The tiny town of Westport in Mendocino County seems like the end of the
earth. But venture a few more miles along what is called the Lost Coast
and you find a little bit of historic heaven. Don't miss the sign that
beckons you to Howard Creek Ranch.
As California Magazine put it, "Howard Creek Ranch is a private theme
park of rural pleasures. And make no mistake, there is nothing phony or
recreated here. This is the real deal and a great place to stay. It's
especially wonderful if you appreciate a hundred year old farm house that
still shows its age-nestled in natural, country gardens.
"When you get out of your car you can just start walking and you
can find privacy, nature and something pretty to look at," said Sally
Grigg, who owns Howard Creek along with her husband, Sunny.
Travel writers dub this one of the most romantic bed and breakfasts in
America. The Griggs spent 30 years lovingly restoring the 1871 vintage
farm house, its barn and the ocean-front grounds. It's a work in progress,
even to this day. Sunny, a former Hollywood lighting technician, is the
creative force behind construction.
"I'm a very hands-on person. I've always done things myself. I was
raised on a farm. And that farm-feel is something you can't help but experience
during your stay. There are berries to pick and even a few farm animals
Howard Creek Ranch was settled in 1867 as a land grant by Alfred Howard
who bought it from his father. Lucy Ann, one of Alfred's seven children,
etched her name in the window of one of the 15 guest rooms, all beautifully
designed by Sally Grigg.
You won't leave Howard Creek hungry. A friendly staff spends hours preparing
a bountiful breakfast, using locally-grown products. It's easy to see
why Howard Creek attracts many repeat visitors and those new ones who
are sure to become lifelong guests.
For more information on Howard Creek Ranch you can contact them by mail
at 40501 North Highway One, P. O. Box 121, Westport, CA 95488. Or, if
you prefer you can call at 707-964-6725, fax to 707-964-1603 or check
out their website at www.howardcreekranch.com.