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“Take the time to visit.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fort Ross State Historic Park

Fort Ross State Historic Park
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US$10.00*
and up
Fort Ross State Historic Park Walking Tour
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Jenner
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: As of November 3rd, we are open only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays (closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) through March 15th. In addition we are open on state holidays: January 1 & 19, February 16, March 31, May 25, July 4th, September 7, November 11, Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas Day. Open December 22nd, 23rd, 24th and from December 26th to January 2nd. Because of Sacramento budget cuts, our days of operations vary with the season. Originally built by Russians in 1812, Fort Ross became a state park in 1909. Today the 3,400 acre park offers pristine natural landscapes as well as historic structures and exhibits that bring to life the former Imperial Russian settlement, early California Ranch era, and the Kashia territory. Our visitor center showcases a museum, bookshop, and an 18-minute video introducing the park's history. Some points of interest: Russian Orthodox chapel, replica Russian-style windmill, historic buildings and exhibits, cannons, historic cemetery and orchard, and a San Andreas Fault marker. You can also enjoy Sandy Cove Beach and numerous trails. Activities include hiking, swimming, marine mammal watching, and more.
North yorkshire
Level Contributor
38 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Take the time to visit.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2014

Lots of people drive by Fort Ross as they travel on the beautiful coastal road but it's well worth taking the time to stop and visit this fascinating site. The setting is gorgeous as are the buildings and everything is very well presented.
There is an a farmhouse which is only open at certain times which also looked interesting.
We spent several hours and could happily have filled half a day; you can walk across to the community's graveyard too.
Would have liked the chance to buy postcards or guidebook on site.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank yankeelass57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarichka_1812, Public Relations Manager at Fort Ross State Historic Park, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Hello yankeelass57,

Thank you for your review. Great to see past visitors encouraging future guests to visit. It really is a special place, but easily missed.

I am sorry to hear you missed our bookshop. Perhaps it had already closed for the day? We have a wonderful selection of postcards and guide books, along with many other souvenirs and goodies.

The Bookshop is open 10 am - 430 to 5 pm

I hope you can make it back someday.

A bit of good news from Fort Ross, we are now open Thursday through Monday 10 am- 430 pm until Labor Day 2014!
We are all so pleased to be open more days for our visitors.
Thanks for all your support!

Best,

Sondra Hunter
Fort Ross Conservancy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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256 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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  • Russian first
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English first
Palmer
Level Contributor
115 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Interesting, but know that during the winter they are only open Saturday and Sunday”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2014

We love to visit this historic site and remember that Russia is a neighbor, who visited this area along with the easterners who claimed the land from the original people.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Suzanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarichka_1812, Public Relations Manager at Fort Ross State Historic Park, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Hello Suzanne B,

Thank you for your review. Since you came in March, we have some good news!

Fort Ross is now open Thursday through Monday 10 am- 430 pm until Labor Day 2014!
We are all so pleased to be open more days for our visitors.
Thanks for all your support!

Best,

Sondra Hunter
Fort Ross Conservancy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rainier, Oregon
Level Contributor
809 reviews
306 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 276 helpful votes
“Disappointing that it isn't open more often”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2014

Visited Ft. Ross a number of years ago, and found it to be very interesting, from an historical perspective. Returned recently to visit again. Unfortunately, probably because of budget cuts, the park is only open for a few hours on the weekends now. What a disappointment for tourists who are only in the area for a short while.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Kalamariverrat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarichka_1812, Public Relations Manager at Fort Ross State Historic Park, responded to this review, 10 April 2014
Hi Kalamariverrat,

Thank you for your review. You are spot on with your theory. We have been operating under "service reductions" since the budget crisis of 2009, and it's been very hard for all of us. Fortunately I have good news, starting April 1st we are now open Thursday through Monday 10 am - 4:30 pm, through Labor Day 2014.
We are all so happy to be open to the public once again, because after all that is what a State park is all about.
Would you please consider updating your review so we are not penalized for the closures? We are a small nonprofit that supports Fort Ross, and these reviews are important to us.
Thanks for all your support!

Sondra K Hunter
Fort Ross Conservancy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nice little side trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2014

A fun little side trip…interesting fort. A little history of Russian settlers in California. The fort has interesting architecture.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank janasilvey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarichka_1812, Public Relations Manager at Fort Ross State Historic Park, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Hello janasilvey,

Thank you for your review. I am happy you made it all the way here from PA!

A bit of good news from Fort Ross, we are now open Thursday through Monday 10 am- 430 pm until Labor Day 2014!
We are all so pleased to be open more days for our visitors.
Thanks for all your support!

Best,

Sondra Hunter
Fort Ross Conservancy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Voecklabruck, Austria
Level Contributor
537 reviews
264 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,073 helpful votes
“A former Russian settlement in California”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2014

Fort Ross was the southernmost Russian settlement in North America, built in 1812 and lasting until 1842. In the 1800s, Russian settlement spread southward from Alaska. On a small point of land in what is now Sonoma County, the Russian settlers built a stockaded fort, grew crops and hunted sea otters and seals, naming their settlement "Ross" to honor Russia (Rossija).

Trade was also vital to existing Russian settlements in Alaska, where long winters exhausted supplies and the inhabitants couldn't grow enough food to support themselves. Fort Ross was both, a food source for Alaska and a profitable fur trading company.

During its 30-year history, Fort Ross was home to many California firsts, including the first glass windows, the first windmill and first ship built in California. But by the 1820s, marine mammals like sea otters were over-hunted and crops didn't do as well as the Fort Ross settlers hoped. In 1842, the Russian American Trading Company sold the whole operation to John Sutter, who took the stock to his fort near Sacramento, and the Russian era in North America came to an end.

Today, only one original Fort Ross building remains, but others have been rebuilt to give a picture of what life was like.

Due to budget cuts in California the park is only open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Austria01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarichka_1812, Public Relations Manager at Fort Ross State Historic Park, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Hello Austria01,

Thank you for your thorough review. A great little history you put together!

A bit of good news from Fort Ross, we are now open Thursday through Monday 10 am- 430 pm until Labor Day 2014!
We are all so pleased to be open more days for our visitors.
Thanks for all your support!

Best,

Sondra Hunter
Fort Ross Conservancy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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