Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

Historic Hotels of America (and California)

Three Golden State properties join a past-perfect lodging group.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    LOOK-BACK LODGING: Businesses are often grouped by company or area, it is true. And, yes, particular categories of businesses will sometimes band together by type. Hotels do this fairly often. We're not talking about chains or boutiqueries or inter-company situations but rather those properties that find something in common beyond who first built them or the original logo on the hotel letterhead. One of the most prestigious of such organizations is the Historic Hotels of America. It's name is beautifully clear: Stay-over spots with a bit of history are part of the nationwide network. But not all older hotels; becoming part of the group is something special indeed. And, every so often, a new batch of grand, story-laden getaways are inducted as the newest members. "Inducted" even sounds historic and rather high-hat, in a wonderful way, when used in this sense. Historic Hotels of America, which is "a program for the National Trust of Historic Preservation," just welcomed 21 new hotels -- well, new to the org, of course, but not so new -- at a special luncheon. And how did our own state fair? Three properties showed on the inductee list. And they are...

    OMNI LA COSTA RESORT & SPA: It's in Carlsbad, as you likely know, and it has some epic golf play, as you know, and it was built in 1963, which is pretty zazzy. Oh, and if you're curious? Hotels built in 1963 are among the youngest of all the Historic Hotels of America, which includes buildings ranging in age from 50 to, wait for it, 247 years old.

    BENBOW INN: If you're wending up to the redwoods or the Lost Coast, you're bound to drive by this built-in-1926 ye-olde-English-y manor. A nice and historic touch? Complimentary tea and scones are served each afternoon in the lobby. Please. That's so swank.

    FAIRMONT SONOMA MISSION INN: Constructed just a couple of years after the Benbow, this grand wine country getaway boasts a posh spa, golf, restaurants, and hot springs access. Oh yes, and many Sonoma wineries is just a pop away. Good times with a historic spin? Indeed.