I first went to Mendocino not as a movie buff, but rather as a good place to stay over after a leisurely drive up through the wine country that stretches from Healdsburg up to Mendocino via Route 128. The Sea Gull Inn was picked at random off www.bedandbreakfast.com, mostly due to price ($50-165 per night), but it was one of my luckiest finds ever.
The Sea Gull Inn is one of Mendocino's first B&Bs and is in a house that dates to 1878. Not only is the innkeeper herself charming, but her inn is a delight. If you have allergies to cats or flowers, this is not the place for you: the inn grounds are chock-full of gorgeous flowers in bloom year-round, and the friendly resident cat (Dottie) will come sleep in your room if you leave the window open!
There are 9 guest rooms, each individually decorated with collectibles, antiques, art and flowers. (You'll have to ask innkeeper Marlene McIntyre about the story that goes with your particular room!). They range from the cozy Shed ($55/night). which has one full bed, toilet, and sink, but no shower, to the Barn ($165/night), which is a two-story cottage in the backyard and the only room with a TV. The rest of the rooms are in the main house and range from $90-130.
I have stayed twice in the Sea Urchin room upstairs, which has one of the most delightful queen-sized beds I've ever slept in. The room is decorated in shades of periwinkle blue and is very quiet; a window looks out on the back gardens. I have also stayed here once with my mother, and we stayed upstairs in the Sand Dollar room, which had two full beds and an ocean view. The beds in the Sea Urchin room were also marvellously restful.
In the morning, breakfast is delivered to your room at the time of your choosing, and consists of coffee/tea, juice, and pastry of the day (muffin or scone). My mother was surprised that breakfast consisted of one big muffin, but the muffin is so tasty and dense -- yet does not sit heavy in your stomach -- that it makes a perfect start to the day.
One of my favorite things about the Sea Gull is its gardens, which fill the backyard and spill out around the house as well. The gardens are split into several small sections, with handcrafted benches and chairs tucked away, perfect places to hide away with a book, and are absolutely lush. It was a wonderful surprise the first time I visited and continue to delight me every visit after. Look for the driftwood bench in the front yard.
The Sea Gull Inn is one of my all-time favorite accommodations anywhere in the world, and my favorite reason to take a weekend away in Mendocino.
Visa/MC accepted; seven-day cancellation policy; children welcomed in the Barn & Geranium rooms only; limited handicapped access. Free parking on-street.