Best California Inns for Fall Foliage

SACRAMENTO, CA [September 18, 2014]—Parts of Central and Northern California turn ablaze in the autumn months with a spectrum of fiery colors: deep reds, oranges, gold and yellow.  Boutique hotels and B&B inns nestled in forests and vineyards throughout the state offer idyllic destinations for exploring fall color with beautiful, winding country routes along the way.  Some members of the California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) are also offering special deals for the season.

South of Lake Tahoe, the aspen trees in Hope Valley put on a spectacular show from late September through the end of October. One of the best drives showcasing the golden foliage is from the top of Carson Pass on Highway 88 to the top of Luther Pass on Highway 89.  The four-season Sorensen’s Resort is located just east of the Highway 88/89 junction and offers 165 acres of prime aspen and pine forest for fishing, hiking, bicycling or just enjoying from a hammock.  Most of the cabins have wood-burning fireplaces and kitchens and some cabins are pet-friendly.  The resort also offers a traditional wood-fired sauna and a full service restaurant serving its signature cool-weather dish: beef burgundy stew. 

North of Lake Tahoe, in the mountain town of Truckee, Donner Lake Inn is nestled among over an acre of pine, maple and aspen trees, which provide beautiful fall color early in the season.  As the temperatures begin to drop mid-September, the fall colors emerge.  Each of the guest rooms feature forest views with window benches or deck overlooking the trees.  All rooms also feature gas fireplaces to enhance the ambience of the season.  The inn serves hot spiced apple cider and homemade pumpkin spice cookies or breads each afternoon and there is an outdoor hot tub for soaking up the forest views.

The Carter House Inns is an enclave of four luxurious Victorian mansions at the gateway to Eureka’s historic district and two great drives for fall foliage.  Fall color in Humboldt County usually begins to appear in late September as the poison oak vines that wind their way up the redwoods turn crimson. Big leaf maples and other deciduous trees growing beneath the redwood canopy follow shortly thereafter, changing colors from October through mid-November. One of the best fall foliage drives is through Prairie Creek Redwoods on the Newton Drury Scenic Parkway just north of Eureka.  Another scenic drive for fall color is south of Eureka on Highway 101 through Avenue of the Giants.  Back at the Carter House Inns, guests can indulge in a complimentary glass of wine or dinner at the acclaimed Restaurant 301. 

Another inn within a short drive of the fall colors at Avenue of the Giants is the Tudor-style Benbow Historic Inn in Garberville. The gracious Old-World inn features golf, world-class dining, an extensive wine list and an Autumn Temptation Special for enjoying the fall colors of southern Humboldt County a little longer. Stay two nights at the inn and get the third consecutive night free when booking select historic rooms by phone.  The special is valid now through November 15, 2014 for arrivals Sunday through Tuesday only and excludes historic premium king and terrace rooms.  Blackout dates apply.  Call 800-355-3301for reservations.

Located 50 miles north of San Francisco, Tomales Bay is a sublime place to catch fall colors in the Bay Area. The bay is flanked by rolling hills of golden grasses and dotted with fir trees, mossy oaks and redwoods.  In a sheltered cove of the bay, the cottages at Nick’s Cove combine rustic charm with luxurious comfort, featuring plush down comforters, wood-burning stoves, and burnished wood and leather accents.  To experience the fall colors from the water, Nick’s Cove has created two packages incorporating either a morning kayak paddle or a sunset sail on a private catamaran.  Both packages include overnight accommodations in a water view cottage, barbecued oysters delivered upon arrival, continental breakfast for two delivered each morning and much more.  For package details and reservations, call 415-663-1033.

In the rural Sierra Foothills near Placerville, Eden Vale Inn is an ideal destination for enjoying fall colors and the harvest season of the Apple Hill Growers Association.  Apple Hill has more than 50 ranches, farms, wineries, and bake shops that are just a short drive from the inn.  Indulge in a slice of fresh-baked apple pie, pick the perfect pumpkin, enjoy an outdoor concert or harvest dinner, or just take a drive along country roads with changing fall colors.  The foliage in the area begins to turn in October and peaks within the first three weeks of November.  The inn features acres of gardens, an outdoor firepit, spa room, gourmet breakfasts, and luxurious guest rooms with fireplaces.

In the fall, Napa’s vineyard-draped hills are a feast for the senses. Clusters of ripened grapes awaiting the crush stand out against the leaves as they turn crimson and gold.  Take a drive along the winding vineyard roads to savor the fall colors, the fine wines and the buzz of activity at harvest time.  In downtown Napa, the Inn on Randolph beckons guests with a fall special that includes 10% off room rates, a complimentary tasting at Frog’s Leap Winery and a gourmet cheese platter.  The beautifully-renovated inn features a modern sensibility, heated bathroom floors, luxurious beds and gourmet breakfasts prepared in a gluten-safe kitchen. The offer is valid with the booking of two or more midweek nights (Monday-Thursday) now through November 30, 2014. Valid for new reservations only. Call the inn directly at 707-257-2886 to reserve.

Another destination for enjoying autumn’s wine country color show is Paso Robles, where visitors can explore back roads winding through the region’s 32,000 acres of vineyards.  The cooler fall weather turns the grape vine leaves from gold to scarlet to flaming orange.  Pair a drive through Paso Robles’ wine country with a stay at El Colibri Boutique Hotel and Spa. The inn offers large, modern guest rooms with fireplaces, pillow-top mattresses with luxury linens, deep soaking or Jacuzzi tubs, HDTV, complimentary underground parking, Wi-Fi, daily spa access, and continental breakfast. For the fall season, guests of the hotel can enjoy 20% off their choice of spa services and a complimentary bottle of wine. Call 805-924-3003 to reserve.

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Media Contact: Ranee Ruble, or 503-788-3938