Top 5: Places I’ve Stayed

As we’re getting closer to the end of 2019, I’ve been reminiscing about all the beautiful places I’ve stayed over the last couple of years. Which got me to think: Of all of those places, which would make my top five list?

It was an intriguing thought! So I started to look back at my favorite accommodations. It reminded me of all the wonderful places I’ve had the opportunity to stay. But to compile them into a shortlist? That was harder than I thought.

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But after some contemplation, I was finally able to whittle it down. So here they are: My top five stays since the beginning of this blog.

Let’s take a look back together. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Madrona Manor of Healdsburg, California

Of course, this yellow B&B got a spot on my list. One of the things I miss about San Francisco is the proximity to wine country. Especially my favorite area of Dry Creek Valley.

Madrona Manor is in a prime location, just shy of Westside Road, which is a winding road that features several small wineries. The inn also includes a warm pool surrounded by gardens, a Michelin star restaurant, and some lovely views. And even though it has all of this, it still feels very secluded, which is one of the reasons why I loved it.

Read more about my time at Madrona Manor. I’d recommend it as a spot to look up if you’re heading to wine country.

The Blue Door Inn of Mendocino, California

I went to Mendocino a few times during the five years I was living out in San Francisco. Of the few places I stayed while there, I’d have to say The Blue Door Inn was my favorite.

It’s this little white inn with, you guessed it, a blue door right near the center of the village. What I loved about it was the contrast of the modern interior when compared to the rustic vibe of Mendocino. It was cozy and just steps away from all that Mendocino has to offer.

Check out my Mendocino weekend guide for things to do, places to eat, and where to stay while you’re exploring this lovely seaside village.

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A Country Cottage in Occidental, California

I like to think about this place as a lucky find; a hidden gem that I didn’t want to share because my stay here ended up being one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating weekends I had in a long time.

The cottage makes up two units – One side is a large bedroom suite that’s a bit more modern than the rest of the cottage. But you’ll have to click through to see the inside of this place because this outside doesn’t do it justice.

It’s comfy/cozy. Think large country kitchen, daybeds, a wood fireplace, and a deep tub. Plus, the property has a large deck with a hot tub, a pond complete with a rowboat (cute, right?), and a glamping tent if you want to sleep under the stars.

Check out this dreamy country cottage in Occidental. It was such a random getaway when we planned it, but it ended up being one of the best!

Black Bear Lodge in South Lake Tahoe, California

There’s nothing better than a lodge in Tahoe, right? It was my first experience in Tahoe, so perhaps I’m biased, but this little lodge gave me one of my favorite weekends in California.

In fact, it was my birthday weekend. And we had beautiful weather that made it perfect for hiking and exploring. And then, very typical of Tahoe, the day that I was meant to drive back, it snowed! In April. But it was a fun surprise to wake up to.

Black Beard Lodge has everything you’d want in a Lake Tahoe lodge. It was a grand stone fireplace that reaches up to the ceiling, cozy rooms, a coffee and wine bar, cabins, and books and games to enjoy.

See more photos and adventures from my stay at Black Bear Lodge. And be sure to make a reservation with them if you’re making a trip to Lake Tahoe.

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Spider Lake Lodge in Hayward, Wisconsin

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve had quite a few lovely stays out in California. But it’s funny because my favorite stay to-date is a rustic lakeside lodge in Wisconsin.

Spider Lake Lodge had everything I was hoping for. Remote, old school, and cozy. It’s tucked into a forest near Hayward on Spider Lake (hence the name). Originally built in 1923, the lodge still has a lot of those features yet today. Along with two large wood fireplaces, a cozy screened porch, and log-cabin rooms equipped with small fireplaces to stay warm on cool nights.

Check out more photos from those beautiful, rustic lodge. Spider Lake Lodge, you forever have a place in my heart.


OK, that was hard! I’d still love to add Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood and Justin Trails Resort in Sparta, Wisconsin to this list. But that would be cheating!

Regardless, I’m grateful that I’ve been able to stay in these beautiful places. I only hope that I get to explore more in the future.

Next time: My top five list of places I’ve traveled to. Stay tuned!

Let’s go places,

Sarah

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All photos on this blog are mine. Feel free to share but please credit me with a link back to the blog. Much appreciated and thank you for your support!

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