Coastal Retreats - Getaways in Big Sur, Sonoma Coast, Pescadero


Coastal Retreats

The holiday rush is coming. Don’t panic. Get out of town for a mellow, stress-free weekend. These three seaside escapes are all about unplugging. Literally.

Treebones Big Sur

Blissed to the Bones

Yurts are usually found on the vast steppes of Mongolia. But Treebones Resort offers all-yurt accommodations perched high above the Pacific in California’s own Big Sur—though the Mongols wouldn’t recognize the polished pine floors, queen-sized beds, and cozy quilts to keep you warm. All yurts feature real barbecue grills and wooden decks where you can watch the ocean churn below. If you’re inspired to explore, Treebones’ homemade guidebook offers detailed information on nearby hikes and beach walks. A favorite pastime is jade hunting along Jade Cove. The stretch of beaches from Willow Creek to Sand Dollar Beach is prime for collecting the green stones. Jade or no jade, the setting itself is a gem.

Treebones Resort, 71895 Highway 1, Big Sur; 877-4 BIG SUR. Yurts start at $129 for two guests; minimum two-night stay on weekends.

Sonoma Solitude

Jenner in Sonoma County is where the River (Russian) meets the Sea (Pacific). And the scenic Jenner Inn & Cottages offers city dwellers a rare indulgence in isolation; they’re so detached that cell phones don’t even work there. If you get sated on solitude, there are plenty of activities, including looking for river otters in the estuary (kayak provided by Lotus Kayak Rentals), whale watching from a boat out of Bodega Bay (through Will’s Bait and Tackle), wine tasting at Wine & Cheese Tasting of Sonoma County in Duncans Mills (a five-mile drive from Jenner), or hiking to a private waterfall (a one-mile stroll behind the Jenner Inn). Just be sure to get back in time for a long soothing soak in the tub—and an unforgettable bedtime lullaby by your beachfront buddies, 300 California harbor seals.

Jenner Inn & Cottages, 10400 Highway 1, Jenner; 707-865-2377. River-front rooms start at $138; two-night minimum on weekends. Lotus Kayak Rentals, 707-865-9604.
Will’s Bait and Tackle, 707-875-2323; $45 for 3 – 4 hour tour.
Wine & Cheese Tasting of Sonoma County, 25179 Main St., Duncans Mills, 707-865-0565.

Costanoa Comforts

Weekending at the swanky lodge at Costanoa outside Pescadero poses a dilemma. Should you stay indoors, gazing at the crashing surf to the sound of your Bose stereo? Or leave your comfy confines for raw romance? Yep, it’s mating season. Get a guide to escort you to the elephant seals’ breeding grounds at Año Nuevo State Reserve. The PDA between mammals the size of a Subaru has to be seen to be appreciated (tours are available mid-December through March). Other local activities include sunset hikes to the Whitehouse Creek tide pools, adobe brick making, and yoga. Whatever you choose, end your day in Costanoa’s lodge lobby in front of a roaring fire. Feeling like one of those elephant seals yet?

Costanoa, 2001 Rossi Rd. at Highway 1, Pescadero; 650-879-1100. Rooms in the Lodge start at $195; tent bungalows start at $115.

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