Earlier I talked about how I like to over plan a trip to death and how sometimes that can help or hinder the trip. We planned less and less as we got to the tail end of the trip, figuring beforehand that we would plan as we went. So while eating breakfast in San Fran, we multitasked and tried to figure out where to stay between SF and LA. At the breakfast table I read an article on the best hotels on the west coast and saw that Costanoa Lodge was listed. I fell in love while looking at pictures and just had a good gut feeling. So although it wasn't exactly along the fastest route to LA, I really really wanted to stay there. We called right then and asked if they had a room (which is actually your own cabin) that would fit us and Zelda (they are dog friendly yay!).
Costanoa Lodge is in Pescadero, California, about an hour and half drive south of San Francisco. It's a gorgeous "hotel" made up of log cabins in a wildlife preserve. You can book either a room in the main lodge, a variety of cabins or a Tent Bungalow, but we splurged a bit and went for the Douglas Fir Cabin. The Cabins are BEAUTIFUL and come with a skylight, fireplace, bathrobes, mini refrigerators and a nice sound system to play music. You also have a semi private balcony that overlooks the lush greenery behind you. There are shared bathrooms, which they call "comfort stations," that all the cabins share. It's gorgeous outside so it's not too weird to walk and share the bathrooms. Plus, everything is extremely clean – and they have a guilty pleasure of mine: a sauna! **Full disclosure: some pictures below are not my own.**
We checked in and immediately changed to get exploring. Not only are there a ton of trails right behind the cabin, but there is also a protected California beach right in front of the hotel. It's AMAZING to explore. It felt like walking into a different world. This was my first experience with a real California beach and I didn't know this is what I should expect. I'm used to flat Florida sandy beaches with barely a hill in sight, but this one had cliffs and moss and seaweed everywhere... not what this Florida girl thinks of as a beach. It even had a natural stream running into the ocean. So, to anyone who travels near this amazing hotel: I highly recommend! The area has so much to explore for at least for the day, if not more. You won't be disappointed. It also had one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever been lucky enough to witness. Beware, though, this experience is mostly for the ourdoorsy types. But even then, I think just about anyone could love this place.