At Carter House Inn, a welcoming wood fire in the main lobby is lit mornings and evenings nearly year round. Starting at 5 pm, you can sink into leather chairs and sofas with a starter or dessert and a glass of wine from Restaurant 301's award-winning cellar stocked with 3,400 bottles. You could also order up a seasonal cocktail or happy hour nibble from the bar overlooking the lobby, which opens at 4 pm. If you don't want to leave, book a room, suite or cottage with your own private fireplace (or fireplaces!) and join other guests each evening for tea and freshly baked cookies around the fire.

Carter House Inns
301 L St., Eureka | (707) 444-8062

click to enlarge Eureka Inn - AMY KUMLER
  • Amy Kumler
  • Eureka Inn

A must-see is the grand fireplace at the historic Eureka Inn. The Tudor-style hotel opened in 1922 to coincide with the completion of the Redwood Highway and had the distinction of being the place to stay between San Francisco and Portland. Since 2009, new owners have been working on renovations and expect to have 125 rooms updated by late spring 2016. The high-ceilinged, chandeliered lobby boasts a grand, brass-mantled, oak and redwood fireplace topped with a commissioned painting of the European discovery of Humboldt Bay. Relax on the comfy leather sofas after 5 pm with a drink from the Palm Lounge or from the Bristol Rose Café Monday through Saturday.

Eureka Inn
7th & F Streets, Eureka | (707) 497-6093

In Ferndale, The Victorian Inn's dining room is just the place for a cozy meal on winter days. Built in 1890, it's a period stunner and one of the most photographed structures in California. The warm and inviting VI Restaurant serves breakfast from 8 to 10:30 am, lunch from 11:30 am to 3 pm (except Monday) and dinner from 4:30 to 9 pm. Reserve a dinner table by the fireplace and enjoy a glass of wine with roasted asparagus and Kumamoto oysters to start, followed by a chargrilled 16-ounce ribeye or paella Portuguese while listening to the baby grand on Wednesdays and Sundays, or a guitar soloist on Mondays and Fridays.

Victorian Inn & VI Restaurant
400 Ocean Ave., Ferndale | (707) 786-4949

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Lynn Leishman

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