Best Bed & Breakfasts for Après Ski and Snow Adventures
Escape to the winter wonderland of California’s High Sierras and glide through the snow on cross-country skis, swish down ski slopes or explore the stillness of the wilderness on a pair of snow shoes. Afterwards, bask in the warmth of a nearby bed and breakfast inn with a roaring fire, steaming cups of cocoa, plush amenities and other personal touches to ensure finest form of relaxation. Listed below are some of the best bed and breakfast inns in California to find winter adventures waiting right outside the door.
Historic Sorensen's Resort in Hope Valley, located just south of Lake Tahoe and east of Kirkwood Ski Area, features a charming selection of log cabins and cottages, a full-service restaurant and wood-fired sauna on 165 forested acres. Guests enjoy free access to the resort’s fleet of easy-to-use snowshoes. Guests can just strap them on and take off through the woods and meadows surrounding the resort. For the child in everyone, there’s also a sledding hill just outside front door. The nearby Hope Valley Outdoor Center rents cross-country skis and maintains well-marked trails. For downhill skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, the ski resorts at Kirkwood and Lake Tahoe are just minutes away. After a day on the snow, relax fireside back at Sorensen’s Country Cafe with complimentary cups of hot cocoa or a glass of wine.
Come kick-and-glide through forest glades, across sweeping valley floors, or across a frozen lake at Caples Lake Resort in Kirkwood. With 13 square miles of wintry wilderness, guests can snowshoe or cross-country ski from the front door of the resort. In addition, the nearby Kirkwood Cross Country Ski Area and Hope Valley Outdoor Center both maintain well-marked cross-country trails and rent cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes. For alpine skiers and snowboarders, Kirkwood Mountain Resort is just a mile away. Guests can rent snowboards or skis at Kirkwood Mountain Resort the night before to avoid the lines and get out on the slopes early. Caples Lake Resort offers a rustic experience and tranquil setting on Caples Lake. The main lodge features six guest rooms, each with private baths. The resort also offers seven cabins that can accommodate up to six people with full kitchens, linens and gas log fireplaces.
A myriad of winter adventures are just minutes away from A Haven of Rest Bed & Breakfast in Oakhurst. The inn is located 15 miles south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park and near Badger Pass Ski Resort, which offers downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. At Yosemite, ice skate under Half Dome or witness the strange thunder of Yosemite Falls that comes from the frozen spray which forms on the face of the cliff. The frozen spray also gives rise to a cone of ice at the foot of the falls. After day of winter fun, return to the inn and its large swim spa just steps from your door, hot spiced cider or chocolate, and in suite snacks. Then retire to the luxury a king bed in your two room private suite and wake to a hot, hearty breakfast.
Just inside the gates of Yosemite National Park and only six miles from Badger Pass Ski Resort, Yosemite Peregrine Bed and Breakfast is near all of the same winter attractions as A Haven of Rest. Yosemite Peregrine Lodging has bed and breakfast rooms, condominiums and a beautiful vacation home. The bed and breakfast rooms are beautifully decorated and come with a hot breakfast in the new guest lounge. The vacation home has soaring ceilings and large windows with views to the north and sunsets to the west. The condominiums are family-oriented and great for couples on a budget.
Several bed and breakfast inns line the shores of the ever-popular winter destination of Lake Tahoe, which is famous for its world-class skiing and bright blue skies. Lake Tahoe offers 15 area ski resorts, including Heavenly, Squaw Valley USA, Alpine Meadows, Northstar at Tahoe and Sierra at Tahoe. Winter adventurers will also find a multitude of cross-county ski trails, backcountry snowshoeing, snowmobile tours, ice skating and more.
In South Lake Tahoe and just a mile from the Heavenly ski resort, Black Bear Inn is an elegant, rustic lodge in offering luxury accommodations in a relaxed mountain setting. Black Bear Inn's main lodge has five comfortable guest rooms, each with private bath, king bed and a gas fireplace. The inn also offers three romantic cabins and a hot tub gazebo nestled beneath the pine trees. Each cabin has a private patio. A full, hot breakfast is served each morning.
On Lake Tahoe's quiet West Shore, the historic Tahoma Meadows Bed and Breakfast Cottages is a collection of charming little red cabins tucked among the sugar pines. All of the cottages have private entrances and baths, many with claw foot soaking tubs. Some of the cottages also have fireplaces, and some have views of the lake through the pines. After a day on the slopes, guests will find complimentary snacks and drinks waiting for them in the common room and a family-style breakfast served every morning.
A little further north along the lake, The Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe offers more cozy cottages nestled among the pines, just a stone’s throw from the lake. The cottages were built in 1938 in “Old Tahoe” style with knotty pine paneling, and feature inviting stone fireplaces, newly remodeled private baths and private entrances. The main lodge is open to all guests to sit around the crackling fire and nibble on homemade cookies. The inn also features a private sauna and hearty country breakfasts served each morning.
Just a half-block from the shores of North Lake Tahoe, Shooting Star Bed & Breakfast is a contemporary lodge-style inn with inspiring lake views and two fireplaces in its common areas. The three-room inn features luxurious accommodations, private baths and gourmet breakfasts. The inn is within a fifteen-minute drive of Squaw Valley USA, Alpine Meadows and Northstar at Tahoe. Shuttle services are available.
Further north near historic Truckee, Donner Lake Inn is nestled on two forested acres across the street from Donner Lake. It’s within an easy drive of several major downhill and cross-country ski areas. The contemporary-style inn features a common area with a fireplace, books, games and large-screen television. The guest rooms each have gas fireplaces, full baths and private entrances.
historic sanD rock farm Bed & breakfast
Goat Cheese Soufflé
Makes 12 servings
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for buttering ramekins
3 tablespoons cake flour
1 cup milk
10 ounces goat cheese, divided
3 egg yolks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup egg whites (about 7 egg whites)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter 12 (5-ounce) ramekins or standard muffin cups. Dust with breadcrumbs, then turn out excess breadcrumbs. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, add flour. Whisk in milk and cook for about 3 minutes, until mixture has thickened to the consistency of a thin pudding.
Crumble three-fourths of the goat cheese into a bowl. Pour hot milk mixture over goat cheese; mix well. Add egg yolks; mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Beat egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold one half of egg whites into milk mixture, then fold in remaining egg whites. Divide one half of milk mixture among the ramekins. Crumble remaining goat cheese into ramekins, then top with remaining milk mixture.
Put ramekins in a large baking pan. Add enough boiling water to baking pan to come halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and let ramekins stand in pan for 15 minutes. Using a towel to hold ramekins, run a knife around the inside rim to loosen soufflés. Turn out soufflés onto serving plate to serve.
“This soufflé is one of our most popular dishes. It is wonderful atop a seasonal salad, such as springtime asparagus tips, English peas and baby greens or sun-dried tomatoes and summer corn with romaine lettuce. In fall, try caramelized onion, diced apples and butter lettuce. In winter, try greens with balsamic vinaigrette and dried fruits.” -- Historic Sand Rock Farm Bed & Breakfast
For more delicious recipes from CABBI-member inns, order our CABBI Cookbook online or peruse recipe collections in our Online Recipe Box.
Valentine's Day Specials and Packages
Follow Cupid’s arrow and bring your sweetheart to the in Calistoga, California for the "Heart to Heart Special" this Valentine's Day. The Heart to Heart Special includes a 25-minute chocolate hydrotherapy mineral mud bath, a 50-minute couple's signature massage, a beautiful bouquet of roses, a bottle of sparkling wine, Napa Valley truffles and a personal love note. The special is $309 and can be added to any room night in February. Room rates start as low as $129 plus tax.
Enjoy a pampered getaway to Healdsburg with Valentine's Day Package. The package includes a candle lit, rose petal turndown on the night of your choosing, chocolates and local sparkling wine with keepsake flutes and a romantic movie to watch while you’re here (be sure to ask the concierge for popcorn!) The movie will be yours to take home. The package is valid for any three-night stay beginning between February 10-15, 2011.
Snuggle up in front of the fireplace, sip superb California wines, indulge in chocolates, sneak away for a secluded picnic, melt under the hands of an experienced masseuse and experience a restorative getaway. For the ultimate romantic escape, book your favorite room at the in Mendocino ($210-$385 per night) and for $430 extra the inn will include a romance basket, a backpack picnic and hot stone massages for two.
Escape to Santa Barbara's coastal hideaway for lovers. During the month of February, stay two nights at the and add a third night for half price. Or choose to stay for free on your fourth night. The Old Yacht Club Inn is located just one block from East Beach's long, sandy shore bordered by the grassy, tree-lined Santa Barbara Park. The area is a favorite for special romantic activities, including the Sunday afternoon Santa Barbara Art Show or a lovers' stroll to Stearn's Wharf.
During the month of February, in Palm Springs is offering a Valentine's special reduced rate of $150 ($250 with heated pool) per night. Las Fuentes Inn and Gardens is a very private, 800 square foot suite with a fireplace, jacuzzi tub, private Japanese spa and more.
Couples who enjoy great food and the great outdoors will love romantic package special: "Dinner and Champagne plus Yosemite in Winter." Book a three night stay at the Hotel Charlotte and reserve a table at the Cafe Charlotte on at least one of those nights, and you will receive complimentary glasses of champagne for two, an entry pass good for seven days to Yosemite National Park, and a CD of Yosemite Audio Adventure's Groveland to Yosemite tour to keep. Room rates are $119-$159. The special is valid anytime during the month of February and requires a three-night minimum three night stay (subject to room availability). Must mention special by name and make dinner reservations at the time of booking.
For a special package price, you and your sweetheart can enjoy a one night stay and a romantic dinner at the in Jamestown, California. Select the inn's "Dinner for Two" prepared tableside or choose from the inn's special Valentine's menu. In the morning, enjoy a breakfast buffet served in the dining room. Taxes and gratuities are included with the package. Only $257 per couple. Available February 12, 13 or 14, 2011.