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Whale Point and Goat Beach, Jenner

Wine Country/Santa Rosa, California, USA


Goat Beach is a wide, grey beach with dunes where pretty grasses grow. There are lots of wild seagulls. The surf here is some of the deadliest in California because of the shorebreak. Even standing within feet of the shore could prove fatal, as the waves suddenly crash up and drag people down into the deep pit just past the shoreline. Children, pets, and people in general should not walk near the shore. Goat Beach is a wild, wild place- it made me feel how expansive and powerful nature is.
If you walk to the north at Goat Beach over the dunes you will reach a seal rookery. You can stand really close up and watch the baby seals play in the rivermouth and then wiggle their way up the sand. The big seals honk and roar as they swim or sunbake on the sand. It's a fairly long walk to the seal rookery in strong winds, and older kids will handle it better than younger kids, who you might need to piggy back home.
The Sea Arch overlook is above the gorgeous sea arch that you see to the south while standing on Goat Beach. Check out the birds perched on the rocks.
Whale Point is even prettier. Here a huge rugged headland is on your right, while a beach curves to your left. Large rocks decorate the horizon in front of you. You can walk the beach and admire the driftwood. People picnic in the frosty fog here with their dogs and kids. Again, it's dangerous to go close to the shore.
There are restrooms at Whale Point.
Dogs are allowed on leash at both beaches, though not on the bluffs or near the seal rookery.
If you're hungry, you have to try the yummy Russian House #1 Restaurant, along Highway 1 where you cross the big concrete bridge over the rivermouth. The views are spectacular from the restaurant.
North again along Highway 1, past the restaurant and across the bridge, pull off along the road and peer down at the seal rookery below. It's a lovely wild area.
Or if you're heading south down the coast along Highway 1, after about 15 miles check out Bodega Bay, with its huge grey harbor, great seafood restaurant, and wild windy walks; and head inland a few miles to Bodega where you can see the schoolhouse where "The Birds" was filmed.

Photo Gallery

View to your right as you pull into Whale Point.

Driftwood and large rocks at the beach to the left of Whale Point on a foggy, mysterious day.

Picnickers bring their dogs here to munch on driftwood, dig, and delight in the beach to the left of Whale Point.

The rocky islands offshore, as seen from the beach to the left of Whale Point.

Whale Point, as seen from the beach, on a misty September day.

The seal rookery at Goat Beach, as seen from the bluffs (north of the 116 turnoff along Highway 1).

View to the north, as seen from the dunes at Goat Beach.

Goat Beach.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Take Highway 116 towards the ocean. You can do this by exiting the 101 Freeway at River Rd, and heading west. Then continue all the way through Guerneville town (don't follow signs that take you over the bridge to Sebastopol on Highway 116 east). Continue on Highway 116 west all the way to the coast.  Right before you reach the sea, turn left on Highway 1, following the signs to Bodega Bay. Turn right into the driveway for Goat Beach. You will pass the Sea Arch overlook. At the end, you can turn right down a steep hill to Goat Beach. If you turn left, you will reach Whale Point. The red tag on the map is on Whale Point. Click "satellite" to see an beautiful aerial photo.
There are restrooms at Whale Point.
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