Ocean View Lodging - Hope Cottage - Davenport Roadhouse - Treebones Resort


Stimulus Plan

Need an overnight beach escape to relax and regroup? We’ve got a plan. Book a night or two at one of these retreats that have huge ocean views, a lot of character, and some sweet solitude. Your seaview sleepaway awaits.  


Hope Cottage Marin

Middle-earth Meets Marin

A Hobbit hamlet perched on the edge of a mountain amid Monterey pines, Hope Cottage is a storybook retreat. This one-room cottage is operated by Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, and is accessible by a 30-minute hike up Green Gulch Trail. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean (as far as Bolinas Lagoon) and Mount Tam and Muir Woods to the north. Your surroundings are 75,000 acres of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and your only neighbors are red-tailed hawks cruising at eye level. Bring your binoculars, kick off your shoes, and watch the sunset from your 680-foot-high aerie. At night, savor the so-close-you-can-touch-'em stars. In the morning, enjoy your coffee while watching the waves crash on Muir Beach below. The interior of Hope Cottage is classic Hobbit: low ceiling, wooden panels, round table with two chairs, a futon couch, a tiny kitchen, and area rugs for splashes of flair. Basic food supplies are included: milk, cereal, bread, pasta, coffee and tea. There's also a cozy wood stove and electricity. That good bottle of wine you've been saving? Bring it.

Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, 1601 Shoreline Hwy., Muir Beach; 415-383-3134. Hope Cottage is $200 per night, with a two-night minimum on weekends; breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the communal dining hall are included. The cottage books up to a year in advance.

Topic 1 photo courtesy of Daniel Dreilinger

Davenport Roadhoue

Roadhouse 2.0

Looking for an overnight getaway that offers easy beach access, plenty of outdoor recreation, and a good price? Head to Davenport Roadhouse. Just 10 minutes north of Santa Cruz in the 370-person town of Davenport, this 100-year-old coastal gem has been remodeled eco-style. (The carpet is made out of recycled materials, the heating and sound insulation uses recycled blue jeans, and even the robes are made of bamboo and soy fibers.) All eight rooms are located on the second floor and are connected by a wraparound balcony with ocean views. Right across the street is Davenport Beach, where colorful nuggets of beach glass wash up, thanks to a nearby glassblowing studio that releases its duds into the ocean. The Roadhouse's first-floor restaurant features organic food made from locally grown ingredients (artichoke lasagna and panzanella salad are house specialties). An adjacent bakery is filled with sweet goodies … cinnamon buns with whipped cream cheese frosting. Jesse Katz, who co-runs the Roadhouse with his girlfriend, has the beta on where to go and what to do in the area (even leading group hikes into the foothills to a patch of mint leaves—perfect for afternoon tea). With rooms running $120 per night on weekends, this might be the best ocean-view deal on the Pacific coast. Bargain bonanza!

BONUS: Check out nearby Hole in the Wall Beach (one of our favorites), explore Big Basin by bicycle, or, in the winter, commune with the elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Reserve.

Davenport Roadhouse at the Cash Store, 1 Davenport Ave., Davenport; 831-426-8801. Rooms are on the small side. The Captain Suite is the biggest room with the biggest views. Rooms are $120 per night on the weekends, $130 for the Captain Suite.

Treebones Resort Big Sur

Blissed to the Bones

Yurts are traditionally found on the vast steppes of Mongolia. But perched high above the Pacific Ocean, in California's own Big Sur, the quirky Treebones Resort offers all-yurt accommodations—though the Mongols wouldn't recognize the polished pine floors, queen-sized beds, and cozy quilts to keep you warm. All yurts feature wooden decks from which you can watch the water churn below. And the large communal hot tub overlooking the ocean is a nice way to warm your bones while watching the sun sink below the horizon. If you're inspired to explore, Treebones' homemade guidebook offers detailed information on nearby hikes and beach walks. One favorite local pastime is jade-hunting along Jade Cove. The stretch of beaches from Willow Creek to Sand Dollar Beach is prime for collecting the green, semiprecious 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 $155 for two guests; minimum two-night stay on weekends.

Holiday Shopping: Backcountry Bounties

The gear head. The mountain junkie. The fresh-air fanatic. Have any of these types on your holiday gift list? Avoid the retail store madness and head straight to the outdoor lover's equivalent of Santa's Workshop : Backcountry.com.

The Backcountry.com Difference

They don't just sell the gear, they use it (a lot!). So it's tried, tested, and approved. With no sales tax, a 100% guarantee, and free shipping for orders over $50, why wouldn't you check it out?

Top Picks this Winter:

Dynastar Legend Pro Rider Ski: This is one ski that is versatile in all conditions. Cut through the crud and cruise the groomers with an all-mountain ski that rakes in rave reviews from all the skiing magazines, including the 2009 Powder "Skier's Choice Award. " Recommended with the Look Px12 Binding.

Burton Vapor Snowboard: This lightweight, cutting-edge snowboard stands above all the rest for superior performance. The Vapor provides more float in the powder than ever thought possible, plus precision control for ripping rides. Combine it with the Burton Cartel EST Binding and it will "change your life, " according to Backcountry.com's resident snowboard guru.

SPECIAL PROMOTION: Don't wait! When the skis and snowboards are gone, they're gone. For every $100 you spend today, you get $20 back to spend in January. Details.


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