In a roundup of historic B&Bs in the San Francisco Bay Area, we highlight the ABCs of six you’ll want to know about. “A” is for appealing, “B” is for breakfast and “C” is for charming. When a local getaway is called for, these time-honored inns provide bed and breakfast — and much more — in a special location beyond the city limits.
Featured Photo: Raford Inn
Mountain Home Inn
Only 20 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge but a world away. Among the redwoods 900 feet up on a Mt. Tamalpais ridge, peace and quiet meet the clouds and the sky at this secluded B&B above Mill Valley. Utterly breathtaking and exceptionally magical, more than a century ago this enviable location attracted a Swiss-German couple to build a mountainside inn. Today, 10 rustic guest rooms may have a wood-burning fireplace, a Jacuzzi, a deck, and wonderful views from above the clouds. Continental breakfast served on the sun deck is included and both lunch and a candlelit dinner are available at the inn’s restaurant. All rooms have free Wi-Fi. mtnhomeinn.com
The Pelican Inn
Right down to the dart board by the tiny bar, everything about this stucco-fronted pub tucked away in Muir Beach feels authentically English (take it from this Brit). Upstairs from the restaurant that serves hearty fare and fresh produce from nearby farms, there are seven cozy guest rooms and a snug room kitted out with books, games, overstuffed chairs and a fireplace. Overnight visitors may partake in a traditional English breakfast of bacon and eggs, bangers, grilled tomatoes, and toast with marmalade. Irish oatmeal with local honey butter comes with fruit, orange juice, tea or coffee. To commune with nature, wander across the grassy lawn (ideal for croquet) down to Muir Beach or drive to nearby Muir Woods National Monument. pelicaninn.com
Mill Rose Inn
Flowers, flowers everywhere, from the window boxes to the charming gazebo in the garden. A Half Moon Bay landmark since 1903, this upscale B&B is just one mile from Half Moon Bay State Beach and 4 miles from Half Moon Bay Golf Links. More Cotswolds than Silicon Valley, the property is decorated with English antiques, patterned wallpaper and coordinated chintz. Six guest rooms have features such as period fireplaces, brass beds, and claw foot bathtubs. In the best of B&B traditions, there’s a champagne breakfast served in the dining room, as well as a cheese platter with wine in the afternoon. Browse the bookshelves and settle into an Adirondack chair. Free parking and Wi-Fi. millroseinn.com
Great for walkers, this quaint Victorian inn is two blocks from the square in Sonoma’s historic downtown Healdsburg. Through original windows and touches of stained glass, sunlight floods the south-facing front reception room in this achingly pretty, salmon-colored 1869 Italianate named for the 80 camellias in its garden. Hot breakfast is served at the mahogany dining room table Healdsburg’s first-ever B&B where antiques abound. Now owned by the Wilson Artisan Wineries family, guests enjoy a glass of wine on the house each evening and complimentary wine tasting at 11 boutique Sonoma wineries. Nine guest rooms have free Wi-Fi, there’s an outdoor pool and free parking. camelliainn.com
A one-word description of The George? Elegant. On the National Register of Historic Places, the gracious 1891 landmark has been reimagined as a luxury boutique inn with nine one-of-a-kind guest rooms. Cooked to order breakfast is prepared by the resident chef in a state-of-the art kitchen to be enjoyed in the sunny dining room beside the front parlor with fireplace. At once classic and charming, the 2021 renovation is also contemporary to provide exceptional comfort and deluxe amenities. Relax in the garden and walk to Downtown Napa in five minutes. Free Wi-Fi and parking in the rear. thegeorgenapa.com
Surround yourself with hummingbirds, yet wake up just 15 minutes’ drive along vineyard country roads from downtown Healdsburg Square. Raford Inn is an 1880 Victorian-era Russian River Valley gem set in a working estate vineyard where palm trees and redwoods co-exist. Enjoy wine and cheese in the evening by the fireplace, breakfast relaxing on white wicker furniture on the veranda overlooking those million dollar wine country views. Six guest rooms, some with four poster beds, or fireplace, or private patio. Free parking and Wi-Fi. rafordinn.com
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