Photo by STIL
With 840 miles of coastline, California offers some of the most spectacular beaches in the country, making it a beach-lover’s paradise. The California Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns (CABBI.com) has compiled a list of boutique hotels and bed and breakfast inns within a stone’s throw of some of California’ best-known beaches as well as little-known gems of sea and sand.
Just two blocks from the glittery sands of Coronado Beach, both the Hotel Marisol Coronado and the 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach are great picks for a romantic, boutique hotel on San Diego’s Coronado Island. Built in the 1920s, the Hotel Marisol Coronado is a Mediterranean-style boutique hotel with a touch of modern glamour. The historic 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach exudes tranquility with an understated elegance and upscale coastal vibe. Guests of both inns are treated to a complimentary breakfast each morning and complimentary use of the inns’ bicycles, beach chairs, beach towels, and beach umbrellas.
Photo by Luke Bender
On Catalina Island, three inns are just steps from the sandy beach along Avalon Bay. Aurora Hotel is a beacon of modern design, combining a sleek style with warm hospitality. The inn’s rooftop deck features panoramic ocean views. The Avalon Hotel also features a rooftop deck with ocean views, but with an understated, elegant Craftsman style and an enchanting garden patio. Built in 1916, Hotel Catalina offers Victorian charm with harbor views from its three balconies and a garden patio with a hot tub. Adventurous guests can choose to explore Catalina Island’s remote windward side, where they can hike to some of the most unspoiled and isolated beaches in the state.
A block from the beach in Santa Monica Canyon, the historic Channel Road Inn offers an inviting alternative to big-city hotels in Los Angeles. The inn is just a five-minute walk to Will Rogers State Beach, where visitors will find not only the expanse of sand and sea, but also a 30-mile coastal bike path and the famed Santa Monica Pier. Complimentary bicycles are available from the inn. Some of the guest rooms offer ocean views and fireplaces or sun-warmed decks. The inn also features a flowering garden, a hot tub, and beautiful living room and fireplace with rare Batchelder tiles.
In the laid-back beach town of Cayucos, On the Beach Bed & Breakfast offers a stunning location overlooking the sand at Cayucos State Beach and the town’s historic pier. Many of the guest rooms feature ocean views with balconies, while all of the rooms offer gas fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs and an elegant coastal vibe. With a hot tub and lounge seating, the inn’s rooftop sundeck provides a relaxing spot to watch the waves. A stay at the inn includes a gourmet breakfast, local wines paired with appetizers, and homemade desserts served each day.
Photo by Hendrik Cornelissen
A number of boutique hotels and bed and breakfast inns in Carmel-by-the-Sea are within an easy stroll of the pristine white sands and blue waters at Carmel Beach. Just one block from the beach, guests of the Colonial Terrace can be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves. The inn provides beach umbrellas, beach chairs, beach blankets, and sand castle building toys for a day on the sand. Just four blocks the beach, L’Auberge Carmel is a European-style luxury hotel built in 1929. The inn is reminiscent of a French country estate with graceful architecture and a central courtyard garden. In the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Coachman’s Inn is just a five-minute stroll to the beach. The inn offers a pet-friendly rooms and an outdoor hot tub and sauna.
Perched on a bluff above Cowell Beach and the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the West Cliff Inn provides guests with both splendid views of the Pacific and an easy walk down to the sand. With a breezy, coastal-inspired décor and ocean views from many guest rooms, the inn blends the modern luxuries of a boutique hotel with the traditional amenities and architecture of a B&B. Guests can take in the historic boardwalk, bike along the water, or surf the waves that made Santa Cruz famous. Inn guests are free to borrow boogie boards, sand toys, and beach towels for their day in the sun.
By Kyle Cottrel
North of Golden Gate Bridge, The Pelican Inn is a short walk to the secluded, sandy cove at Muir Beach. Trails leading from both the inn and beach connect visitors with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and hidden beach coves. The English Tudor-style country inn is steeped in 16th-Century English tradition with seven guest rooms and a lively pub and restaurant. The inn features whitewashed walls, rough-hewn timbers, leaded windows, and nary a straight line in sight. The inn is named after the sailing ship of Sir Francis Drake, who became the first English captain to make landfall in Northern California in 1579.
Perched atop a bluff overlooking a mile of dramatic beachfront, the historic Elk Cove Inn & Spa features spectacular ocean views and easy access via private stairs to the driftwood-strewn beach below. Set back from the road and surrounded by native trees, a creek, and the ocean, the property offers a variety of guest rooms ranging from cozy hideaways to lavish suites with ocean views. An amazing breakfast spread is served each morning in the oceanfront dining room. A short walk brings guests to Greenwood State Beach, a hidden gem that looks out onto a rock formation (Gunderson Rock) towering just offshore.
The Alegria Oceanfront Inn and Cottages is nestled on a bluff overlooking Mendocino’s Big River Beach. The only oceanfront inn in the village with direct access to the water, most of Alegria’s rooms feature decks with views of the beach and the sea. A short path from the inn’s backyard garden winds down the bluff, bringing guests to the wide sandy beach in just 200 footsteps. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning in the dining room overlooking the beach. In addition to the beach, Mendocino village restaurants, shops, museums, and galleries are within walking distance from the inn.
Along the remote, northern-most stretch of Highway 1, Westport Hotel offers ocean views in the tiny seaside hamlet of Westport. A secret beach with rock outcroppings lies just a few hundred steps of the hotel. It’s an idyllic place for picnicking, sun-bathing, wildlife viewing, or catching the sunset as it melts into the Pacific Ocean. Westport also boasts other unspoiled beaches, miles of hiking trails, verdant hills, and secluded lakes. Built in 1890 and handsomely restored, the six-room Westport Hotel is an unexpected gem that combines Victorian architecture with airy, light-filled rooms that appeal to a modern aesthetic.
For more information on these and other CABBI-member inns, visit: www.cabbi.com.
Photo by Jorge Saavedra
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