California Association of Bed & Breakfast Innsgift certificate  

in this issue

Escape to the Quiet Charm of California's Small Towns

Specials & Packages:
Romantic Couple's Retreats

How I Became an Innkeeper: Brewery Gulch Inn

CABBI Cookbook Recipe: Spicy Smoked Salmon Corn Cakes

CABBI Elk, California

Escape to the Quiet Charm of California's Small Towns

Trade your gridlocked freeway commute and frenzied schedule for an idyllic respite from city life. Escape to a bed and breakfast inn tucked along the back roads and quiet streets of California’s small towns. These rural gems beckon with a nostalgic charm and relaxed pace that recall simpler times.


A couple miles off Highway One between San Francisco and Santa Cruz, the tiny hamlet of Pescadero is nestled among rolling hills and patchwork of agricultural fields. Once a stagecoach destination, the century-old Pescadero Creek Inn still draws travelers with its cozy rooms, claw foot tubs, and fine organic fare. A short stroll from the inn, visitors can browse the town’s one-of-a-kind art and furniture shops, savor farm-fresh olallieberries and artichokes, make your own goat cheese at Harley’s Farm, or dine at the legendary Duarte’s Tavern.


Set high among the pines of Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild combines arts and outdoor adventure with an alpine flair. Peruse the antique shops and art galleries lining the village, enjoy live jazz and classical music, hit the trail on foot or horseback, or go rock climbing on one of Idyllwild’s famous crags. The Strawberry Creek Inn is central to it all with its “rural-chic’ ambiance, gourmet breakfasts, and variety of rooms and cottages ranging from romantic to rustic.


Further south near San Diego, the small town of Jamul is a cyclists’ dream with rides for every level. The U.S. Olympic cycling team trains on the hills, while bike lanes link several of the town’s attractions. The exclusive bed and breakfast resort of Jamul Haven loans out bikes for guests’ use. The inn is a fully-renovated 1890 Victorian mansion on six acres with a long list of amenities. Along with cycling, another Jamul attraction is Simpson’s Nursery, which features both an impressive selection of plants and two old car barns: one with vintage cars from 1910-1940 and one with muscle cars of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.


The village of Lockeford, a gateway to the California gold rush, was established in the 1850s by Dr. Dean Jewett Locke. The physician’s influence in this historic village is evident in nearly every aspect of the community, including the school, mercantile, churches, cemetery, and railroad depot. Locke’s homestead would later become The Inn at Locke House, which is a California Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. From the inn, venture out to kayak the Mokelumne River, cycle and hike past ranches, farms, orchards and vineyards, go wine tasting along the Lodi Wine Trail, or just take a drive along the country roads of Lockeford.


Cayucos is among the last of the classic California beach towns. Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the Central Coast, little has changed over the years for this sleepy seaside town with a population of just 2,900. Set on a wide curving bay, you can sink your toes in the sand or take a stroll out onto the pier to watch the glorious sunsets. You can also take in the view from the Cayucos Sunset Inn, which pampers and indulges its guests from the moment they walk through the inn’s grand double doors.


Just north of Clear Lake, the one-time western stagecoach stop of Upper Lake has been revitalized in recent years with the restoration and reopening of the 1890s Tallman Hotel. The hotel is on the California Register of Historical Resources as a Point of Historical Interest and is among Lake County’s most luxurious country inns. Next door to the inn, the Blue Wing Saloon and Café has also been restored and livery stable has been transformed into an antique bathroom fixture emporium.  Quality antique shops abound in Upper Lake and the old Odd Fellows Hall and 1916 library building are also worth a visit. 


Nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Old World village of Solvang draws travelers with its charming Danish architecture, delicious pastries, fine restaurants, quaint shops, wine tasting rooms, parks, festivals, and beautiful vineyard-draped countryside with horses, ostriches, and alpacas. Just blocks from downtown, the Solvang Gardens Lodge exudes European charm with its luxuriant English gardens, lily pond, fountains, and stone fireplace suites with marble baths.


Perched above the cliffs, the inspiring seaside hamlet of Mendocino is a magnet for artists, writers, and musicians. Browse the fine restaurants, shops, and galleries in the village or hike atop the rugged bluffs of Mendocino Headlands State Park. Within a short stroll from town and the headlands, the Joshua Grindle Inn welcomes travelers with airy rooms decorated with Early American furnishings, and stunning views of the coast.

CABBI cookbook recipe

Tiffany HouseTiffany House B&B
Spicy Smoked Salmon Corn Cakes
Makes 2 servings


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow corn meal

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup plus two tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn

3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (or 1 tablespoon dried)

9 pepperoncini peppers, drained, seeded and finely chopped

3 ounces finely chopped smoked salmon (about 1/3 cup)

Sour cream, for serving

Chopped red onion, for serving

Lemon slices, for serving


In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and cream cheese. Whisk buttermilk into egg mixture.


Coarsely chop half of the corn; stir into egg mixture along with remaining corn, chives, pepperoncinis, smoked salmon, and cornmeal mixture just until combined.


Drop batter by 1/4-cupfuls onto a large, non-stick or greased griddle or skillet; spread batter slightly to form 3 1/2 -inch to 4-inch cakes. Cook cakes for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown on both sides.


Serve with sour cream, chopped red onion and lemon slices.


For more delicious recipes from
CABBI-member inns, order our
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Romantic Retreat Specials for February

Indulge in a Valentine’s Weekend Couples Coastal Indulgence Spa Package at the Elk Cove Inn and Spa. The package includes a couple’s massage, a private aromatherapy steam shower and sauna, refreshments in the spa’s ocean view lounge, and exclusive use of the spa during your treatment time. The package also includes three night deluxe accommodations, welcome gift basket with wine, fruit and our homemade cookies, a very special silver champagne celebration tray with red rose, chocolate truffles, champagne brunch each morning, and complimentary wine and "make your own" cocktails each afternoon. Prices range from $595 to $1,195. The package is good through the month of February. Taxes not included. Based on availability. Cannot be combined with other specials.


Let the Honor Mansion help you re-discover each other! Stay two luxurious nights at the Honor Mansion in Healdsburg, and enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries at check-in, a rose petal turndown, and a gourmet breakfast delivered to your room each morning. If you feel inclined to leave your room, let the concierge staff create a custom wine tasting itinerary for you. Book a minimum of two nights between February 11-15, 2010, in any available room. Mention the Valentine’s Day Special to receive this package for an additional $25 (a $95 value!).


Reserve any two nights in February at The Foxes Inn of Sutter Creek and receive the following absolutely free: Godiva truffles, one dozen roses in a vase, a bottle of Mumms champagne on ice, artisan cheese and fruit tray, and $50 dinner certificate at either The Palace Restaurant or Susan's Place. Must request the February Romance package special when booking your stay. Based on double occupancy. New reservations only. Expires February 28, 2010.


Treat your Valentine to a romantic weekend at the Old Yacht Club Inn and get a sweetheart of a deal: stay a third night at half price. Offer applies to all reservations made during the month of February. Summer and holiday black out dates may apply. Visit the inn online and make your Valentine’s Day reservations today.


Come celebrate the romantic month of February at the Clear Lake Bed & Breakfast in Lakeport for only $99 per night during the entire month--that's more than half off per night at the only year-round bed and breakfast on the lake.  Be sure to mention this discount when you call innkeeper Diane Gill to make a reservation at (707) 263-9071 or include it in the comments section when you book online.


Villa Royale’s Cupid’s Hideaway special includes two nights’ accommodations in one of our Cozy Royale or one bedroom rooms, a welcome bottle of chilled champagne and box of chocolates, complimentary breakfast, $100 credit towards dinner in our 4-diamond restaurant and two (2) one-hour massages. Rates are from $495 on weekdays and from $575 on weekends. Valid through February 28, 2010. Package price does not include applicable taxes and is based on double occupancy.


Because The Inn on First supports romance every day, we are extending an extra-special Couple's Hide-Away Special for those traveling midweek in the month of February. Guests who schedule any in-room spa treatment will also receive a complimentary cheese plate and bottle of wine. Stay a second or third night and receive added value and discounts.


How I became an innkeeper

Brewery Gulch Inn

Brewery Gulch Inn

by Guy Pacurar

When I was younger, my parents and I used to stay at a small inn in Palms Springs called Desert Hills. The owners made everyone feel like part of a large family. People from all over would come back at the same time each year to connect with other guests they had met at the property. The owners remembered everyone. In fact, when they learned I was getting married, they treated me to a stay at the property. That stuck in my mind. I thought if I could work in any field, someday I would like to do that.

For the 20 years prior to purchasing Brewery Gulch Inn, I ran an international student exchange program. As a result, I traveled a lot. Often, my daughter, Taylor, would accompany me on those trips. And inevitably, wherever we would be staying, I would comment on what I would change, or what I would do differently if I owned the property. Finally, in 2006, we were staying at a small hotel in the Caribbean and I was making my usual comments. Taylor looked at me and said, "Dad, please just go do it somewhere.” That was it. It was the push I needed.

I notified my board at the student exchange program of my decision and began a property search that would take more than a year, cover 13 states and 29 properties. In January of 2006, I started looking in the northeastern United States, specifically Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Well, as a native Southern Californian, I quickly learned that there is the romantic idea of snow, and then there is the cold reality of minus 17 degrees.

My focus shifted to the southern states, and I worked my way through the Outer Banks in North Carolina, then through New Mexico and Arizona. I looked at properties in Southern and Central California before finally, in a part of California I never knew existed, I found Mendocino. And here in Mendocino, I found the property I had been searching for…a clean, contemporary Craftsman-style inn perched on a bluff overlooking the wild and rugged Northern California coast.

After purchasing the inn, the broker for the previous owner introduced me to someone that took me under her wing, held seven dinner parties for me and made my transition to an innkeeper in Mendocino seamless.


Valentine's Special: Order a CABBI Gift Certificate and Receive Free Gifts

Purchase a CABBI gift certificate for $250 or more and receive three free gifts including: CABBI's Travel Guidebook, CABBI's Cookbook, and a free upgrade to priority shipping. (Available only on orders shipping to the United States)

The CABBI "Valentine's Day Promotion" is valid through February 15, 2010. To order, click here.


gift certificate Sandpiper House Inn