Four-Star Mediterranean-Style Bed and Breakfast with Gourmet Cuisine
Located in California’s southern wine country, the European-style Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa focuses on romance. The four-star hotel is tucked away on a quiet country road, set on 60 acres of rolling pastures, terraced gardens, and walkways lined with wildflowers. When they’re not serving delicious housemade dinners, the innkeepers here can arrange private horseback rides and spa treatments on site.
Deluxe villa rooms set the stage for romantic evenings with wood-burning fireplaces. You’ll find a jetted tub or marble walk-in shower in the spacious bathroom, as well as italian-slate floors enhanced with radiant heating. A network of stone walkways connects guest rooms to the hotel’s other facilities, which include an indoor jacuzzi and The Courtyard Spa. The spa specializes in massage treatments, such as the couples massage included in one of the Getaways.
Austrian-born innkeeper Johannes Zachbauer is passionate about food and wine. Every day, he prepares gourmet meals using fresh Pacific seafood and vegetables plucked from the hotel’s organic gardens. Each Getaway includes a private multicourse dinner for two. Dishes might include garlic shrimp or grilled pork chop with pinot noir pineapple chutney. A thoughtful wine list accompanies the menu, and an included tasting showcases Sonoma Valley’s varietals. In the morning, a decadent breakfast buffet overflows with housemade treats, such as sugar-dusted danishes and spinach frittatas.
Bodega Bay, California: Tiny Fishing Village and Site of Hitchcock Film
Bodega Bay is set along California’s rocky Sonoma coast, roughly 70 miles north of San Francisco. Much of the town’s activity centers on its namesake harbor. Professional and sport-fishing fleets haul in dungeness crab, king salmon, and cod. You can watch boats bring in their catches, and then dine on ultrafresh seafood at local restaurants. Whale-watching tours are also popular; thousands of gray whales pass through the area from December to May as they migrate south.
Fans of Alfred Hitchcock may recognize Bodega Bay as the setting for his 1963 film The Birds. Potter Schoolhouse, which has a prominent presence in the movie, still stands today. But don’t worry: in real life, there’s nothing murderous about the local bird population. As you hike along the trails and granite bluffs of Sonoma Coast State Park, keep an eye out for warblers, pelicans, and sandpipers.