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Svendsgaards’s Inn, Carmel—In the quaint village of Carmel, prices can go over the top for everything from a cup of coffee to a room for the night. At Svendsgaard’s Inn, guests can get a better-than-nice room with a queen bed and a jetted tub for as low as $179 a night. Décor is pretty, with European touches, and most rooms overlook the brilliantly blooming garden. Continental breakfast delivered to your doorstep makes things easy; fresh-baked cookies each day add a homey touch. Hold hands on your walk to Carmel Beach city park, where the steep sandy hill affords a panoramic view of the ocean, the white-sand shore and the busy dogs bounding in and out of the surf—it’s an off-leash dog park. Word to the wise who bring a picnic: Hang on to your sandwich. Labrador retrievers have no manners when it comes to food. Fourth and San Carlos streets, Carmel; (831) 624-1511; svendsgaardsinn.com

Inn at Depot Hill, Capitola—Each of the 12 rooms is different and reflects a portion of the world. Each also is outfitted with world-class comforts: jetted tubs, fireplaces, mounds of pillows, fluffy comforters. Stay in the Valencia—that’s right, Spain and the Mediterranean Riviera—and sink into a glassed-in jetted tub by the fire. Avid readers will love the Library room, two-tiered, decorated like an Orient Express sleeping car and sprinkled with books. (Don’t worry, there’s a TV, too.) In the Paris room, black and white dominate, and the mood is definitely romantic and elegant. Wander through the French doors to the patio garden, sip some Champagne and imagine you’re across the Atlantic. To really spread out, move into the Delft room for the weekend, and you can imagine you’re on the coast of Holland. Its blue-and-white color scheme carries through the bedding, carpet, draperies, even the tiles around the fireplace. After a walk down to the beach and the village of Capitola (shops and restaurants galore), come back and soak under the stars in the deep whirlpool spa on the private patio. Rates start at $259 and include a full breakfast and afternoon wine and hors d’oeuvres. 250 Monterey Ave., Capitola; (831) 462-3376; innatdepothill.com

East Brother Light Station, San Francisco/Richmond—Make a reservation at this lighthouse, located on an island on the strait that separates the San Francisco and San Pablo bays, and you’re really getting away from it all. Your stay begins with a 10-minute boat ride from the Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor. Five rooms—Marin, San Francisco, Two Sisters, West Brother and Walter’s Quarters—four of which are within the Victorian lighthouse, provide unsurpassed views of the Bay Area. East Brother, an active lighthouse for more than 130 years, operates foghorns 24/7 between October and April; most guests find the sound soothing, say innkeepers, but bring earplugs if you’re concerned you won’t be one of them. The Two Sisters room has a fireplace, cozy on a cold, foggy San Francisco night. Walter’s Quarters, a small room with a nautical feel, is located outside the main house in the fog signal building. It affords the most privacy and sits farthest from the automated foghorn—perhaps this is why it’s the most-requested room for repeat visitors to the inn. Things to consider: Some of the rooms share a bathroom, and most rooms are available for one-night stays only. Room rates start at $355 and include hors d’oeuvres, a four-course dinner (think gourmet), a full breakfast and a tour of the island. 117 Park Place, Point Richmond; (510) 233-2385; ebls.org

Albion River Inn, Mendocino—There you are in your spa tub for two—wood burning in the fireplace, a couple of glasses of Mendocino County Chardonnay on the ledge—watching the sun set over the ocean. Not just the ocean, but the Albion River, which flows into the sea right beneath your window. At the Albion River Inn, each of the rooms has something to spark romance, whether it’s a tub, a fireplace, a stunning view, a private coast-side deck or all of the above. The best rooms run $275 and up, and rates include a full breakfast (which could mean something like a creative eggs Benedict or pear-raisin bread pudding) and evening happy hour with wine and hors d’oeuvres. The on-site restaurant, lauded for chef Stephen Smith’s coastal cuisine, faces the water—don’t be offended when your sweetie stares out the window instead of at you while you’re relaxing over breakfast. The view is irresistible. 3790 N. Highway 1, Albion; (707) 937-1919; albionriverinn.com