Are you a West Coast history buff? You can learn so much more about the history of an area by immersing yourself in it. California is home to many top-rated cities… San Francisco even ranked #9 on US News 12 Best Historic Destinations in the USA!
When you think of the Golden State, you may think of Hollywood, sunny skies, and rocky beaches, or the Golden Gate Bridge but there’s so many more stories you haven’t heard. From majors to millionaires, each of our historic bed and breakfasts in California has been shaped by prominent people and events during their time.
Staying at one of them is an excellent way to authentically experience the area’s history. Plus, the innkeepers are great sources for local and historical information!
Here’s two of the best historic bed and breakfasts in California.
1. Stay in the Heart of the Historic District
Where: Churchill Manor in Napa, California
Edward Churchill built Churchill Manor in 1889 on the original street in Napa and near two other stately mansions. Shortly after building his own mansion, Churchill built a second directly behind it for his son. Today these four mansions, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places, represent the aristocratic lifestyle of Napa in the 1890s and 1900s.
The beauty of the past combined with the comforts of the present. Today you can enjoy the massive solid redwood pocket doors, leaded and beveled glass doors, and redwood-fluted Corinthian columns as part of the lasting history of the Churchill manor. Enjoy your stay at the Manor by selecting one of the 10 guestrooms, each named after Napa Valley wine growing region. The rooms offer guests all of the finest amenities expected of a luxury hotel while also immersing guests in the history of the area and property.
2. Escape to the Garden Oasis.
Where: Mill Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast in Half Moon Bay, California
Built in the early 1900s, the Mill Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast was once a simple rectangular building that served as a single family residence. There weren’t any street lights, sidewalks, or paved roads at the time and the home even lacked a foundation!
In 1978, the current owners, Eve and Terry Baldwin, purchased the home and began major renovations. The Baldwins modernized the home by adding a foundation, rebuilding the front porch, and replacing the roof! They kept the history of the house intact by choosing rustic siding that was specially milled to match the original.
When the Baldwins set out to improve the Mill Rose Inn, they tried to visualize what made it unique. It’s location, just off Main street, means it’s close to all of the happenings in Half Moon Bay but also invisible if you’re seeking a hideaway. The climate is also another plus, which helped Terry and Eve transform the property into a lovely escape!
Growing The Gardens Becomes A Passion
Half Moon Bay has a Mediterranean climate that’s perfect for growing a variety of plants. Terry and Eve spent endless hours working on the gardens of the Mill Rose Inn and nurturing the natural beauty of the area. Their shared love of plants set in motion what would become an incredible garden oasis for guests just off Main street!
Tending the gardens was a natural step for the Baldwins. Terry has a degree in landscaping and worked as a landscape contractor before the couple invested in the Mill Rose Inn. Eve studied ornamental horticulture and wanted to open a plant store in San Francisco in the 1960s. She never opened a store because the Baldwins did something better: bought Mill Rose Inn!
After nearly 40 years of hard work, the Mill Rose Inn’s gardens flourish today. No matter what season, there’s always something colorful going on in the gardens at the Mill Rose Inn! Roses, hydrangeas, orchids, perennials, sweet peas, lilies, dahlias, shrubs, ferns, and banana plants are just a few of the plants you’ll find. It’s likely you’ll spot hummingbirds who also enjoy the lush plants and vibrant flowers!
Which historic bed and breakfast would you like to visit in California? Let us know in the comments.