Stunning coastline. Outstanding hospitality. Incredible dining. Cozy ambiance. I don’t know which is more compelling because I found every aspect of Brewery Gulch Inn memorable. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway to Mendocino.
Known for its dramatic landscape, friendly locals, redwood and pygmy forests, picturesque villages, and breathtaking scenery, this luxury seaside resort on the Northern California coast is a few hours north of San Francisco.
There are three ways to arrive at this secluded section of the coast by car. From San Francisco in the south and Leggett in the North, Highway 1 brings you to Mendocino along some of the most spectacular coastlines in the state.
Two curvy, picturesque roads bring you to the coast from inland Highway 101. At Cloverdale in the south, take Highway 128, and you’ll pass through Anderson Valley. This notable wine region is famous for its sparkling wines, late harvest wines, and artists producing art with different mediums.
When approaching from the north on Highway 101 through Willits, take Highway 20, which lets you out near Fort Bragg. The historic Skunk Train runs through the Noyo River Canyon in this region. Learn about more fun things to do here.
If you travel by air, Brewery Gulch Inn offers complimentary pickup at Little River Airport, 4 miles from the Inn.
Pro Tip: Plan to spend some extra time in Anderson Valley to visit artists’ studios.
Some of these experiences were hosted but all opinions are my own.
1. History Of Brewery Gulch Inn
The rich, dark redwood paneling in the lobby is the first thing you notice upon entry. Eco-salvaged from the muddy Big River, guiltless virgin redwood harvested almost 150 years ago adorns the walls in the reception area.
Brewery Gulch Inn is part of the original 10-acre farmstead of Homer Barton, a Mendocino pioneer in the lumber industry.
2. Environmentally Conscious
Because of continuing efforts to protect the environment, Brewery Gulch Inn earned the Green Hotels Association certification. It proves that you can get products that are luxurious, environmentally conscious, and still satisfying to your senses.
The ponds on the grounds are conducive to plant and animal life through natural rock filters for wetlands restoration. Plants, shrubs, flowers, and grasses native to this region are incorporated. No herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides are used throughout the grounds.
3. First Impressions And Outstanding Hospitality
The front door stood open to welcome us. The friendly staff at the front desk greeted us warmly and introduced us to the Inn.
Across from the front desk is the gift shop where you can purchase Brewery Gulch Inn mugs, all the luxurious bath products in the guestrooms, and other fun memorabilia.
The cozy lobby gives way to the Great Room, where delicious pastries, snacks, and refreshments are available throughout the day and night.
4. Ocean View Rooms
All but one room features ocean views.
Our corner room, Raven, featured buttery soft leather club chairs, a king feather bed, a fireplace, a writing desk for those of us who work while traveling, and unique artwork on the wall. The private balcony accessed through French doors held two chairs where we could sit and enjoy our wine while looking out to Smuggler’s Cove on the coast.
Other amenities include a well-appointed bathroom, plush robes, large flat-panel TV, and many others to make your weekend superb.
Pro Tip: The Inn does not have an elevator, but the stairway is wide and easy to navigate.
5. The Grounds
Adirondack chairs, patio dining, and bird watching drew me outside on the deck. After breakfast, I watched birds in the feeder and bath just a few feet away.
6. Exceptional Dining Experiences
We arrived at Brewery Gulch Inn on Mother’s Day. A special prime rib dinner meal prepared and served in the Great Room made the event noteworthy. It included red velvet cake for dessert.
Mendo Boxes are typically presented with in-room-specific appetizers at the daily Evening Wine Hour. Eco-salvaged redwood boxes (the same redwood used to build the Inn) crafted by a local woodworker are unique. The meals are delightful in design, and many consider them to be enough for a light dinner.
Executive Chef Stephen Smith carries on the Brewery Gulch Inn tradition by supporting local and organic agriculture wherever possible. Gluten-free and vegan options are always on the menu.
Do you like hot chocolate? The housemade Callebaut Belgian drinking chocolate on the breakfast menu is unlike any hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted. The rich, creamy, chocolaty drink will spoil you for any other hot chocolate you may ever have again.
Mango and key lime lassi is a tropical bliss in-a-glass made with mango and key lime coulis, yogurt, and cardamom. The flavor is matchless and fresh.
My husband, who ordered the Strawberry-Yuzu Cheesecake Pancakes, said it was the best breakfast he’d ever had. The yuzu-zest griddle cakes were topped with strawberry compote and yuzu cheesecake crumble with a side of fresh fruit and Millionaire’s Bacon. I felt like a millionaire when I tasted that bacon!
7. The Great Room
The Great Room at Brewery Gulch Inn is a gathering place for meals, entertainment, art, and refreshments on the sidebar.
Featured in the center of the Great Room is the four-sided glass and steel fireplace fabricated by a local shipbuilder. The 13-foot-high French doors, trimmed with redwood overlooking Smuggler’s Cove, and floor-to-ceiling windows fill this gathering place with light. Overstuffed furniture with tables of quarter-sawn oak allows unobstructed views of featured artist, Rebecca Johnson, on the walls.
An extensive collection of games, a small library of books, a 500+ collection of classic, contemporary, and foreign films on DVDs offer entertainment if you didn’t bring your own.
8. Services and Packages
An integrated mind and body experience, known as forest bathing, Shinshin
is the basis for Japanese medicine, preventive health care, and healing. I chose the Dipping Your Toes experience offered at the Inn. This 1.5 hours guided forest meditation incorporates all five senses. My first forest bathing experience at Brewery Gulch Inn certainly won’t be my last.
The Pygmy Forest, located in the upper reaches of Van Damme State Park, is a short car drive from Brewery Gulch Inn and is close to Little River Airport. The pygmy forest gives way to majestic, tall redwood trees where we walked, sat quietly, and sipped redwood bud tea. Feel relaxed, refreshed, and revitalized after this experience.
Other packages and services at Brewery Gulch Inn cater to special events in our lives.
If all the above wasn’t enough, Brewery Gulch Inn has garnered many awards over the years. See the awards from Travel + Leisure, Tripadvisor, AAA, and Condé Nast and more here.
10. Things to Do In The Area
One of my favorite things to do in the area includes a visit to Point Cabrillo Light Station. Less than 5 miles north of Brewery Gulch Inn, the station has a museum and Gift Shop. The grounds also include an aquarium, restored farmhouse, 1st Assistant Lightkeeper’s House, self-guided tours, and more.
Pro Tip: The parking lot is about 1/2 mile away from the lighthouse. There are a few accessible parking spaces close to the lighthouse and the keeper’s quarters. It’s open from sunrise to sunset.
Russian Gulch State Park for hiking is only 10 minutes north of Brewery Gulch Inn. This 3-mile leafy canyon and the oceanfront park are perfect for hiking on your weekend getaway.
If you want to experience Mendocino as a local, visit the Mendocino County Farmers Market held on Fridays. Handmade chocolates and knife sharpening are just two of the vendors gathered in town.
An appealing blend of outdoor activities, fine dining, outstanding hospitality, local artists, festive packages, and luxurious accommodations make the Brewery Gulch Inn perfect for a weekend getaway.
Pro Tip: Dress in layers for your visit to Mendocino. Wind and cool temps can occur any time of year.
Other notable Northern California destinations include: