Just twenty-five minutes across the Golden Gate Bridge lies the most charming little inn, perfectly situated between the mountains and the beach. I’ve frequented The Pelican Inn many times over the last decade for a post-hike drink in the pub, a picnic lunch on the outdoor lawn, or a romantic dinner cozied up by the fire.
The history of the inn dates back 400 years, when Sir Francis Drake landed his ship, the “Pelican”, on the Marin coast to claim California for Queen Elizabeth I. Years later, when an Englishman chose this site to build the inn, he named it in honor of Sir Francis Drake’s landing.
This year I decided to celebrate my umpteenth birthday (nah, not gonna tell ya how
old young!) with a group dinner at the inn and a stay in one of their historic rooms. We feasted in the back atrium that has a fireplace and heaters to keep you warm. I cozied the space up further with flowers in my own bell jars, hand-painted place cards, and homemade matzo chocolate toffee party favors.
There are seven rooms in this tiny British inn, complete with authentic (and hearty!) English country fare and live folk music on Saturday afternoons.
After a peaceful sleep in our 16h century room, we ate breakfast in the darkened dining nook lit only by candles in authentic holders and a crackling fire. It felt like we had slipped back to medieval times! We then lazily wandered around the property with our coffee before it was time to check out.
The amazing thing about the Pelican Inn is that it is walking distance to Muir Beach, which has a host of hiking trailheads. We struck out on the Green Gulch Trail — a definite must-do! The trail wanders past horse paddocks and through the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center (which is where the freshly baked bread at The Pelican Inn comes from), and then winds you up the mountain to panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Mt. Tamalpais. Then it winds you back down to Muir Beach with the most breathtaking views.
After the hike we popped into the car and up the hill to Slide Ranch, which happened to have a public event that day. So we wandered around the grounds listening to live music and snacking on refreshing Izze soda and apples. Goats wandered about while children got their faces painted, all against the stunning backdrop of cliffs descending down into the Pacific Ocean.
All in all, it was a perfect birthday getaway. It seems too good to be true that all of these incredible places are within 30 minutes of my home! If you’re a Bay Area resident looking for a staycation or an out-of-towner seeking an off-the-beaten path item to add to your San Francisco itinerary, I highly recommend a stop at The Pelican Inn.
Cheers! Or more appropriately, cheerio!