Victorian Inn with Lively Ale House and Deli
There’s an absence of modern distractions at San Benito House; that’s in keeping with the old-fashioned character of the place, which was constructed in 1905. There are no phones or televisions in the guest rooms. The atmosphere helps you enjoy the simpler pleasures on hand—a craft beer from the onsite ale house, for example.
In the ale house, the walls are decked out with decorative chalk boards displaying a menu of 18 craft beers and sausages and vintage photographs of Bay Area locals riding steam-powered segways. Enjoy two well drinks here, or sample from an extensive craft beer selection that includes local and imported brews by the bottle or from taps. French doors and flower boxes separate the bar from the garden, where visitors and locals gather for coffee and conversation. At the onsite San Benito Deli, you can enjoy a sandwich made with fresh-baked whole-wheat, french, or olive-walnut bread.
Antique furnishings decorate the guest rooms, which have been newly renovated to help bring out the inn’s original glow. In one room, a floor-to-ceiling headboard is carved out of antique doors. In the bathrooms, you might find a Victorian claw-foot tub or a porthole made of stained glass.
Keep in mind that the walls are somewhat thin in the 100-year-old building. If it’s loud in the ale house, you can sometimes hear it in your room, so light sleepers might want to weigh their options.
Half Moon Bay, California: Historical Town on the Bay Area Peninsula
Charming buildings dating back to the 1800s line Main Street in Half Moon Bay, a seaside town on a peninsula about 29 miles south of San Francisco. Half Moon Bay is largely rural, but it’s close to the wealthy Silicon Valley; that’s helped bring an influx of upscale restaurants, galleries, and boutiques to the area’s 19th-century buildings. Local farms and coastal wineries supply eateries with seasonal fare and tasty varietals, respectively.
At Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, small pools fill up along the shore at low tide, revealing hermit crabs and starfish. You can explore the area's rocky terrain on your own or follow along with a volunteer naturalist, who will gladly point out critters in the sandy coves and monterey cypress trees in the forest.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.