A little over a week ago, my fiancé and I spent two nights at one of my favorite hideaways, The Inn at Newport Ranch in Fort Bragg. For those of you in or around the Bay Area, this place is the perfect little escape. It gives you the feeling that you travel far and wide when it’s only a few hours north of San Francisco. This hidden gem is a great place to feel at ease for any type of occasion or reason. It’s perfect for that ‘wanna get away’ reason, or maybe rent out the entire property for a meditation retreat, or your future wedding and honeymoon experience.
Back in the 1800s, the 2000+ acre property that now owner, Will Jackson, was once a small town called Newport, a logging community. The Cyprus tree at the front of the inn has been there since the 1800s. This landmark is well known to all the locals of Fort Bragg and is the symbol of the inn. This property is many things other than an inn, the owner is trying to make it a preserve for wildlife, as well as a working cattle ranch. The 95-year-old owner says, “Where there is a view, there is a bench”. Scattered throughout the property, Will has placed benches and tables along the coastline, as well as high up in the mountains behind the ranch. Since my last visit, he has installed a guest viewpoint for anyone passing by. One might consider him to be a view collector as he continues to expand the growth of the property.
When staying on the property, I highly recommend going on the UTV tour. Not only was it fun going off-roading, or learning all about the history of the property, but it was great to experience all of these amazing views. Plus, it was so great for me to see all of the wedding ceremony options. This property really is surreal and perfect for weddings! There are three ceremony sites:
The owner rents out his 10-person personal home for the bride’s family at her wedding. It’s called “Sea Drum Home” because the waves sound like a drum when crashing beneath the home. Plus, the main inn consists of 10 rooms as well. You can rent out the entire inn for the groom’s family members. Guests can stay in the town of Fort Bragg, which is no more than 5 minutes south of the inn.
Bonus wedding detail, you have the ability to bring in your own vendors or have the head Chef from the inn cook you exquisite wedding dishes. So, if you are the bride who wants to bring in food trucks, or fine dine your guests, The Inn at Newport Ranch is for you. My fiancé and I had the honor of enjoying Chef’s delicious and unique 5-course meal for our two nights at the inn. The first time I came to The Inn at Newport Ranch back in 2018, all of the guests sat together at one long table. I saw in the dining area that they now have individual tables for guests. I’m sure due to the pandemic, they had to accommodate their guests safely by dividing the large table, but I missed that this time around. We still had a lovely experience dining, considering we were the only two people on the property. They seated us in the lounge with the perfect view of the ocean. Truly the most romantic dining experience EVER!
Here are some examples of the 5-course dishes that the Chef made for us on one of our nights at the inn. All dishes were locally sourced or grown on the estate giving you the ultimate farm to table experience.
Here are another few reasons why you should do the UTV tour. I highly suggest taking the time to learn about the property and go deep into the woods to really get a sense of how grand this estate really is. Explore 1000 feet above sea level through the redwood trees and see their “Newport Nursery”, and hear all about their mission to save the redwoods and the animals that live in them. The Inn at Newport Ranch is not a hunting or logging estate, so the wildlife tends to live on their grounds, like black bears. They climb to the tops of the redwoods and claw at the tops to eat nutrients, which ultimately kills the trees over time. The inn has made it their mission to replant more on the estates to save the forest. Another interesting activity is their new mushroom farm. Come forage for shiitake, blue oyster, and candy cap mushrooms. The last time I visited, we went looking for California Bay Leaf for Chef to use in that night’s dinner. Finally, you can pack a to-go lunch and enjoy it from one of the owner’s lookout points high on the top of the mountain overlooking the stunning ocean. Truly an over-the-top experience worth checking out!
My fiancé and I really had a surreal experience each night when all we could hear were the waves crashing. There is nothing more calming than the sound of water. We spent one of the nights enjoying drinks in our private hot tub. Our room, the Grove Suite, was truly grand! I mean the word in the literal sense because there were not only large grand windows coving the entire back wall giving us the most spectacular view BUT because there were literal grand redwood trees as pillars in the living space. Plus, this grand room had two separate bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a kitchen. Fully equipped with refrigerator, oven, stove, and dishwasher.
If you decide to visit Fort Bragg for your honeymoon, mini-moon, or baby-moon vacation, you should consider the Inn at Newport Ranch. Enjoy soothing spa treatments, yoga sessions, sound baths, and so much more at the Spa! If we were staying for a few more days, I would have done the Sea and C Intense Hydration facial, or other wellness offerings such as sound healing, relaxing and therapeutic sound journey. We enjoyed Swedish massages after doing the UTV tour in the morning. It was a great way to wind down after the adventure.
The Inn at Newport Ranch truly is one of a kind. A place to fully recharge and relax. There is nothing like this exquisite property. 10/10 would highly recommend staying here! Plus, while on your drive to or from Fort Bragg is adorable as well! Stop for oysters in Bodega Bay, see the Point Reyes shipwreck in Inverness, take Instagram-able photos in the cypress tunnel in Point Reyes, stop at Patrick’s salt water taffy, see the lighthouse in Point Arena, feed zebras and giraffes at B Bryan Preserve in Point Area, and explore glass sand beach in Fort Bragg. There are so many romantic, relaxing, and adventurous things to do while in the county of Mendocino!
Paulina Perrucci is a Luxury Destination Wedding Photographer Serving California, Europe, Mexico, the caribbean, and Available for Travel WorldwidE
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