Inn at Avila Beach
A far away exotic destination economically in our own backyard!
Shh, don't tell anyone. We want to keep this a secret just between you and me.
I always thought just knowing about Avila Beach was a big enough deal, the perfect beach, gentle and friendly boardwalk shops and weather with a history of being warm and sunny while the rest of the coast was encased the entire day with cold miserable fog.
Growing up in San Luis Obispo gave me the opportunity to know the pleasures of this tucked away oasis on a regular basis but driving past the Inn almost daily as a youth on my way to the sand never caused me to wonder what lay behind its walls and beyond its balconies.
A couple of years ago a new boyfriend, limited budget and a holiday with family fast approaching gave me the incentive to investigate further what would turn out to be the biggest surprise and the greatest pleasure I've ever had in accommodations as well as at my beloved beach.
Up to this time I had the belief that all of my memorable beach experiences were in my past mostly growing up on the sands of this Southern California Shangri-La. Avila beach was the setting of many "meetups" with school friends, romantic interludes, and raucous escapades of high school swim team friends jumping off the end of the peer at midnight after school dances and swimming to shore. The thrill of getting stung by a jelly fish, swimming with a visiting sea lion, getting stuck by a tide behind the cove, wiping out from a rouge wave or just remembering the feel of a fresh sunburn when I nestled my beach tired muscles beneath the cool, crisp cotton sheets in my bed at nightfall brings me to a place of appreciation for the delicious beach experiences of my youth.
Little did I know that my best "Avila" memories were yet to come as I walked through the door of the Inn with my friend. Being tired from the three plus hour trip from LA was short lived as we were both enthusiastically greeted by the owner complete with an almost instant and unsolicited upgrade and a VIP tour of what the Inn had to offer. In seconds as opposed to minutes we were made to feel as if we owned the place or at the least were family with all the rights and privileges that family is given when going home.
The warm welcome of the owner and generous attention of the staff would have been enough to insure we had the most comfortable stay but the ambiance and funky atmosphere of the Inn itself gave us pause as each corner we turned brought us to a place that not only caused a smile to burst upon our faces but put a gladness into our hearts as though each moment was carefully being tucked away somewhere to be reflected upon at some needed time in our future to raise our spirits or just to bring pleasure to our minds.
I could get into specifics, the beautiful tiles, the exotic plants, sleeping under the cabana over your bed or the fireplace next to it as well as the indoor spa but I think it would be best to limit my observations so that if you decide to take my word for it and visit this treasured retreat you'll be able to make your own discoveries for I understand each person's adventure and what they see from their perspective is unique to them but I can say with all confidence; "I know you'll be joyously surprised and you, like me will look forward to when you can once more visit the Inn"!
I cannot leave this remembrance without sharing one last observation of the Inn in hopes you may take advantage of something I didn't discover till rushing out the door to the family gathering. When lifting my bag off of the chair next to the bed in our room I noticed a collection of notebooks on the nightstand under a lamp. I could see they were somewhat worn, some more than others as surely one could tell they had been handled and read through. In haste I curiously opened the journal on the top of the stack and much to my thrill I began to read an entry by some guest that had stayed in our room! It was remarkable to read but even more remarkable was to think that this forum had been provided by the owners of the Inn and how treasured it was to know of their confidence in that all that would be written would be as warm and inviting as their hospitality and treatment of their valued guests.
Since that one visit my economic and romantic situation has been bleak at best but I look forward in hope that things will improve on both fronts and when they do I'll look for any and every excuse to once more visit the Inn because I know it's the most special and glad memory making get away one could possible hope to find.