In a previous article, we broke the news about getting married on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California. Just three and a half hours north of San Francisco, this paradise-on-the-Pacific has miles of pristine shoreline, forests of ancient redwoods, award-winning wineries and quaint inns and resorts. Mendocino is known for laid back elegance, with haute cuisine and fine wines served up without the hauteur or the inflated prices.
But what if you want to get married really fast? Without all of the all-consuming planning?
If you crave the simplicity of an elopement with everything prearranged so you can relish the beauty of nature together, here are three Mendocino properties – all with spectacular ocean views – that offer terrific elopement packages:
Former Vogue editor André Leon Talley says the Brewery Gulch Inn is one of his favorite hotels in the world. Travel + Leisure just named them the #2 Best Resort in California and one of the top 15 resorts in the Continental US – and for $1,000 you can be married in this dreamy inn. They handle everything – from ceremony and celebrant to photos and flowers. For $1,600 they also provide the cake, hair and make up, Roederer sparkling wine, and a couples’ massage. The ambiance is like staying in the elegant Arts and Crafts country home of a dear friend, with fluffy feather beds and soft throws in front of the fireplace in your room. Their Executive Chef only cooks for guests and hand made pastries are always on offer by the front desk. Accommodations are extra and you will savor selecting from one of their delightful rooms – they only have 10, the better to treat each guest like a VIP. Room prices start at $335.
Just down the coast you will find the Little River Inn, a mini-resort surrounded by rolling lawns that connect to uncrowded Van Damme State Park. In addition to a chef-driven restaurant (they are awarded “Best Crab Cakes on the Coast” year after year), they have an Audubon-certified 9-hole golf course, regulation tennis courts and a full service salon and spa. This property has been the same family for five generations and couples who have been married there sometimes come back for decades to celebrate their anniversaries. The Inn’s elopement package starts at $2,300 and includes Champagne or sparkling cider and memory glasses upon arrival, an hour with a professional photographer, officiant, cake, flowers, a three-course dinner with hand-selected wine, breakfast in bed, and up to five hours consultation with their events coordinator. You pay for your room separately but you have many choices. They have 66 rooms, starting at $180 a night and running all the way up to the stand-alone seaside Mallory House with a private view hot tub on your deck.
The Inn at Newport Ranch sits high atop rugged cliffs and has panoramic views across the ocean. Built in 2015 to be one of the most atmospheric properties on earth, this architectural wonder is set on 2,000 exclusive acres with 20 miles of private trails and beaches at your disposal. Other highlights include a view hot tub on an old water tower, whispering sweet nothings in their enormous walk through fireplace and feasting on “ranch comfort” cuisine. Their elopement package starts at $2,750 and includes a two-day adventure in this serene, untouched wilderness, complete with fresh flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries when you arrive, an ATV ride to select a perfect, perfectly romantic spot to say your vows, three-course dinners the night before and the night of, photos, cake, officiant, sparkling toasts, and more. Choose among rooms in five fabulous buildings, including the Grove Suite, which has floor to ceiling redwood trees and sweeping views over the Pacific. Rooms at the Inn at Newport Ranch start at $350.
**Contributed by Emily Polsby.