Although the name implies the presence of pirates, the only seafaring creatures you'll spot in Smuggler’s Cove in Mendocino are gray whales. March and April are the ideal times to spot the gentle giants. Mendocino goes all out for the occasion, from whale watching tours to the Whale & Jazz Festival (April 3 - May 13), so clear your calendar and get ready to head north. Since Mendocino is a four-hour drive from San Francisco, lodging is a must, especially when it's on the luxurious side.
Bed and breakfasts normally conjure up harrowing images of floral bed curtains and cat ladies, but Mendocino is home to several B&Bs that lean more toward chic than saccharine. In particular, Brewery Gulch Inn is a solid option for city dwellers looking to get away from it all without giving up the comforts of urban living. With a clean, modern design and menu that will please even discerning gastronomes, the inn feels more like a spa than a B&B—a spa with a complimentary happy hour, that is.
To give you a little extra bang for your buck, Brewery Gulch Inn is offering two packages that cater to whale watchers. Their "Whale of a Deal" offer nets you two complimentary tickets for a two-hour whale watching charter boat tour when you book two nights or more during midweek. If you're aiming for a long weekend getaway, book the "Land & Sea" package, which includes two nights at the Brewery Gulch Inn, two nights at The Madrones in Anderson Valley, two dinners, a winery tour, an outrigger canoeing excursion or whale watch trip, and some bonus goodies.
Packages available through April 30. 9401 North Hwy 1, Mendocino.