Named as a favorite golf range in 2009 by Golf Digest, Mariners Point offers 64 well-manicured practice stalls, including natural grass and a challenging 9-hole, par 3 course. The double-decker driving range features on-site professionals, high-quality range balls, and power tees that automatically tee up the ball. Use the range card to purchase driving ammunition in small ($7 for 60 balls), medium ($11 for 105 balls), or large ($13 for 165 balls) baskets. Golfers receive 10 additional balls for visiting the range before 11 a.m. on weekdays. Clearly defined target greens and easy-to-read yardage markers make for far easier practice than aiming for the blowholes of passing belugas. When it’s game time, players can hit the course for a round of golf. Drivers, putters, and severely confused baseball players are treated to breathtaking San Francisco Bay views from each of the nine greens.
Fox Theatre lures crowds and musical acts alike with an auditorium drenched in the glimmer and charm of theater’s history. Surrounding a proscenium stage draped in red is enough gold to please a group of kings or outfit one rapper with his requisite bling. Bas-reliefs and intricate patterns line the walls while below, rows of seats on the floor and balcony beckon with simple comfort.
Once a bootleggers' haven frequented by the sister of Al Capone, today Cameron's Inn & Restaurant celebrates its 100-year history with old-fashioned hospitality and eclectic vintage décor. The restaurant harks back to English pub traditions with Inglenook-style seating crafted from old church pews and a menu that includes bangers and mash, shepherd's pie, and burgers flame-grilled over fragments of Big Ben. Near the bar, which touts 18 beers on tap and more than 60 bottled ales, walls are stacked to the ceiling with more than 2,000 beer cans, which owner Cameron Palmer began collecting at age 10. A functioning fireplace and five big-screen TVs cast a warm glow across the dining room, whose stage hosts occasional live music, karaoke contests, and shadow-puppet beauty pageants. Overnight guests snooze soundly within the rustic timber-lined walls of the inn’s three rooms, or at an RV park and campground near scenic ocean cliffs.
A turn-of-the-century hotel built in 1905, San Benito House welcomes visitors with 11 inviting guest rooms, a romantic suite, and a full-service bar and restaurant. Servers ferry pizza, pasta, and Niman Ranch hormone-free burgers to wooden booths as patrons converse in an airy atmosphere. On Wednesdays–Saturdays, live musicians enliven the bar as the audience sips imported beers and knits dentures, inspired by the building's old age. Queen-size beds await visitors amid flowing curtains and salmon- or eggshell-colored walls. The inn also hosts catered weddings replete with bar service, a garden reception area, and cannons for launching bouquets.
At Menlo Hub, both food and art find a place on the menu. The modern restaurant's walls are blanketed in original contemporary paintings, and on some nights, the dining space reverberates with music from live bands and solo musicians. But even on nights with performances, the main attraction is always found in the kitchen. Here, chefs design casual American dishes sprinkled with elements of Mediterranean cooking.
The menus focus on simple steaks and seafood, complemented by organic produce sourced from nearby sustainable farms. The artfully plated dishes include California sea bass, New York steaks with gorgonzola demi-glace, and eggplant-wrapped lamb shanks. While most visitors sample the cuisine in the airy main dining space, private groups eat in a secluded room warmed by a corner fireplace.
At the lively bar, flat-screen TVs broadcast sporting events as bartenders mix fruit-infused martinis and pour a range of California wines, which are made from grapes that are just thankful that they never became California raisins.
At Pasta Q, chefs roll out homemade pastas and gnocchi and douse their doughy exteriors with creamy sauces and redolent spices. Eighteen diverse pasta renditions share table space with classic Italian-style meats buffered by roasted potatoes. An eclectic selection of imported Italian wines pair with bites, and homemade desserts ease the burden of spaghetti strands trying to shape themselves into the form of tiramisu. The menu’s Mediterranean flourishes extend to the décor, with its deep-burgundy and mustard-yellow walls punctuated by mosaic-tiled benches and billowy white fabric suspended from the ceiling.