A Romantic Coastal Getaway At The Pelican Inn

Photos by Jerry Bowles

Picture the rugged shoreline and the grassy rolling hills of northern England. Sheep and cattle roam the hill close to the ocean. Imagine a beautiful drive over miles of windy, two lane roads interrupted only by the occasional village or small town. Now picture a quaint romantic inn, leaded glass windows, and the smell of burning wood and good food. If this sounds like a trip to a far away land, then you might be surprised.

In only a couple of hours you can transform yourself to another world by visiting the Pelican Inn at Muir Beach. At first glance is appears to be a very nice replica of a traditional English Public House. The similarity does not stop there—the Pelican Inn is as authentic as you can get this side of the Pond.

The traditional English Public House has always been a place where the weary traveler could find a warm fire; and in this case, a cold beer, hot food, and good company. The Pelican Inn is the type of place where couples come to celebrate anniversaries year after year. Equipped with a dining room as well as a small, cozy pub, it makes the perfect destination for a special overnight stay.

The Pelican Inn officially opened its doors in 1979. Patterned after a 16th century Tudor-style country inn, it has all of the hallmarks of a proper inn with warm, dark wood, heavy hand-hewn beams and three fireplaces, one being large enough to walk in. The interior is soothingly dark and warm, full of nooks and crannies. There really is not a straight line in the place and every corner beckons. The inn is steeped in old English detail and superstition.

Constructed in 1673, the Pelican bar was transported from Laker’s, along with cricket tables and Jacobean court cupboards, where highly prized spices would have been kept under lock and key. Directly off of the bar and through a small door is the snuggery, or pub parlor room. This is where those who did not wish to be seen in the public bar could go to enjoy and drink. And, yes, the snuggery has its own cozy fireplace and makes the perfect place to curl up together and escape. The snuggery is the exclusive realm of the overnight guest.

All seven rooms come in English motif and with half-tester beds, which are variations on the four-poster. Each bed also comes with its own piece of medieval lore. Hanging over the headboard is a small stone with a natural hole through it. Hag stones were believed to repel witchcraft. It was thought that during sleep a hag stone would prevent nightmares, and just might be the perfect way to ensure that you don’t get out of bed too early.

It’s only a 5-minute walk down to Muir Beach. As the day begins to close, in its last light, it’s easy to feel like you have traveled to a romantic time where it’s not only all right to slow down, but in the spirit of the country, it might just be required.

The Pelican Inn
10 Pacific Way
Muir Beach, California 94965
415.383.6000
www.pelicaninn.com

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