There’s an absence of modern distractions at San Benito House, an old-fashioned inn constructed in 1905. There are no phones or televisions in the guest rooms, leaving you free to enjoy the simpler pleasures on hand—a craft beer from the onsite alehouse, for example.
The walls of the alehouse are decked out with chalkboards displaying a menu of sausages and 18 craft beers. Enjoy two well drinks on the house, or sample 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 recently renovated. 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 this 100-year-old building. If it’s loud in the alehouse, 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. Its proximity to wealthy Silicon Valley has brought an influx of upscale restaurants, galleries, and boutiques. Local farms and coastal wineries supply eateries with seasonal fare and tasty varietals.
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.