Charming Inn on Pacific Ocean Bluff
There are few settings better suited for a romantic retreat than Greenwood Pier Inn, a cliff-top bed and inn along California’s Mendocino coast. Here, couples can relax in the outdoor hot tub, stroll past the English-style gardens, and admire the artful marble and tile decor crafted by the owner. The view is just as charming, as the inn is situated across from moss-covered rock formations in the ocean that resemble a brontosaurus couple sharing an intimate moment (the formation is nicknamed “the Kissing Dinosaurs”). Fireplaces and in-room jacuzzis help set the mood for romance.
From the private decks that are connected to several guest rooms, visitors can look out on Greenwood Cove to try to spot migrating whales, dolphins, and sea lions. The Goldfish room on the second floor offers breathtaking views of the ocean bluffs, and you can admire the large arch in Wharf Rock from the Whale room's private deck.
The oceanfront Greenwood Pier Cafe serves California coastal cuisine, and occasionally hosts live music. Its windows look out onto vegetable patches, babbling fountains, and Buddha figures.
Elk, California: Scenic Arts Alcove on Historic Highway 1
The unincorporated community of Elk is located off California’s historic Highway 1, known for its scenic vistas of Pacific coastline. Called “one of America’s unofficial pilgrimage routes” by Travel + Leisure, the Pacific Coast Highway connects San Diego to Northern California’s Redwood National Park. If you’ve got the time, take the half-hour drive north to the small town of Mendocino, most of which has been designated a US Historic District for its Victorian-style architecture.
Back in Elk, rugged bluffs and booming tides inspire local artisans who celebrate the interplay between man and nature through carvings, paintings, jewelry, and crafts.