Magazine article Sunset

Whale-Watching from Your Room

Magazine article Sunset

Whale-Watching from Your Room

Article excerpt

DEDICATED WHALE-WATCHERS don't always have to stake out a spot on the heaving deck of a boat. We found several Northern California inns between Little River (just below Mendocino) and Gualala that are so close to the water's edge, guests can look for whales from all or most of the rooms. Some inns even provide binoculars or spotting scopes to aid your search.

LITTLE RIVER

Heritage House, 5200 N. State Highway 1; (800) 235-5885. Three rooms are in a vintage 1877 New England-style farmhouse; the other 65 rooms clamber over 37 acres of dramatic blufftop. Most rooms are in duplex cottages that look down on the whales' highway; all have decks. Stroll out to a clifftop gazebo to watch for the spouts, then warm up by the fireplace (in most rooms). Rates range from $190 to $350 and include breakfast and dinner.

Little River Inn, 7751 N. State 1; (707) 937-5942. From many of the 65 ocean-view rooms, you can use binoculars to see spouts while still snug in bed. Each room has a private deck; most have a fireplace, wet bar, and whirlpool bath. Rates run from $85 to $195; breakfast and dinner are available at the restaurant.

ALBION

Albion River Inn, 3790 N. State 1; (800) 479-7944. The inn's 20 rooms in New England-style cottages and the restaurant overlooking Albion Cove give the impression of a quaint little village. All rooms take in the view through sliding glass doors or big picture windows, and all have binoculars. Eighteen rooms have private decks and fireplaces; some have whirlpool tubs. …

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