ESCAPE TO NEWPORT
By Tara | The Inn At Newport Ranch, CA
Secluded Luxury. Architectural Brilliance. Destination-Worthy Dining.
Any lingering travel trepidation faded as flourishing vineyards became darkly beautiful redwood forests, and the barely-two-lane highway transformed into a scenic coastal drive. Northern California has always been as rugged as it is enchanting, and just beyond charming Mendocino exists a place of sweet, sweet seclusion: The Inn At Newport Ranch.
At 3:23 pm, we arrived at the Ranch. A beguiling property set amid the footprint of a long-gone lumber town. Over the next few days, the deep-seated history and local lore would not shy from revealing themselves throughout the sprawling 2,000-acre property. We stepped out of the car, and with a breath of fresh air, Newport Ranch reawakened a hibernating sense of freedom.
The story of Newport Ranch begins over a century ago. 1865 saw the boom of North Coast pioneers. The logging industry was thriving and lumber felled from the forests built San Francisco. Today, the land shares evidence of the once-bustling port as well as those who came before them: arrowheads from the Yuki, remnants of lumber chutes, bones of an old farmhouse. These memories of the past are immortalized within the architectural splendor of the property’s unique buildings. By blending rustic craftsmanship with industrial design, Newport Ranch pays homage to its pioneering past while seizing the beauty of its natural surroundings.
At 7 pm, we sat down for dinner. Chef Adam Stacy had arranged an immersive menu for the evening, highlighting the best of the area’s authentic cuisine. We were served thoughtful tastings of the finest local seafood, embered lobster, charcoal-grilled beef, and a trio of decadent desserts. To say that our dinner was amazing would be an understatement.
There’s truly no better way to immerse yourself in a new destination than by tasting the flavors of the local region, and the full Newport Ranch experience isn’t complete without a little gastronomic indulgence. Newport Ranch takes great pride in its culinary culture, and its commitment to sustainability is impressive. Each menu is seasonally-inspired, and each course is prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The wine comes from local vintners, while the fish, meat, and eggs are all sourced in abundance from local purveyors. Most of the herbs and vegetables used in the kitchen are picked right from their very own garden, and mushrooms are foraged in the forest. The Inn At Newport Ranch is leading the way for destination-worthy dining.
While the Inn At Newport Ranch is known for its seclusion and serenity, there’s more than enough room to roam. With dramatic cliffs to the West and bewildering forests to the East, adventure still beckons. 2,000 acres and seven microclimates are at your fingertips. Hiking paths and riding trails allow you to explore by foot or horseback, but the real adventure begins when you book a UTV tour.
At 2 pm the following day, we met Otis, our tour guide for the afternoon. Otis is a talented storyteller. He is both passionate and knowledgeable. During our two-hour UTV tour we drove through pastures, scaled cliff sides, trekked ridge lines, and descended redwood forests. Along the way, Otis taught us about the different flora and fauna. We witnessed evidence of the resident bears, sampled wild ginger and edible wood sorrel, and planted baby redwoods. Some local secrets were shared and unbelievable shark attack stories were told. It’s always a priceless opportunity to witness a place from a local’s perspective.
What was once a thriving logging community is now an idyllic reprieve for the outdoor enthusiast and the serenity seeker. With its secluded luxury, architectural brilliance, and destination-worthy dining, the Inn At Newport Ranch has set the standard for California ranch vacations. The Inn At Newport Ranch guarantees lasting memories for its guests. The only challenge: Do you tell everyone you know or keep it your little secret?
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