Listen to the ocean from your room in one of these lesser-known coastal inns
Check in: The elaborate breakfast (included!) is nearly as good as chef Jensen Lorenzen's seasonally inspired dinner (if it's on the evening menu, the oxtail soup is a must). But the best part about the 1800s Cass House? That would be twin sisters Grace Lorenzen (the innkeeper) and Carla Wingett (groundskeeper), who manage the organic garden and the five impeccably turned-out guestrooms. From $165
Explore: With sand dunes climbing hundreds of feet above miles-long beaches and eucalyptus-lined hiking trails, the Montaña de Oro park (a 25-minute drive away) is a must.