Favorite Nearby Things to Do

In Jenner:  to get to Jenner turn right (northbound) at the Hwy 1 and river/Hwy 116 junction.  If you are at Casa Panama, walk down Willig two blocks.

There is a great coffee shop called Café Aquatica where you can enjoy delicious coffee, chowder, salads and sandwiches.  Sit outside next to the river and be entertained by acoustical musicians while enjoying the serenity of this magical spot.  Dogs are welcome.  Next door is a wonderful coastal gift shop, The Sea Gull, where you can buy great sweat shirts and any shells you didn’t find.  Next to that is the post office and just beyond be sure and check out the State Visitor’s Center run by the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods. They will have a current list of programs that may be available during your stay.  From this location you can launch boats or kayaks at the ramp next to the visitor center.  For more information, the website is: www.stewardsofthecoastandredwoods.org

Across the street, near the local gas station and small market where you can get most essentials and a good sandwich. The kayak rental company called Watertreks has their booth at the edge of the parking lot. The owner, Suki, offers guided tours along the estuary or for those brave enough, ocean kayaking.  Tell Suki you’re staying at Casa Panama, because her aunt and uncle built the house and she has fun family stories to tell about those early days on the river.

Across the street is the Jenner Inn, Bar and Restaurant. They are under new ownership and we recommend stopping in to try the new restaurant and enjoy the lovely historical bar for a treat.

Just up the coast another mile is one of the most renowned restaurants in all Sonoma County, the Rivers End.  Make a reservation at sunset for one of the finest meals you have ever experienced and tell the owner, Bert we sent you!  You can also view the sunset in the small very picturesque bar or on the outdoor patio that overlooks the ocean.  For more information on the rivers end restaurant visit:  www.ilovesunsets.com

Be sure to visit Goat Rock State Beach, which is a three-minute drive from Casa Panama to the south on Hwy 1 from Jenner.  There are two parking lots; the north lot is access to a long beach that ends at the river mouth where you can view the seals.  There are what we call “Seal Police” they patrol most days to ensure visitors stay a safe distance and do not disturb the seals. The south lot gives you access to a more protected beach if it’s a windy day.  This side is ok for dogs on leashes.

Just down the coast another mile or so is Shell Beach. From there you can take Kordum Trail, which becomes a boardwalk that runs along the bluffs from Shell Beach to Goat Rock! It is perfect for a leisurely coastal stroll along the bluffs.  (Dogs on leashes are welcome at most beaches and trails along the Sonoma Coast and Russian River.)

Directly across Hwy 1 from Shell Beach is the coastal access to Pomo Canyon. There are numerous trails with gorgeous ocean views.

For a long day hike through Pomo Canyon to the coast, take the road next to the Russian Restaurant on Hwy 1 next to the bridge.  Follow the road along the river all the way to the end and park at Pomo Canyon.  Take the path to the right at the entrance to the campground and the trail will take you all the way to Shell Beach along the coast.  At the top of the trail known as Red Hill there are 360 degree views of Sonoma County.  It is advised to have a car waiting to pick you up at Shell Beach. 

For spectacular views and wilderness exploration hike along the Jenner Headlands, call 707 526-6930 x111 or email sheri@sonomalandtrust.org first for a guided tour.   

In Duncans Mills:   from Casa Panama take Hwy one to Hwy 116 eastbound to the Moscow Rd junction.  The Duncans Mills shopping area is on the north and south sides of the road.  On the south side is Gold Coast Coffee & Bakery, a wonderful place for freshly ground coffee and homemade pastries or pizza!!  Sit in the sun on the back patio!  Dogs are welcome; just take them around the back. 

Next door, the kids will enjoy Sweets & Stuff also a fun place to pick up a souvenir. Be sure and check out the original train car at The Depot Museum.   There is a wonderful restaurant here as well!  The Blue Heron Restaurant is a good stop for a great hamburger or fish and chips and a beer.  It’s the local hang out for watching sporting events and hearing good live music on the weekends!

Cross the street to the north side of Duncans Mills and find another restaurant Cape Fear for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner with a wider menu selection and more sedated atmosphere. Take a look around at the really superb grouping of locally owned shops and artifacts.  Don’t miss the wine shop and the infamous Christopher Queen Gallery!

In Monte Rio:  take Moscow Rd to the tiny hamlet of Monte Rio.  Turn left on Main St. and make a quick jog to the right at the stop sign and a quick left on River Blvd is the Village Inn and Restaurant, which is a good stop for a drink at a tiny historic bar and then stay for a lovely meal.  On summer days you can eat outside on the deck.  Reservations recommended but not always a must. 

Monte Rio also has a wonderful beach along the Russian River for families to sunbathe, swim, and rent a kayak or canoe.    Don’t forget to bring your dog!  Monte Rio offers a dog friendly beach on the west side of the bridge where your pet can run and play off leash. 

In Camp Meeker: from Monte Rio on Moscow Rd when you get to the stop at Main St. turn right and it turns into Bohemian Hwy.  Go up the hill for about 3.9 miles to Alliance Redwoods, Canopy Tours.  Reservations are a must and this is a fun way to see the redwoods from the tree tops! Tell Debbie we sent you please!!

In Occidental: take Bohemian Hwy another 5 miles up to the wonderful town of Occidental for restaurants, shopping or hiking a redwood forest.  In the town of Occidental, Howard’s Café is our favorite place for breakfast.  The historical building is the original train depot from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

For family style Italian dinners visit the newly remodeled sports bar at Negri’s or the Union Hotel RestaurantHazel Restaurant and Barley and Hops Tavern, are located nearby and offer delicious food.  Take a stroll down the street and browse through the adorable shops in town.  On Friday nights from May through the end of October, The Occidental Farmer’s Market, has a wide selection of local produce and delicious food vendors offering Indian and Mediterranean food, paella, pizza and more.  The hours are from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm with live music from local musicians every week.  Occidental is truly a must see!

For a hike in a little known old growth redwood grove, take a right at Negri’s on Coleman Valley Road staying straight where it turns into Joy Rd, then take a right on Fitzpatrick Lane and park before the cattle guard.  This is a very dog friendly park and if your dog stays nearby, you can take them off leash.

In Guerneville:  Guerneville is located about 20 minutes east of Jenner on River Rd. On the way to Hwy 101.  There is a Safeway store open 24 hours to stock up on groceries before heading out to the coast.  Next door to Safeway is a health food store called Food for Humans

Guerneville also offers many restaurants, shops, nightlife and activities for the whole family.  One of our favorite places is Korbel Winery.  They have an incredible deli that serves box lunches to take to the beach or pack on the back of a bicycle to ride on one of the many scenic trails.  If you take the winery tour, which we highly recommend as one of the best ones we ever been on!

For a hike among the redwoods, visit Armstrong Woods on Armstrong Woods Rd. In Guerneville.  From May through October, Guerneville has a Farmers Market with local produce.  Hours are from: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Thursdays.  After the Farmers Market enjoy a concert from local musicians at the Plaza.

Our favorite Guerneville winery, Porter Bass Winery is biodynamic and organic.  We recommend renting bicycles and starting your ride at Hwy 116 and Mays Canyon Road.  Schedule Luke Bass for a wine tasting.  It will take you about 30-45 minutes by bike on a mostly flat, scenic and safe road.  11750 Mays Canyon Rd. (707) 8691475, www.porterbass.com

In Bodega Bay:  Bodega Bay has many beaches, seafood restaurants, delis and shops.  Candy and Kites has unique gifts for kids of all ages. For fish & chips we love The Boat House just as you come in to Bodega Bay next to the kite place.  (the owner runs a fishing trip out of the marina).

The Tides is one of the locations for Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.  We like Lucas Wharf a waterfront seafood restaurant and the fresh fish market next door. Stop in one of the delis and grab some Dungeness crab or clam chowder and head off to the beach or Bodega Head to watch the sunset.