cabins at River’s End Restaurant & Inn and the historical Jenner Inn (which was constructed entirely from redwood in the last 1940s by Swedish boat-builders) to the one-of-a-kind Timber Cove Resort (featuring unparalleled ocean views, 46 unique guest rooms, and various acclaimed sculptures) there are many options for staying in and around Jenner. Explore hotels and lodging in Jenner.

Find more things to do in Jenner.

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