The North Coast's Game-Changing Luxury Ranch Lodging
In 1986, self-described Connecticut Yankee Will Jackson bought an 850-acre cattle ranch with beachfront property and a tiny inn, a few miles north of Fort Bragg. In September 2015, after six years of securing permits and four years of construction, he and his heirs opened The Inn at Newport Ranch, still a working ranch (cattle, quarry, timber) but now surrounded by over 2,000 acres of coastal headlands and rolling hills. The Inn comprises four rooms and four suites (plus the owner's four-bedroom vacation home), each uniquely configured and appointed. The use of woods, stone, concrete, steel, glass, and plaster, and the attention to detail (it will take more than a weekend stay to discover all the architectural and design treasures) are as spectacular as the panoramic views of the north coast bluffs, beaches, and Pacific Ocean sunsets. We stayed in the Grove Suite, so named because many of the building's two-dozen 25-foot-tall redwoods (bark still on) come up through the floor as soaring columns in the living/dining areas. The main inn has a water-tower rooftop hot tub, and each suite has its own. Innkeepers Creighton and Cindi Smith have impeccable and down-home hospitality chops. There's a breakfast spread every morning, wine and appetizers in the evening, and dinner upon request. With a modest footprint, the Inn is Mendocino County's new great leap forward in accommodations.