Coast Guard House Historic Inn in Point Arena, CA
Atop a bluff and offering nose-bleed views of the major highway for gray whales––aka the Pacific Ocean––is this Cape Cod–style
seaside estate from 1901, with slatted ceilings, vintage photographs, and piles of firewood near the basement.
Check in: It's hard to shake the Agatha Christie vibe at the windswept inn, what with the grandfather clock ominously stopped at 4:20, a house dog named Winston, and a Friday-night wine and cheese party where you meet the other suspects, ahem, guests. Two cottages and four rooms are shipshape cozy. From $165, breakfast included; two-night weekend minimum; coastguardhouse.com
Explore: Tiny Point Arena isn't exactly booming, but nearby are sand dunes, pocket beaches, the Point Arena Light Station, and the great Pinots of Anderson Valley.