Are you a baby boomer gardener whose thoughts of blooming flowers and bountiful landscape never end, even on vacation? Spend a couple of nights at Mill Rose Inn at Half Moon Bay, California, and all of your boomer gardening dreams will come true.
Alan and I discovered Mill Rose Inn during a coastal California sports car road trip. Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of North America invited us to sample the European-themed bed and breakfast as we made our way up the Pacific Coast from Big Sur to Mendocino. Our only regret? We should have planned a longer stay — one night was not enough.
An iron bed filled with pink and white flowers, situated near Mill Rose Inn’s front walk, was our first introduction to the green thumbs of owners Terry and Eve Baldwin. Entering the front garden through an iron gate, we found a landscape filled with roses amidst an English country garden setting. In one corner, a white gazebo overflowed with the gigantic pink blooms of hydrangeas while on the other side of the garden, patio furniture surrounded a chiminea. When the weather cooperates, it’s the ideal setting for Mill Rose Inn’s complimentary wine and cheese hour.
The Baldwin’s don’t limit their green thumbs to the outdoor gardens. Inside, live houseplants decorate the public areas where both the living and dining rooms feature antique furniture and working fireplaces. On the buffet in the dining room, you’ll find an assortment of cakes and cookies, baked by Eve, as well as coffee and tea.
A walk across a shady back garden brought us to the carriage house and our accommodations in the Renaissance Room. Inside, lavishly wallpapered walls and ceilings, in both the sitting room and the separate bedroom, continued the garden theme. I appreciated the gas-burning fireplace located close to the king-size bed. On the nightstand, a note next to the chocolate-filled candy dish wished us sweet dreams. Across the room, a breakfast table, set with glass decanters of sherry and brandy, sat by a window.
Gilbert and Soames toiletries provided a luxurious touch in the bathroom, where the claw foot tub looked inviting. A mini-refrigerator hidden underneath the vanity contained complimentary beverages, including a carafe of white wine, beer, soft drinks and bottled water.
Alan and I made sure that we signed up for time in the jacuzzi located in a gazebo setting in the back garden. Mill Rose Inn provides a sign-up book guaranteeing guests an hour of privacy in the romantic retreat. Wearing the plush robes and slippers provided in our room, we walked out to the jacuzzi building. Decorated with miniature lights on the outside, special night lighting on the inside set the mood for a luxurious soak. From the tub, another garden highlighted by a soothing fountain provided visual interest.
Mill Rose Inn is within walking distance of Half Moon Bay’s shops, restaurants and galleries. We walked into town for dinner at It’s Italia. Upon our return, we discovered Mill Rose Inn bathed in tiny white lights as if Christmas had arrived in April.
Breakfast is included and guests may choose to enjoy the hot, gourmet meal in the dining room or have it delivered to their rooms. During our visit, breakfast consisted of a fruit plate, glass of champagne, orange juice blended with banana plus a decadent cheese blintz accompanied by croissant and bacon.
Baby boomer gardeners will want to schedule a behind the scenes nursery tour or a day at Filoli Gardens in nearby Redwood City on their visit to Half Moon Bay. But if gardening is not your thing, there’s plenty of activity to keep baby boomers busy. The beach is just a 10-minute walk down the road from Mill Rose Inn or go hiking in the nearby redwoods. Of course, you can also practice kayaking, learn to surf or go horseback riding on the beach.
Plan your own trip on the California coast. Begin by reading the articles on our Coastal California Road Trip page.
You don’t have to be a gardener to appreciate the charms of Mill Rose Inn. The personal customer service and luxurious touches are the ingredients for a romantic boomer getaway, too.
Have you visited Half Moon Bay? Post a comment to tell us about it. Alan and I are definitely returning for more time at Mill Rose Inn.
Disclosure: This travel experience was provided by Mill Rose Inn and Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of America.