Of course, you have heard the saying, “Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue.” It’s a traditional rhyme that details what a bride should wear on her wedding day for good luck—a send-off of sorts as she rides off into the sunset with her knight in shining armor (or something like that). Since February is National Wedding Month and Valentine’s Day is Friday, we decided to pay homage to the saying by highlighting a new “Something” related to California living each day. So, without further adieu, we bring you our “Something Old:” a collection of our favorite century-old B&Bs in California. These bed and breakfast inns not only offer the charm and nostalgia of a bygone era, but a romantic setting away from it all. From a sleepy little Victorian inn near the Redwood National Park to a quiet hotel in a historic Southern California gold rush town, you’ll have just the inspiration you need to whisk away your loved one for a weekend to remember old traditions…and start new ones.
The Shaw House – Ferndale, California
Transport your love back to the Gold Rush era of 1854 at The Shaw House Inn in the Victorian village of Ferndale, Calif. Set on the Northcoast near the Redwood National Park and Redwood State Park, the frontier inn was a labor of love dedicated to a cherished fiancée. The inn boasts its own stretch of isolated coastline, Centerville Beach (a bike ride away), and only eight relaxing guest rooms, each with a private bath and a unique collection of antiques. Three rooms feature private balconies (after all, you can’t visit Ferndale without seeing the sun rise or set!) and four rooms offer the privacy of their own separate entrances. You’ll enjoy all of those little details that make a B&B visit memorable, plus a delightful afternoon tea.
Casa Cody – Palm Springs, California
If you’re seeking a quiet desert escape from the wintery cold, you might try the romantic and historic Casa Cody Inn—the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs. Nestled against the spectacular San Jacinto mountains in the heart of Palm Springs Village, the inn was founded in the 1920s by the beautiful Hollywood pioneer, Harriet Cody, cousin to the legendary Buffalo Bill. Quaint adobe hacienda architecture mixes with Santa Fe-inspired decor, while 29 rooms—many with private patios and fireplaces—offer just the kind of privacy a couple needs.
Julian Gold Rush Hotel – Julian, California
Oh, to travel back in time to the 1890s! Corsets and cowboys unite at the Julian Gold Rush Hotel, a nationally registered historic landmark located in the old California mining town of Julian. Just an hour from San Diego, the hotel rests in the heart of the town’s historic district and has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating hotel in Southern California. Beautiful Cuyamaca Mountains, verdant apple orchards and lush wineries serve as the hotel’s backdrop; while vintage charm in the form of canopy beds, beautiful quilts, armoires and lace curtains recall elegant American charm. From first floor rooms that offer private entrances overlooking main street to a Patio Cottage offering views of our blooming gardens from its own private veranda and a legendary Honeymoon House (a two room suite with an antique claw-foot tub), The Julian Hotel offers a historic ambiance with modern day conveniences.
The Goose and Turrets – Montara, California
Located seven miles north of Half Moon Bay, Montara boasts a wide sandy beach, tree-lined streets, walking and biking trails—and a 100-year-old B&B that creates a “a slow-lane place for fast-lane folks.” Known as the Goose & Turrets, this hotel was established in 1907 and beckons city couples to enjoy the simpler things: lying in a hammock with a book, walking hand-in-hand in the sheltering gardens, hiking up Montara Mountain. The rooms are decidedly comfortable, while the generous breakfasts and blooming gardens make a stay at the Goose & Turrets a true gem.
The Nob Hill – San Francisco, California
Sometimes you don’t want to escape from the city—you want to escape to the city. San Francisco’s The Nob Hill, established in 1906, is a hotel for just that sort of occasion. Fully restored to its original grandeur in 1998, the historic inn is as grand as it is old: marble flooring, stained glass panels, ornate ceilings, alabaster chandeliers and an extensive collection of period paintings grace the boutique hotel interior; while Victorian antiques, exquisite velvet and satin bedding, and marble en suites grace each guest room. And like most B&Bs, breakfast is included.
Which California B&B would you want to make your “Something Old”?