No matter how you arrive at Mendocino, you have to take the long way.  Be it clinging deliriously to the cliff edges of Highway 1, marveling at the sheer drop down into the spectacular Pacific, or twisting your way along the Russian River, among the redwood giants and the intimate vineyards tucked here and there along the way—the route there is already enough of an adventure to write home about.  Still, Mendocino is the destination that will lure you along these glorious paths, opening up to you like a special reward, secreting you away from the usual life–forcing you to live without cellphone reception and giving you so much more in exchange.

No matter how you arrive at Mendocino, be sure that the Brewery Gulch Inn is where you stay.  Situated at the very outskirts of the old village, it is a little treasure of a world unto itself—making the beach and the redwood forest, the charming Mendocino village, and the seclusion of a private inlet all immediately at your fingertips.

Nestled into the natural surroundings, the very essence of the Brewery Gulch is imbued with the warmth and earthiness of the forest.  Built by reclaimed wood that had been buried in the sand for decades, it comes as no surprise that the Inn resonates with a wonderful natural harmony.  These enormous  logs of mind blowing proportions had been left  carelessly by the logging industry, which had originally settled the area over a hundred years ago.  The massive untouched timber surfaced all these years later, perfectly preserved by the sand. Discovering these immense finds, the Inn’s owner, Guy Pacurar, was inspired to make use of these beautiful, fallen giants, breathing new life into them and building an inspiringly gorgeous, welcoming home.

Stepping into the Brewery Gulch for the first time (and for every time thereafter) you immediately feel the welcoming warmth and the precise thoughtfulness that went into every inch of the space.  The big, open spaces full of light and airy brightness; the cozy furnishings that invite you to snuggle into them; the fireplace that crackles cheerfully; the broad back deck with a sweeping panorama of the ocean bay–all feel like old friends who’ve been waiting to eagerly embrace you. And that is as much a part of the environment and decor, as it is a part of the general atmosphere that the Innkeepers themselves conjure.

When prompted, Guy will wax poetically about the history and geography of the area that he himself fell in love with not too long ago (he originally hails from Southern California), and when it comes to recommendations, his knowledge and insight is better than any guide book you could hope to find.  He has an encyclopedic memory for all the best local hikes and excursions to explore, the most unique vineyards to visit (and by all means follow his recommendations!)

The other welcoming and wonderfully unique detail that sets the Brewery Gulch Inn apart, is their unimaginably fabulous “wine hour,” which has expanded to include enough tantalizing plates of house-prepared gourmet appetizers (served buffet style in their main room) and a special dessert, that you could easily call it dinner.  And what a dinner at that!  During our stay we sampled a wild caught salmon so fresh and flavorful that you  taste the sea in every bite, followed by organic asparagus, potato and beet salads that all tasted like they’d been made with vegetables harvested that morning (and more than likely, they were).  These are the kinds of meals that inhabit your memory with their visceral experience– that you find yourself craving as much for their delicious flavors as for the way they evoke the memory of everything you loved about a trip.

And that is the wonderful seduction of The Brewery Gulch Inn – the way it evokes so much, so deeply and so effortlessly, creating a feeling of instant home in a place that you just discovered.  A place that you are already craving even before you leave. And though it is always sad to say goodbye, there is such wonderful comfort in knowing that home is always waiting for your return.

- Ava Fedorov

Photographs by Jeffery Owens and Ava Fedorov for Socially Superlative