Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Sep 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Sand Rock Farm

blog_stay_SandRockFarm1History and charm await at Aptos’ bed and breakfast gem
Just off Highway 1 on Freedom Boulevard, the Historic Sand Rock Farm bed and breakfast is the ideal staycation getaway: close to home but, nestled on 10 gorgeous tree-filled acres, remote enough to feel like an escape. For visitors to the area, the South County inn has a convenient location between Monterey and Santa Cruz.

More than 100 years old (the original cottage was built in 1887), the house retains an old-fashioned farmhouse feel, with cozy common areas and roomy, charming suites. Proprietor Kris Sheehan was sure to embrace the house’s original features when she bought and renovated it in the late ’90s. Managing to capture its antique allure while polishing it with top accommodations, Sheehan opened Sand Rock Farm for business in 2001.

The inn is a registered property with American Historic Inns and the wealth of stories surrounding it—some no more than whispered local rumors—give it a certain “if the walls could talk” magic. There’s an enormous gold-rimmed mirror in the living room that the previous owner traded for two head of cattle, and further down on the property sit the ruins of the late-1800s winery run by the original owners. The house was built using redwoods that were milled and most likely grown on the property, and Sheehan likes to say that they hold an enchantment of sorts, seeing as no harm befell the house in the 1989 earthquake, despite its proximity to the epicenter.

blog_stay_SpringDeckblog_stay_wedAnd then there are the more elusive tales, such as that the likes of Santana and The Grateful Dead have graced the property with musical performances. (It is rumored that Owsley “Bear” Stanley lived in the house in the ’60s, giving his good friends The Grateful Dead the opportunity to rehearse in the barn and perhaps the main house.) “But I never say it’s true,” says Sheehan of this and other stories she’s heard. “I just say, ‘People tell me [that]…’”

Although the house is brimful with the past, it’s far from crowded. With only five rooms spread between two separate “wings” of the large house, it’s spacious and private.

I stayed in the Morning Glory Suite, a large bedroom fitted with a queen-size bed, electric fireplace, two-person Jacuzzi tub and private bathroom. The patterned wallpaper, rugs and brass accents gave the feeling of staying at a well-to-do relative’s country manor. With the Jacuzzi tub full of piping hot water and complementary herbal bath grains, and the faint hoots of owls outside my window, I easily forgot that I was actually just a few miles from home.

Sheehan’s home cooked breakfast was abundant, fresh and generously individualized to fit guests’ dietary preferences. As for daytime activities, she’s also keen to hone in on the interests of each guest and provide them with an individualized set of recommendations, or, if they wish, organized activities (she works with local businesses and professionals to provide her guests with package deals, including massages, wine tastings, hikes and bike trips). “You can hike, bike, boat, go to a winery,” she says. “Birding—someone found 13 kinds of hummingbirds on our property once.”

blog_stay_SpringRedwoodBut even if you decide to do Monterey, Santa Cruz and everything in between, be sure to allot some time for wandering around the inn’s own property. I set out to poke around the meandering plot of land and found it to be filled with small wonders. Being winter, the gardens lay dormant—just a shadow of their springtime selves, which can easily be imagined as vibrant, fragrant and lush in warmer months. But the redwood grove was as impressive as ever—here, a towering redwood gives canopy to a sizeable clearing and an intriguing stacked-barrel fountain. The grove is a popular site for weddings, and, upon further exploration, the property proves to be full of such event-friendly settings—all just as unique as the redwood grove. For indoor weddings or events, there’s the 135-year-old Historic Carriage Barn, an old-fashioned but well-kept large, airy space.

But perhaps the most interesting spot on the property is the site of the 1885 wine barreling room. Now just aged, moss-covered rock walls, the ceiling-less room has white lanterns strung across the top that catch the sun and become iridescent orbs—a bright contrast to the dark, castle-like walls.

Home to much to history and myth, Sand Rock Farm is now in its 10th year of helping visitors make new memories and writing the next chapter in the property’s tale. 2011 is a better time than ever to visit the inn, which is offering a 10 percent discount to any previous guests and a mid-week special for all guests (the second night is discounted).

Whether you’re in need of a homey place to rest your head after a busy day of sightseeing, or a place to escape—maybe to curl up with a book by the fire or relax on the redwood deck—Sheehan and her lovely b&b will be sure to provide it for you.


Visit sandrockfarm.com for more information or to make reservations. Historic Sand Rock Farm, 6901 Freedom Blvd., Aptos. 688-8005.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

You Are What You Post

Online personality algorithms put astrological profiles to shame, but UCSC psychologists are raising questions about sharing personal data

 

Venus Direct, Mercury Retro Soon, Honoring Our Labors

As Burning Man (nine days, Aug. 30-Sept. 7 in the sign of Virgo) burns in the hot white desert sands, a petal of the rose created by retrograde Venus and the twelve-petaled Sun in Virgo’s petals unfold. All of us are on the burning ground (Leo) in the womb (cave of the heart) of the mother (Virgo), gestating for humanity once again (each year) a new state of consciousness. Both Virgo and Cancer, feminine (receptive energies) signs, are from our last solar system (Pleiades). When humanity first appeared on Earth we were nurtured by the mother, a matriarchy of energies (on islands in the Pacific). Eve, Isis and Mary are part of the lineages of our ancient Mother. Overseen by the Pleiades, the Earth (matter, mater, the mother) in that last solar system was imbued with intelligence (Ray 3). As we move toward autumn, another mother, Ceres realizes she has mere weeks left with her beloved daughter, Persephone. Persimmon and pomegranate trees prepare for autumn, their colors signs of hope as the light each day continues to dim. Sunday, Venus in Leo turns stationary direct, yet continues in her shadow until Oct. 9 (when retrograde Mercury turns direct). Slowly our newly assessed values emerge from the Venus retrograde. We thought in Venus retro how to use our resources more effectively. Mercury retrogrades Sept. 17. Monday is Labor Day. Let us honor the labor of everyone, all life a “labor.” Let us honor Labor Day and all those who have “served” (labored for) us this past year. We honor their labors. We honor the labor of our parents, those who have loved us. We honor our own labors, too. We are all in service, we are all laboring. We are all valuable.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 4

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sushi Garden

Local sushi empire expands to Scotts Valley

 

Do you overshare online?

I don’t think so. I just post things about my life, like successful things. Sometimes I just like sharing different news that I find interesting, or favorite artists, clothes, music. I like to post photos. Natalia Delgado, Santa Cruz, Server

 

McIntyre Vineyards

I recently met up with three friends for dinner at Sanderlings at Seascape Beach Resort. We chose to eat outside so we could watch the sun set over the ocean, but the Aptos fog rolled in and swallowed it up.

 

Sustainable Supper

The Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper series supports its award-winning programs