“Live simply and eat fresh.” That’s the motto at Mar Vista Cottages
, a gourmet hideaway located on the ruggedly beautiful Mendocino coast. The rustic cottages and spectacular location are allure enough, but here’s the bonus: Guests at Mar Vista get full access to the site’s sprawling organic garden, filled with a potpourri of in-season produce and herbs: spinach, kale, tender green beans, strawberries, oregano, and thyme, to name a few; Mar Vista provides a list of what’s ready for picking, and venerable pros, Farmer Tom and the full-time gardener, Ginger, are available to answer questions and provide some tips. Cottages come with kitchens and a harvest basket waiting to be filled with the fare you want to cook up. Fancy a scrumptious veggie omelet? The on-site hens ensure that fresh (and multicolored!) eggs are in full supply; you can even join Farmer Tom in the daily egg collection. Need a little culinary inspiration? The owners have a recipe book for you to flip through (a favorite is baked mussels, harvested off the rocks on the beach just across the street). Between meals, you can hike along the coast, surf, or just sunbathe. After your gourmet experience, end your day with a sweet soak in the Japanese tub, which uses water from the creek that flows through the property. Go ahead, veg out.
Mar Vista Cottages, 35101 South Highway 1, Gualala; 707-884-3522. Cottages start at $175 per night, and there is a two night minimum. Note: Mar Vista Cottages is very dog friendly!