Thomas Heinser

brewery gulch inn, mendocino

Standing on the balcony of the Osprey Room at the Brewery Gulch Inn might satisfy a lingering childhood fantasy of living in a tree fort. A mile south of the historic California town of Mendocino, on a bluff bordered by pine, fir, and hemlock, the inn overlooks verdant meadows and the Pacific Ocean. The redwood-shingled, three-story structure was built from 150-year-old timber eco-salvaged from the bottom of Mendocino's Big River—a 19-year project that was finished this year by owner Arky Ciancutti, a self-confessed "wood freak." All 10 bedrooms (each named for one of the region's birds or trees) have ocean views, Craftsman-style furniture, down comforters, and fireplaces; most have private decks.

The Great Room (shown here), with its oversized steel-and-glass fireplace, is an ideal spot for playing backgammon, critiquing local wines, or indulging in a breakfast of brioche French toast with vanilla-bourbon maple syrup. For outdoor adventures, have the concierge book a kayak tour of sea caves or a guided horseback ride on the beach—or simply go hug a redwood. Brewery Gulch Inn, 9401 Hwy. 1 N., Mendocino, Calif.; 800/578-4454, fax 707/937-1279; doubles from $150.