Perched on the edge of the continent, Sea Ranch Lodge is upscale-rustic—an all-wood architectural masterpiece so in synch with its surroundings that it’s nearly camouflaged by nature. A late winter visit is like stumbling upon a little retreat to call your own. Lounging is an art here: all but one of the 20 rooms have ocean views; the inviting lobby has a stone fireplace and cushy leather couches; and the outdoor Adirondack chairs are sweet for sunset viewing. Dinner at the lodge offers a choice between fine dining and a hearty bar menu (the burger and fries are recommended), but the real highlight is the complimentary gourmet breakfast in the small dining room overlooking the Pacific. Enjoy premium coffee and delicious daily specials such as French toast with fresh blueberries and whipped cream, all while sitting beside huge windows with uninterrupted views of the rugged cliffs and ocean. With the soaring views, bottomless coffee, and tasty eats, don’t be surprised if your day starts after noon.
BONUS: Right outside the lodge doors is a 10-mile bluffside trail that makes beach hopping a leisure sport. With the ocean on one side and the distinctive Sea Ranch homes on the other, be on the lookout for a Do Not Disturb sign after a couple of miles; this signals an official seal preserve. If you look below, you’ll spot a large cove where the seals will most likely be doing their own seaside lounging.
Sea Ranch Lodge, 60 Sea Walk Dr., Sea Ranch; 707-785-2371. Rooms start at $230 per night for the weekend; $169 for mid-week. Very dog-friendly!
Alternative lodging: The Mar Vista Cottages north of Sea Ranch, located on the “Banana Belt” (so called for the lack of summer fog), are simple and comfy; the food from their onsite organic garden is delicious. Weekend rates start at $155 per night.