Welcome to Rich Life Travel Friday!
This time I am taking you to Mendocino on the Northern California coast.
The first getaway my husband and I took when we were dating was to Mendocino back in 1999. Although I’d been living in Northern California for almost 15 years at that time, I had yet to explore that part of the California coast.
It was an unforgettable trip. We relaxed, we hiked, we ate lots of great food and we got off the grid. Back then cell phone connection in the area was nil, so it really was a “get away” in the truest sense.
Although cell service is mostly available these days in Mendocino, that doesn’t change the fact that this quaint village’s vibe is relaxed and peaceful. Charming, historic buildings line the streets of Mendocino and house shops selling unique crafts, jewelry, clothing, and art. And there are lots of lovely places to get a bite to eat, a cup a coffee or glass of local wine.
The coast in Mendocino is quite dramatic and wild. Rocks jut out from steep cliffs in some places along the coast, while other inlets are often calm, making them ideal for recreational activities like kayaking and diving. I love observing the variety of wildlife in the Mendocino area, including whales that can often be seen certain times of the year.
Our latest getaway to Mendocino was prompted by a desire to experience first-hand the famed Brewery Gulch Inn, about a mile south of town.
After a leisurely drive from Sonoma Valley – a three-hour drive if you stop at wineries and apple farms along the way as we did – we turned off Highway 1 at the water tower and continued up the lengthy driveway to the inn.
From the driveway below, you can see Brewery Gulch Inn among the tall trees.
Little did I know at the time, but the room at the top on the right, with both windows open, would be our home for the night.
The exterior of Brewery Gulch Inn from the entrance is stately, yet seems to meld with its natural surroundings making this Craftsman-style property, with a large porte cochere and pitched roof, welcoming and impressive.
We registered at the front desk with a friendly and helpful staff member who gave us the layout of the property and showed us to our room. We stayed upstairs in Smuggler’s Cove, which is also the name of the section of Pacific Coast that our room overlooked.
We had a lovely, bubbly surprise waiting for us: local sparkling wine on ice! It was time to pop a cork and celebrate arriving at this serene and welcoming inn.
Beautifully embroidered linens, perfectly fluffy pillows, soft sheets and leather club chairs were just a few of our room’s luxuries. We also enjoyed high-end bath products, plush robes and we were given a box of locally-made caramels!
The view from our room was spectacular, even on a foggy day.
Don’t you love it when hotel’s windows actually open? It’s so refreshing!
We knew the gas fireplace and warm blanket would make our room’s ambiance even cozier.
But first we wanted to explore the property.
Through the French doors in the downstairs Great Room guests will find a spacious deck. Couches and chairs await visitors and provide a place to read, take in the view or chat, as we did with fellow guests before dinner later that day.
I love the color choices used throughout the Brewery Gulch Inn; all colors found in nature.
And out into nature we went. This is the vast lawn near the entrance to the inn. Brewery Gulch Inn sits on three-acres of land.
Springtime in Mendocino means colorful flowers and greenery. I know I included this iris photo in my Yellow for Spring post, but I thought it was so beautiful, it was worth another look.
On the north side of the inn, you will find walking trails. We spotted this sign and decided to check out the trails.
After weaving through a series of paths, we ended up near the water tower. We saw birds and a deer or two and then we saw the biggest wild turkey we had ever laid eyes on! It was almost as big as an ostrich, only without the very long legs. Wildlife must eat well around Mendocino!
After our outdoor explorations came to an end, we returned to the inn’s Great Room. Bill, my husband, was absolutely fascinated by the giant steel and glass-faced wood-burning fireplace. And I was taken with the inn’s artwork and Craftsman-style furniture.
I also loved the two-story skylight that brought just the right amount of illumination to the large yet cozy area. See the beams near the fireplace? We learned that most of Brewery Gulch Inn was built from salvaged first growth virgin redwood timber found buried in silt in the river nearby. Mendocino was a big lumber supplier in the mid-1800s. The logs used to build the inn had washed away during a flood and weren’t recovered for over a century. They refer to the wood as “guiltless” virgin redwood. So interesting!
Like most people, when I travel I like to have coffee and tea at the ready. Brewery Gulch Inn has a great spread available to guests around the clock. If there isn’t freshly brewed coffee made, you can make your own by the cup. And they have lots of great quality teas available, along with baked goods, in the morning and afternoon.
Wine hour is in the late afternoon and is followed by what they call a “light” dinner buffet which is complimentary for guests. But there was nothing light about it, in my opinion! We had a full meal and were very satisfied with our dinner of roasted lamb, fingerling potatoes, and greens. Plus we had some lovely regional wine and beer. It was so nice to not have to drive anywhere for dinner.
When we first arrived at the inn, I immediately noticed this giant Scrabble gameboard. I am a HUGE Scrabble fan and rarely go a day without playing at least one game on my phone. It’s my little stress reliever.
My husband, on the other hand, does not care one iota for Scrabble. But he’s a nice guy and indulged me for one game. Just wait until I order one of these for the house. He will be thrilled!
After Scrabble, we returned to our room and fell asleep in our wonderfully comfortable bed in our so-quiet-you-can-hear-a-pin-drop room.
The next morning, after a great night’s sleep, we went downstairs to the Great Room for fresh coffee, bringing our mugs back to our room. We enjoyed the view in between sips, then got ready for breakfast.
Brewery Gulch Inn offers a made-to-order breakfast with several delectable choices. I picked this interesting dish of arugula, bacon, avocado dressed with an herb sauce over bread with country potatoes and fruit. It was so tasty and filling!
Before we checked out of Brewery Gulch Inn, I had get one of their coffee mugs to bring home with me, available for sale in their little gift shop.
I use it all the time for my morning coffee and think of my relaxing and peaceful stay at Brewery Gulch Inn each time I take a sip.
I wholeheartedly recommend Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino, especially if you’re looking for a place to get away from it all with your favorite person. It’s so peaceful and surrounded by such natural beauty, you can’t help but unwind and decompress.
Rates range from $275 – 445 per night during their low season (December – April) and $325 – $495 during high season (May – November). Contact Brewery Gulch Inn website for more information and to find out about their special offers.
Stay tuned for my second post about our Mendocino getaway in the next Rich Life Travel Friday!
Have you visited Mendocino?
Make it a rich day!
Disclosure: Brewery Gulch Inn hosted our stay, but all opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.