The prettiest (no, most beautiful) part of the drive is definitely from Jenner to Salt Point.
There is a stretch north of Jenner which rivals Big Sur, with the road going high on the cliffs and then dipping into the coves, with incredible views.
About 10 miles north of Jenner is Fort Ross State Historic Park, which was a Russian outpost in the early 1800s. The fort has been restored, and a real photo op there is the small wooden Russian Orthodox chapel. State funding problems may have closed it except on weekends while you are here, but you could stop and peek.
Three miles north of Fort Ross you will see the Timber Cove Inn. This was built in the 1960's, and is an architectural gem and worth a stop for a coffee or lunch in the lobby and a stroll on the bluffs for the incredible views.
(Give the automatic slide show time to run.)
The tall obelisk you see in the photos is a rendition of St. Francis by the late famed San Francisco sculptor Benianamo Bugano. It is dedicated to Peace. Unfortunately, after it was finished it needed a large helicopter to hoist it into place.......they were all busy fighting the Vietnamese war. So St. Francis spent a few peaceful years lying in a meadow across the road from the Inn.
Salt Point is probably less than 5 miles north of there, as I remember.
Now, to get back. Instead of re-tracing your drive on the curvy coast, you can travel high on the ridge paralleling Highway 1 until this rejoins highway 1 a few miles north of Jenner.
Go back to the Timber Cove Inn and across Hwy 1 from that take Timber Cove Road up to the ridge, and turn right. That is Seaview Road. As I said, this travels down the ridge, through farms, and etc. with occasional glimpses of the sea far below. If you stay on course, and do not turn left when Fort Ross Road comes in, you will be on Meyers Grade Road and will come back to Hwy 1 on your way to Jenner.
This is one of my very favorite drives.
The other drive, to Bodega Bay, takes you on Hwy 1 from Hwy 116, before Jenner. After you cross the Russian River, it is 10 miles to Bodega Bay, passing several State Beaches. It is a pleasant, but by no means unusually great drive.
thanks so much - this is very helpful
Enjoy your trip.
In Windsor we like to stay at the Holiday Inn Express, which is walking distance from the restored downtown......which is a story in itself.
The town, as many others, had morphed over the freeway into housing developments and shopping centers, leaving the pretty downtown dying and derelict.
A few years ago the Town Council spearheaded an ambitious renewal, building a Town Green and a library, and mixed use developments on the abandoned streets. It is quite attractive and has brought the town back to life, as a town instead of a 'suburb'.
I am sure that the economic troubles have hit the town, even as it has many others and there may be empty store fronts, but it is still a very pleasant place to be. Check it out.