California has plenty of spectacular modern hotels and resorts to choose from, but some of our most charming places to stay have been around for a century or longer. When you want a unique experience on your coastal vacation, check out one of these historic hotels.
1. Gingerbread Mansion, Ferndale
This gorgeous mansion was built in 1895 and used as a hospital for three years (at the insistence of its owner, Dr. Hogan Ring, because the town needed a hospital). It changed owners several times before becoming the luxurious bed and breakfast it is today.
The suites here are stunning, the food is delicious, and they even have a rejuvenating onsite spa. Plus, you’ll be near all the best beaches of Ferndale.
2. Coast Guard House Historic Inn & Cottages, Point Arena
The Coast Guard House has stood on a bluff overlooking the Mendocino Coast for over 100 years. The inn was once a home for brave sea rescuers, and today it’s a peaceful place with two private cottages equipped with fireplaces and jetted tubs for two. Coffee and tea are served onsite, and there’s an abundance of tasty restaurants in the area to choose from.
3. Santa Maria Inn
The Santa Maria Inn has been a Central Coast wine country landmark since 1917. It’s located in the heart of Santa Maria near Hearst Castle, the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, and numerous other attractions. The inn itself is a serene oasis with fountains and palm trees, so it’s the perfect place to go for a restful respite. Amenities include an outdoor pool and an onsite lounge.
4. Hotel Laguna, Laguna Beach
Hotel Laguna has quite the history. It was the first hotel built in Laguna Beach, promptly burning to the ground a mere 60 days after opening. It was rebuilt in 1888, barely surviving the depression of 1896. It was demolished in 1928 as it was thought to be a fire hazard, and its current home was constructed in 1930. It is now an award-winning establishment with a European flair.
Hotel Laguna has a rose garden area that guests can rent for weddings, oceanfront dining, and a monthly “Pawtail Hour” in the rose garden with free treats for dogs. Their standard rooms and suites are comfortable and cozy, and some of them have ocean views.
5. The Georgian, Santa Monica
The Georgian isn’t quite 100 years old, but it’s getting close. Built during the peak of California’s coastal expansion in the early 1930s, it was used as a beachy escape for Hollywood’s elite. It was also used as a speakeasy during Prohibition, and to this day it attractions vacationers from around the world.
6. Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado
The historic Hotel Del Coronado dates all the way back to 1888. H.L. Story and Elisha Babcock purchased the entire peninsula for $110,000, and the hotel soon made headlines around the world. Today it’s a destination resort and one of the most beloved properties in Southern California. In addition to the onsite dining options, pool, spa and salon, the hotel hosts an array of activities all year long.
7. The Grande Colonial, La Jolla
Located in the charming seaside town of La Jolla, The Grande Colonial Hotel has spectacular views from all sides. When it opened in 1913, it was called The Colonial Apartments and Hotel. As La Jolla’s oldest hotel, it was the talk of the town. It has been dramatically renovated several times, but it still maintains its original charm.
Amenities include a fine dining restaurant, NINE-TEN, heated swimming pool, in-room massages and complimentary passes to a nearby health club. The rooms have a classic, elegant look with plenty of modern touches like HDTVs.