When Iron Springs Resort re-opened three summers ago, it was cause for celebration. The storied resort, on a remote and windswept section of the Washington Coast, had been a popular retreat for Seattle and Portland families for decades, but had fallen into disrepair. Rather than see it crumble from neglect, longtime regulars Doug and Bill True and their spouses Janet and Ruth bought the property and renovated it from head to toe. (Brothers Doug and Bill had been coming since they were boys in the 1960's.)
It isn’t easy getting to Flora Farm($$$$)—way out past the San José del Cabo marina, down a pothole-riddled road, and up a steep dirt lane. But once you arrive, you see what looks like a mirage amid the barren Mexican desert: 10 acres of organic herbs and heirloom vegetables, which Patrick and Gloria Greene have quietly harvested for the past 17 years. (The nearby One&Only Palmilla has its own dedicated plot.) Now word is spreading—and the expats may have Mexico’s next culinary hot spot on their hands. Last month, the 12-seat fine-dining Flora’s Table restaurant opened on the grounds, joining a new beer garden and an outdoor bar that hosts live music. The goal is to absorb the crowds from the year-old Flora’s Field Kitchen, where dinner is booked months in advance by in-the-know travelers (chef Thomas Keller and George Clooney are fans). Walk-ins are welcome at breakfast and lunch for such dishes as Scotch eggs with herb sausage (the naturally raised pigs come from the Greenes’ nearby ranch); there’s also a market stocked with house-made granola and local honey. For complete immersion, sign up for a cooking or gardening class and, starting this month, book one of four brand-new guest cottages.
Hotel Pricing Key $Less than $200 $$$200 to $350 $$$$350 to $500 $$$$$500 to $1,000 $$$$$More than $1,000
Cyclist-friendly Oregon has a stylish new rest stop for weary pedalers. Inspired by their biking trips to Italy, owners Glen and Sandy Crinklaw created the four-room Coastal Mountain Sport Haus(66845 Nehalem Hwy.; 503/429-6940; doubles from $199, including meals, two-night minimum) 50 miles north of Portland in the logging town of Vernonia (population: 2,300). The cedar inn—near some of the Pacific Northwest’s most picturesque biking paths—pays homage to the region with design touches such as bathroom sinks set in slabs of reclaimed black walnut and molted elk antlers used as towel hooks.
Photo by Heidi Swift/Courtesy of Coastal Mountain Sport Haus