I may live in San Francisco, but I'm a country girl at heart. Give me green grass and quiet mornings and a pasture full of horses over the hustle and bustle of the city any day.
I count myself lucky that I don't have to travel too far outside of San Francisco to access the countryside—Marin County just north of the Golden Gate is full of rolling hills, breathtaking beaches, and one little magical place called The Pelican Inn.
The Pelican Inn transports you back to 16th century England with its white-washed slate walls and low-ceilinged pub. Nestled a stone's throw from the cove of Muir Beach, it sits tall on a lawn often filled with the picnic blankets of patrons stopping in for a pint after a hike or bike ride through the headlands. For an Anglophile like me, it was the perfect place to celebrate my 29th birthday.
On a Saturday morning, eight of us left the city and drove the short—albeit windy—road to Muir Beach. We kicked off our getaway with a 5-mile coastal hike and were met with California at her best. Sunny skies overhead, the Pacific to our west, a cool breeze at our backs...Northern California really is wonderful in December.
With the active part of our day complete and our stomachs growling, we headed to the Pelican Inn to reward our hard work with a pint and pub lunch.
The Pelican offers dining in the pub (smaller menu), the dining room (more extensive menu), and on the lawn. We dined on ham sandwiches and fish and chips in the pub before retiring to the lawn to catch the last hours of sunlight.
The inn only has seven rooms, and we took up four of them. Each is different and all are quaint; I especially loved our room with its cushioned window seat overlooking the lawn (we were in room #7, which was the biggest, in case you're looking to book). After checking in to our rooms, we bundled up and walked to the beach with a bucket of champagne to watch the sunset.
Once the sun dropped below the horizon, we headed back to the Pelican and spent the rest of our evening in the Snug Room—a private lounge area for the guests that's complete with a piano, fireplace, and, at this time of year, a Christmas tree! We did an ornament exchange, played games, and drank copious amounts of whisky and wine, only breaking temporarily for dinner in the restaurant—which, if I'm being honest, is a bit blurry.
Our day and night at spent at the Pelican Inn was wonderful, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a weekend getaway. Our group loved it so much that we deemed it to be an annual tradition—so, until next year, Pelican!