Jenner, California is a small town on a hill overlooking the Pacific coastline and the Russian River. This area has a population of less than two hundred, but you can bet that a great many more visit this area throughout the year. Jenner is located in Sonoma County, a popular vacation destination for fine wine and scenic views. Add Jenner’s stunning vistas, majestic bluffs and Russian River Estuary, and you’ve got yourself a winning region.
The town is located on a bluff where the Russian River flows out into the Pacific Ocean. This area, known as the Russian River Estuary, turns into a large sand pit at the mouth of the river each spring. Pacific harbor seals and all sorts of colorful wildlife like ospreys, brown pelicans and great blue herons make their home in this inlet. The Sonoma Coast Visitors Center in Jenner is perched on the northern edge of the estuary, and it’s where visitors can learn more about the nature that surrounds town. Goat Rock State Beach is a popular area of sandy beaches and shoreline. Salt Point State Park, located along Highway One, has a camping ground and a number of coastline trails. Another point of attraction along the infamous highway is the Bodega Highlands, an untouched, rugged stretch of breathtaking views and unlimited picture ops. The Fort Ross Historic State Park once used to be a Russian outpost in the early 1800s, and is now an ideal point of interest to learn about Russian and Alaskan contributions to this area of California.
Traveling in Sonoma County will give you plenty of things to do. However, if you want to get outside the Sonoma County bubble, here are some day trips you can take from Jenner. The total driving distance from Jenner to San Francisco, California is around 87 miles. Once you get to the Bay area, it’s just a matter of picking and choosing the landmarks you want to see. The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz Island are popular among tourists. Union Square, Chinatown and Ghirardelli Square are also well known hotspots. San Jose, California is further southeast from San Francisco, but is also accessible for a day trip. It’s less than a 3-hour drive, around 120 miles, and you’ll find quirky points of attractions like the Winchester Mystery House, Tech Museum of Innovation, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. Visiting Napa Valley on a day trip might provide a completely different experience. Napa is directly east of Jenner by about 70 miles, and this premier wine country offers a chance to wind down with a glass of the county’s finest.
Jenner, being such a small town, doesn’t have too many options for accommodations. However, there are two lodges in town called Jenner’s Inn & Cottages, and River’s End Inn. The former includes a range of rooms and suites and even two vacation homes for rent. River’s End Inn, which overlooks the river and ocean, has six cabins for rent. There are a few other lodges outside the village, as you make your way up or down the Pacific coast. In addition, you can find vacation rental options in town, ranging from rooms to cottages to houses by the sea. If you head outside the area, you’ll also find plenty of campground, B&Bs and hotels within the Sonoma County region.
If you want to drive along the Pacific Coast, then bringing or renting a car is highly recommended. For getting around the town itself, walking or biking will get you to your destination. For public transportation options, the Sonoma County Transit system offers routes across the greater Sonoma County area. The Greyhound bus line operates from San Francisco to Santa Rosa, which is about 30 miles east of Jenner. Golden Gate Transit also has routes from SF to Santa Rosa, from which you must make your way to Jenner. There are private transportation options that might go the distance, from private taxi services to airport limousines.
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