The Coast of Mendocino County, California in the late summer and early fall has been compared to a more laid-back version of Cape Cod or the Hamptons. Quaint villages and prosperous micro-farms overlook the luminous blue ocean, while a gentle breeze plays across the beaches and sun shines down on meadows of wildflowers. Dig deeper in this bucolic setting, however, and there are adventures to be had – sea caves accessible by kayak only, vast properties and rugged cliffs enjoyed best from atop an 6-seater ATV, and extensive beaches and redwood forests to be explored on foot or horseback. Follow a pleasure-filled day with a gourmet meal crafted from local, organic produce and a glass of local wine or beer.
Three very different yet equally charming Mendocino Coast inns provide inviting adventure gateways to this largely undiscovered paradise, and offer special packages and excursions as a means for both couples and families to enjoy that best that the area has to offer.
Drive 3 hours north of San Francisco and arrive at the Little River Inn, an ocean- view Wedding Cake Victorian that has been run by the same family for five generations. Current innkeeper Cally Dym has wonderful memories of an idyllic Mendocino childhood filled with fun summer excursions with her parents and grandparents.
In order to better share some of those cherished experiences with other families, this summer she has created the brand new Family Adventure Package. Families stay at the inn, surrounded by blooming gardens and rolling lawns; get up close and personal with gentle goats at the Pennyroyal Dairy while tasting handcrafted wines and cheeses; ride the heritage Skunk Train along rivers and through pristine redwoods; and then enjoy a guided tour of nearby sea caves atop an ocean kayak, communing with seals, birds – and maybe even a playful otter.
Onsite amenities at the mini-resort include their award-winning restaurant, featuring gourmet offerings for the grown-ups and a kids’ menu for the little ones. Play on their regulation tennis courts and Audubon-certified golf course, and at the end of the day, the full service on-site spa and salon pampers guests of all ages.
The Family Adventure Package for four includes:
- Two nights’ accommodation in an ocean view room with two beds
- One breakfast for four at the inn
- Two adult and two children’s tickets for the Pennyroyal Farmstead dairy tour
- Two adult and two children’s tickets for the Skunk Train
- Four tickets for a guided sea kayaking adventure (all equipment included, safe for all ages)
Book this online at www.littleriver.com using the code FAMADV or call 888-INN-LOVE.
A few more miles up the road and just south of the historic and entrancing Mendocino Village, make a rendezvous with romance at the cozy 10-room Brewery Gulch Inn, which has been named one of the “World’s Best” hotels by Travel + Leisure magazine. Perched high on a bluff overlooking Smuggler’s Cove and the Pacific, the elegant inn manages to combine soaring, stunning design with an endearing sense of home and hearth. Constructed in 2001 from 150-year old redwood reclaimed from the nearby Big River, they offer every luxury of a world-renowned hotel, while maintaining a hands-on personal touch. Perks include a private executive chef who prepares a nightly gourmet dinner buffet of dishes cooked from organic, locally-sourced produce and a lavish, made-to-order breakfast for each guest the next morning. This intimate Brewery Gulch Inn makes a perfect home base while you relish Mendocino’s pleasures via their North Coast Adventure Package.
The North Coast Adventure Package for two includes:
- 10% discount on a three-night stay
- Guided horseback ride for two through the redwoods or along the beach
- Guided kayak tour of the sea caves along the Mendocino Coast
- A backpack picnic for two to take on one of the excursions
Available year-round (pending weather conditions) for a $250 add-on to room rate. To reserve this package, call 707-937-4752 and mention North Coast Adventure at the time of booking.
A half hour north of the Village, you will find The Inn at Newport Ranch sprawled across one of the most striking examples of Mendocino’s spectacular terrain. A newly-built property designed to be in harmony with nature, this “luxury lodge” sits on 2,000 private acres of rugged coastline and pristine redwoods. A New Englander who fell in love with the West has realized his vision of a guest ranch that has all the amenities of a five-star hotel, from gourmet cuisine cooked with produce from their own organic gardens, to the onsite Fireside Spa and personal attention from a concierge. The crown jewel is their 20 miles of unspoiled hiking trails, encompassing grassland, forest, beaches and coastline with 50-mile views across the Pacific.
A portion of the exclusive preserve can be traversed on foot or horseback, but guests who want to explore more fully treat themselves to an ATV Tour with an experienced guide, and travel back in time to discover an unspoiled California coastal region teeming with ancient flora and rare wildlife. The ATV Tour is offered exclusively to guests of the Inn. $50 per person for a 2-hour tour in a 6-seat, 4-wheel drive, all-terrain vehicle. To book a room at the Inn and an ATV tour during your stay, visit http://theinnatnewportranch.com/ or call 707-962-4818.