The absence of modern distractions is in keeping with the old-fashioned character of San Benito House, which was constructed in 1905. There are no phones or televisions in the guest rooms at the hotel. The peace and quiet helps you enjoy the simpler pleasures on hand—a beer from the onsite saloon, for example, or a stroll along the shores of nearby Half Moon Bay.
Antique furnishings decorate the guest rooms, where extensive renovations have restored the inn’s original glow. In one room, a floor-to-ceiling headboard is carved out of antique doors. In the bathrooms, meanwhile, you might find a Victorian claw-foot tub or a porthole made of stained glass.
In the saloon, the walls are decked out with decorative animal heads from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and vintage photographs of Bay Area locals riding steam-powered segways. Local and imported beers flow from bottles and taps, as chefs dish up classic American fare such as burgers made with hormone- and antibiotic-free beef from Niman Ranch. 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.
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. Though largely rural, Half Moon Bay's proximity to Silicon Valley has led to an influx of upscale restaurants, galleries, and boutiques that have taken up residence in the 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.