Best B&Bs for Soaking Up California's Classic Surf Scene
Catch some waves or just soak up California's classic surf scene with a stay at a bed and breakfast inn across the sand from some of California's legendary surf breaks. Some of the inns offer special amenities for surfers including storage of surfboards, outdoor showers for rinsing boards and wetsuits, and package deals for surfing lessons.
Located across the street from three popular Santa Cruz surf breaks, including Pleasure Point, the four-room Pleasure Point Inn is an upscale B&B with a laid-back attitude. California beach living is the theme here with contemporary décor, a rooftop deck and hot tub with panoramic ocean views, and an outdoor shower for rinsing surfboards and wetsuits. Guest rooms amenities include a private entrance, patio seating, gas fireplace, complimentary WiFi, flat screen TV, Bose iPod dock, refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker. An expanded continental breakfast is served daily. Pleasure Point Inn also offers complimentary surfboard storage, use of cruiser bicycles, fresh-baked afternoon cookies, and Room and Board learn-to-surf packages.
The West Cliff Inn sits on a bluff across from Cowells Beach in Santa Cruz, which is an ideal beach for learning to surf. Sign up for a lesson on the spot or grab a board from the beach stand stocked with surfboards, wetsuits and booties. Borrow a bicycle from the inn and pedal the bike path along West Cliff Drive to watch the pros ride the waves at the legendary Steamer Lane. Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, which is housed inside the lighthouse just above the lane, chronicles over 120 years of surfing history in Santa Cruz. Back at the inn, unwind in an ocean-view room with coastal-inspired décor and a jetted spa tub. The inn also provides afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres, evening turndown service and a sumptuous breakfast buffet.
With a central location convenient to two popular surfing beaches, Pacific Grove's Gosby House Inn is a great choice for surfers visiting the region. Asilomar State Beach is a favorite with experienced surfers seeking reliable, breaking waves. For first timers, sheltered Lover's Point is less than a mile from the inn. The Gosby House Inn's guest rooms feature private entrances; many with private patios, decks and jetted spa tubs. After a day riding the waves, return for the inn's afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres and then start your day the next morning with full, complimentary breakfast. Gosby House Inn's in-town address means you can ditch the car and walk to shops, restaurants and attractions, too.
Also located in Pacific Grove, the Martine Inn is located directly on the water's edge on the Monterey Bay. The surf break at Lover's Point is less than a mile walk from the inn along the coastal path, and Asilomar State Beach is also nearby. The Martine Inn was built in 1890 as a lavish private residence. Now it's a meticulously renovated resort where every fixture and furnishing is an authentic Victorian-era antique and each room has its own decor. Morning brings breakfast on silver, crystal and lace. In the evening, the inn serves wine and hors d'oeuvres, antipasto and fruit. Many of the rooms have fireplaces, claw foot tub, or views of the crashing waves.
In San Diego, the 1906 Lodge is just a block and a half stroll to Coronado Beach, which was recently named the number two beach in the U.S. by MSNBC.com for its “lush subtropical vegetation, Mediterranean climate and fine, sparkling sand.” Grab the inn’s loaner beach chairs and towels and spend the day in the sun. Bring your surfboard or take a surfing, paddle board or kayaking lesson. Beginners head for Shores Beach and while more advanced surfers like North Beach for its south swell. The inn’s Silver Strand Suite features vintage "woody" fabric and surfboard style lamps. The suite also includes a king bed, spa tub, fireplace, refrigerator, wet bar, HD TV, internet, and private porch.
kaleidoscope Inn & Gardens
Kaleidoscope's Baked Blueberry French Toast
Makes 6 Servings
1 24-inch baguette (old south dough French bread…include the crusts)
6 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pecans (or hazelnuts or walnuts)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (about 6-ounces)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Liberally butter a 13x9-inch baking dish. Cut 20 1-inch slices from the baguette and arrange in one layer over bottom of baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, vanilla extract and brown sugar; pour mixture evenly over bread. Cover and chill dish until all liquid is absorbed by the bread, at least 8 hours, or up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a shallow baking pan, spread pecans evenly and toast in oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle pecans and blueberries evenly over French toast mixture. Do not turn off oven.
Over low heat, melt 1/2 stick of butter and mix with 1/4 cup of brown sugar; stir until butter is melted. Drizzle butter mixture over bread. Bake French toast in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until liquid is bubbling. Increase temperature to 400°F and watch to make sure sugar/butter mixture has caramelized before removing from oven. Cut into squares and serve with syrup of choice.
For blueberry syrup: Cook blueberries, lemon juice and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until berries have burst, about 3 minutes. You can strain out blueberries or leave them in. Reheat syrup to serve.
For more delicious recipes from CABBI-member inns, order our CABBI Cookbook online or peruse recipe collections in our Online Recipe Box.
Spa and Massage Packages
Romance Retreat Package provides the perfect excuse to escape to Napa. The package includes two nights in a luxury suite, cottage or carriage house, champagne upon arrival, a 50-minute in-suite couples' massage, VIP wine tasting passes to Napa wineries, a chef-prepared breakfast each morning, and evening wine and cheese. The package is valid July 1 through November 15, 2011. Accommodations in the cottages are $815 plus tax; suites are $875 to $1,015 plus tax; the carriage house is $1,175 plus tax.
With the European Spa Package, you can choose to relax in the spacious elegance of the Old Barn or in the romantic luxury of a European-style private cottage. The package includes two, one hour Swedish, deep tissue or acupressure massages in the privacy of your room or cottage. The package rate is $555 plus tax (a savings of up to $200). Valid Sunday through Thursday, excluding holiday periods. Not valid with other promotions. Subject to availability. Cannot be applied to existing reservations. Call 800.676.1280 to make reservations.
Indulge in a couples' renewal treatment at intimate day spa. The Coastal Indulgence Spa Getaway Package includes a tandem massage, a private aromatherapy steam shower and sauna and two nights' deluxe accommodations. The package is valid weekdays May through October, excluding holidays. The package rate for an ocean view room or small cliff side cottage is $795; an ocean view luxury suite or large cottage is $895. May not be combined with other specials. Call 800-275-2967 to reserve. Cannot be booked online.
Get a great room rate and exclusive spa values with spa packages in Healdsburg. The Deluxe Romance package includes one-night in a king room with a fireplace and jetted tub for two, in-room bath therapy set-up and two and a half hours of pampering spa treatments. Midweek rate is $605; weekend rate is $660. The Personal Pampering Package includes one-night in best available queen room, a bottle of champagne and two and a half hours of pampering spa treatments. Midweek rate is $365; weekend rate is $405. Spa treatments include a 30-minute champagne bath, one-hour massage and one-hour seven-step facial.
Let the trained massage therapists sooth your jangled nerves with a one hour couples massage in the comfort of your room. The inn's Couples Massage Getaway package includes one night's accommodations in an ocean view room, a chilled bottle of local sparkling wine upon arrival, one-hour couples' massage, complimentary continental breakfast, and complimentary wine tasting for two. The package price is $565, including tax and gratuities. An optional Seghesio Family Vineyards Food Pairing or Kendall Jackson Wine Center visit may be added for $35 per person.
At Calistoga's , book any night of the week and receive a 15% discount for all spa services at the inn's sister property, Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort. Two short blocks away, Dr. Wilkinson's offers Calistoga's legendary mud bath, therapeutic massage, facials and much more.
How I Became an Innkeeper
Howard Creek Ranch
by Sally Grigg
In early 1973, after having spent six months backpacking in South America, I returned to San Francisco to be with a friend who was having a baby. After the birth, I made a list of everyone that I knew in rural California that I could visit. I no longer wanted to be in the city. It was too much of a shock to go from the wilderness of the Amazon jungle and the Andes to an urban environment. So I decided to return to my roots. I grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York, but unfortunately it snowed there into May. A farm environment with a better climate seemed like the answer.
The first person on my list was staying in a commune in Northern California. I was young and foolish, but since I had a Great Dane that made me feel safe, I decided to hitchhike to Mendocino. I did not know exactly where I was going, but I had directions of sorts. What an incredible ride. The scenery was spectacular. I arrived late in the afternoon on July 21, 1973. The farm overlooked the ocean and was covered with blackberries and tall grasses. There was an old farmhouse, an enormous barn falling in on itself, and many small cabins and tepees. All were occupied.
I could not find my “friend” anywhere, but I did meet a young man named “Sunny”. We argued heatedly for the first five minutes (he said something that I thought was sexist), and then I fell head over heels in love with him. Unfortunately, he had almost all of the ladies on the commune vying for him. I played it cool. After all, we had already had a fight, but we did go to the beach. I was awestruck over both him and the scenery. He brought his guitar and played for hours sitting on a big piece of driftwood.
The days progressed, and we spent a lot of time together. We hiked up the mountains investigating everything. We walked up the creek, sunning ourselves on sand spits, sitting on rocks in the wilderness, finally making it all the way to the headwaters of Howard Creek. It was an idyllic time. No responsibilities and no worries, just young love in the summer time, just us in the wilderness. The other ladies were not happy, but I was glowing. What was Sunny thinking?
At the end of the summer, I returned to San Francisco where I had work waiting. Sunny promised to follow me down in a few weeks. After two weeks and no word, I decided that he was a flake, and I was well to be rid of him. Then in the third week, he came to San Francisco to get me and take me back with him. I gave notice, packed up my belongings and went with him.
The commune was falling apart. There was no underlying philosophy or goal. The core of the group had decided to go back to school and get on with life. Sunny and I decided to buy the farm and make our life here in paradise. We bought our first twenty acres with all of the old buildings in 1974. I got a job while Sunny worked on the place. We let anyone from the commune stay for $25 a month. Many people stayed, and they started having friends come and visit them. Of course all of the friends really loved it here: a pristine beach, creek, redwoods, bountiful nature and wildlife. What was not to love?
One day Sunny and I just looked at each other, thinking the same thing. We could open a bed and breakfast and charge people who were now coming for free. We worked and worked, got re-zoned and opened in 1978. The rest is history.