Cafe Aquatica is exotica! This coffee shop is one for the books. It was very strange yet so interesting at the same time. It was located smack dab in the heart of Jenner, California. With the building being full of windows and old wood siding, it reminded me a lot of a crab shack. I was eager to head inside and check it out.
Before I could make it inside, my eyes caught the gorgeous Russian River that runs behind. I mean, talk about a perfect location, these pictures don't even do it justice. Inside there were minimal lights on, most of it was natural from the windows on the ceiling. You could tell, whoever designed this place started with a scrappy building and flooded it with a nautical funky theme throughout.
I was greeted by a very friendly barista named Susanne. She loved my Find that Coffee shirt so before I could tell her what I was doing, she wanted to know more. I told her how I have been traveling around the country to find cool coffee shops like the one I'm standing in right now. She was stoked to tell me about this place. The first thing she said is that the guy who built this place is a burner. Oh man, I saw it right away, it had tons of Burning Man vibes.
Aaron had owned this place for 13 years and did all the welding and designing himself. If you look at the pictures you'll see Aaron's custom pour-over rack he constructed behind the counter. There was a lot of copper and worn down paint which helped give it that nautical vibe. I came to find out that Aaron sold the business to one of his employees last October. The shop is very much the same but now he only roasts the beans. Susanne then informed me that I should stay tonight for the open-mic night if I was around. I thanked her for the offer, not knowing how my day may turn out.
I ordered a coffee and walked around in awe. Such a cool place, the drawings on the walls alone were enough to blow your mind. Walking out the door you'll see tons of plants and succulents wrapping around the deck. A gorgeous hand-carved sign on the roof. And tons of seating on the patio or down by the water.
I headed in to say thank you for their time and the delicious medium roast I devoured. They asked me if I enjoy hiking and exploring on my big adventure, I replied, "Of course." I can't remember the other baristas' name but she told me the spots to check out. The first place to visit was Fort Ross, it's where the Russians first landed on their voyage to Alaska. There are apple trees, pears trees, cherry trees, and olive trees that are over 200 years old and still producing fruit. It was a must. And second, heading into Salt Point Park to find this lookout that looks over the ocean in the closed-off part of the park. She informed me it was left at this tree, right at this rock, go straight but not downhill. I was a little nervous if I was going to be able to navigate these loose instructions but I did, and it was breathtaking. I have attached photos of both places below. Very grateful to have met both of them and learn more about the area that I may have not found on my own.
The bathroom gets a 5/10, it was down the street quite a ways. Especially if you had to go or if you had to carry your kid there. One of those no electricity restrooms that you may find at a national park with the hole in the ground. Not the worst, but not the most exciting either.