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Northern California is home to hundreds of bed-and-breakfast inns, many in historic homes, and they’re just beckoning lovers to come in and get away from it all.
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The coast, the mountains or someplace in between—for a romantic getaway, there’s nothing quite like a cozy inn in a beautiful locale, and our north state has plenty of them. Farm out the kids, the pets and the daily grind and make a reservation for a weekend away. Go way upscale and spend the night someplace like Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur—cool, window-walled spaces perched cliffside, overlooking the rugged coastline or mountains—or Napa’s Auberge du Soleil, where the decks off the ultra-luxurious rooms provide perfect viewing of acres of wine country. Check into a little B&B in the Gold Country—something haunted, perhaps—or get an affordable, pretty room in an old house in a small town you’ve never considered stopping in before. The options are endless. Here are 10 for starters.
The Inn on First, Napa—Jamie Cherry and Jim Gunther run this beautiful inn within walking distance of downtown Napa, and the reviews are rave, whether we’re hearing about Gunther’s fabulous truffles or Cherry’s hospitality. The inn’s 12 rooms invite intimacy, with fireplaces, spa tubs and no televisions. Each room is different, with rich-colored walls that will remind you of wine—especially in First Crush, Heritage Estate and Meritage. Everything is luxurious, from the plush towels and billowing comforters to the plump pillows and exquisite furnishings. Nightly rates start at $190 and include a full breakfast—something scrumptious dreamed up by Gunther, such as egg roll omelets, a roasted-tomato tart, a breakfast BLT with pancetta and basil oil or sweet potato Dutch pancakes topped with fresh mixed berries. This is not your typical B&B fare. These two guys know wine and food better than just about anyone and will help you plan your trip to the Napa Valley wine country—check out their blog on the website or, once you make your reservation, ask Cherry to help you custom-design an itinerary for your perfect trip to Napa. 1938 First St., Napa; (707) 253-1331; theinnonfirst.com
Madrona Manor, Healdsburg—Sonoma County is home to rolling vineyards, boutique-laden small towns and a number of lovely inns. Madrona Manor, in the hills above Dry Creek Valley, beckons romantics with its gracious golden mansion, built in 1881. Indulge and reserve one of the Schoolhouse Suites, where you and your beloved will have plenty of room to relax with a bedroom and sitting area, a king-size bed and a spa tub for two. The most private option at Madrona Manor, Garden Cottage, has a spacious private deck surrounded by gardens. In each of the manor’s rooms, antiques—some original to the house—upscale linens and fireplaces add to the appeal. In warmer months, take a dip in the estate’s heated pool and wander among the grounds to admire the orchards and gardens. The inn boasts of a “no-TV atmosphere,” so come prepared to wind down with reading material and each other’s company. Rates start at $265 for a room in the mansion and include a buffet breakfast. 1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg; (707) 433-4231; madronamanor.com
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