Asilomar Conference Grounds
800 Asilomar Ave.
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
The word Asilomar, quasi-translated from Spanish, speaks for itself – “refuge by the sea.” Originally built for YWCA student leader conferences, Asilomar is celebrating its centennial this year, with many special activities throughout the year. Today, the sprawling property is now a full-service hotel and conference center with vistas of the Pacific Ocean rivaling that of its equally impressive neighbor, Big Sur. The hotel has several modern conveniences, including wireless internet access, business services, a park store and on-site café. Guests to the Monterey Peninsula may also want to visit other local sites, such as the Monterey Aquarium and Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, the charming shops in Carmel and 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.
Costanoa Lodge and Camp
2001 Rossi Road
Pescadero, CA 94060
Motorists on the Pacific Coast Highway near the Peninsula community of Pescadero often spot an unremarkable wooden sign bearing the word “Costanoa,” yet continue on their journey, not knowing what it meant. While the drive in either direction is noteworthy in itself, if these same motorists took the time to visit Costanoa, they’d realize they have discovered a hidden gem of a getaway. Costanoa is an eco-adventure resort and the perfect setting for Peninsula residents yearning to unwind. The facility offers a handful of accommodations to choose from – campground and RV park, tent bungalows, Douglas fir cabins and its finest and easily the most impressive, the fabulous two-story Lodge. On site, there is an elegant spa, a bar and grill and staff-led adventure activities, including rockwall climbing, bungee jumping, kids camp, bird watching and a visit to nearby tide pools.
7871 River Road
Forestville, CA 95436
Tucked away in the little-known Sonoma County hideaway of Forestville is the luxury boutique hotel Farmhouse Inn. Widely regarded as one of the nation’s top small and most romantic hotels by several major American publications, Farmhouse Inn is less than a two-hour drive from the San Francisco Peninsula. The inn’s website offers last-minute getaway specials, saving up to 25 percent off the regular room rate. Guests seeking fine dining need not leave the property, as the Farmhouse restaurant is a world-acclaimed, Michelin-starred restaurant led by chef Steve Ritke, maitre d’ Christopher Fohner and wine director/master sommelier Geogg Kruth.
Seascape Beach Resort
One Seascape Resort Drive
Aptos, CA 95003
The Seascape Beach Resort is often considered the finest hotel property in Santa Cruz County. While the area is better known for its world-famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, those wanting to escape crowded summer beaches will discover this four-diamond hotel to be a fabulous destination. The resort features studio suites, one-bedroom suites, spa suites and two-bedroom beach villas and an excellent restaurant – Sanderlings – with its stunning views of Monterey Bay. Aside from the many excellent amenities at Seascape is a semi-private beach with free shuttle service via golf carts down the quarter-mile stretch to what locals affectionately call “Hidden Beach.”
Waters Edge Hotel
25 Main St.
Tiburon, CA 94920
Less than an hour’s drive from the San Francisco Peninsula, Tiburon is an often overlooked bayside community from summer masses of tourists. Described as Tibuon’s only waterfront hotel and with a name to prove the point, Waters Edge literally resides atop an historic dock overlooking the San Francisco Bay. With world-class vistas of the San Francisco skyline and the historic, former West Coast immigration center known as Angel Island minutes away, this 23-room hotel can be accessed by car or by ferry from San Francisco. All guestrooms feature a fireplace, daily complimentary newspapers, complimentary wireless internet access and continental breakfast delivered to the room.
Related: Family Beach Day Around the Bay Area
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com.