As the spring rolls into summer, thoughts turn to beach getaways. And the Pacific Coast is your answer, so close to Wine Country with its 55 miles of spectacular sand landscapes, soaring cliffs, bluffs, and hiking trails.
Now is a great time to book your vacation, at inns, to hotels, resorts and private rentals overlooking the water. The coastal waters and its stunningly beautiful oceanfront sunsets are popular with visitors from all around the world, so rooms fill up quickly.
One of the pleasures of a Sonoma Coast vacation is that you really don’t need a car, since you’ll want to stay close to your home-away-from-home and appreciate your beach location. Don’t bother navigating the curvy, narrow lanes of Hwy. 1, either, and hire a chauffeured Town Car to take you to and from your retreat.
Here are some lovely places for you to unwind:
Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa
There are just 18 rooms at this posh Mediterranean style property, yet the grounds span 60 acres of rolling hills, and an array of resort amenities. You can dine in the private restaurant, pamper yourself in the full-service spa, float and swim in the sparkling pool, and even take an equestrian ride, thanks to the on-site horse stable. Accommodations impress with wood burning fireplaces, radiant heated Italian slate floors, and double-sized Jacuzzis, plus terraced gardens outside and a pet-friendly policy for several of the rooms. Or, go all out with your entire family and book the Grand Residence a 3,600 square foot house expansive with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two private patios, and luxury accommodations for up to 12 people.
16702 Coast Highway 1, Bodega, 888-404-2255, scvilla.com.
The TideSong home is your own private estate, set on 1.5 acres near Goat Rock State Beach along Highway and the coveted Kortum Coastal Hiking Trail. The two bedroom/two bath rental home encourages exploring its surroundings, then relaxing with meditative views from the home’s wraparound deck set with a Jacuzzi hot tub.
10439 Highway 1, Jenner, 707-865-9905, jennervacationrentals.com.
Wildlife lovers find heaven here, since the inn backs up to four acres of rugged land and a year round creek that attract eagles, hawks, river otters, bobcats, deer, seals and more than 200 species of birds. The quaint inn has been a landmark for nearly four decades, and indeed, it feels a bit like time has stopped, since the charming rooms don’t have TVs, and cell reception is lousy. Bring your dog along, too – Fido will enjoy hiking the area with you.
10400 Coast Highway 1, Jenner, 707-865-2377, jennerinn.com.
River’s End Restaurant & Inn
Expansive windows bring Jenner’s amazing beauty inside the rooms, via sliding glass doors opening onto balconies, or the bomb, the glass “outdoor” showers in some of the rooms. Sunsets here are fantastically gorgeous, savored from your cozy room finished in wood trim and seat with leather armchairs. Be sure to plan a sunset dinner in the restaurant, too, perched on a bluff overlooking the mouth of the Russian River where it enters the Pacific Ocean. The Cal-cuisine is delicious, and the terrace is especially popular during the migrating season, when people converge for watching seals and whales on their annual journey. Delicious bites range from wasabi tobiko-topped oysters to Petaluma duck confit egg rolls, sea bass with pomegranates and beets, and applewood smoked filet mignon dotted with Pt. Reyes bleu cheese.
11048 CA-1, Jenner, 707-865-2484, ilovesunsets.com.
Timber Cove Inn
The drive here can be a wild ride, hugging Highway 1 on the edge of the cliffs soaring above the crashing waves and jagged rocks of the Sonoma Coast. But it’s so worth it. Recently renovated for a more modern lodge mood, the inn offers rooms with spectacular ocean or forest view rooms, private spa tubs, fireplaces and skylights. Check out the restaurant, too, with its extraordinary ocean views from floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room.
1780 North Coast Highway 1, Jenner, 707-847-3234, timbercoveinn.com.
Bay Hill Mansion B&B
The mansion name is fitting for this extravagant white and blue-trimmed inn ruling atop a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Each of the five guest rooms is individually designed, including three king suites, through a Victorian inspired theme. Luxury is another theme, including deep soaking tubs in the marble baths, 1000 thread-count linens and Turkish cotton towels, and remote-controlled infrared fireplaces. Special amenities include a personal concierge for kayaking, horseback riding and such, and a choice of two homemade breakfast menus daily.
3919 Bay Hill Road, Bodega Bay, 877-468-1588, bayhillmansion.com.
Bodega Bay Lodge
You can smell the ocean’s fragrance from your AAA Four Diamond hotel room, with private balconies beckoning for sunbathing or stargazing. Relax in your luxury lodgings, your room outfitted with a cozy fireplace, and make time for a spa treatment in the stone building overlooking the coastline. Lazy around in the outdoor heated swimming pool and whirlpool spa, and then head to dinner at The Duck Club Restaurant, for dishes like Dungeness crab, salmon, and other ocean goodies.
103 Coast Highway One, Bodega Bay, 888-875-2250, bodegabaylodge.com.