Romantic redwoods

Waves, wine, and great grub on the Mendocino coast
Amy Wolf
Tucked into a 10-acre forest a few paces from the Pacific and built from ancient virgin redwood logs salvaged from the nearby Big River, the Brewery Gulch Inn feels like a giant treehouse. But instead of child's play, think lazy strolls along fern-covered trails and sunset hikes above crashing waves.

But most important, think food. Guests choose from nine breakfast entrées featuring mostly organic local ingredients, prepared by the inn's new chef, who used to make pastries at Chez Panisse. Feast on a soufflélike egg-white omelet with spinach and wild mushrooms foraged just outside the inn.

Come evening, a selection of hors d'oeuvres accompanies local wines and cider ― enough to convince you to blow off dinner plans and focus on your sweetheart.

Info: Brewery Gulch Inn (from $170, including meals; breakfast $15 for nonguests; 9401 State 1, 1 mile south of Mendocino; 800/578-4454)