Eureka! History Discovered at Carter House Inns

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If you’re traveling between California and Oregon you are apt to see a logging truck or two on the highway. Back in the day, Humboldt County was known for its red gold – aka redwood trees. Lumber baron William Carson staked his claim on redwood in the historic town of Eureka, California and built a beautiful Victorian where he could watch over his red gold empire on Humboldt Bay. Nearby the 23 room Carter House Hotel, modeled after a turn-of-the-century Eureka hostelry, sits in the historic district of old town Eureka, surrounded by Carter House Inns Victorian buildings and historic cottages.

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The main building offers guests a European-styled auberge, while Carter House is the grand dame of Victorians and sits across the street from Carter House Hotel. My husband and I stayed with our Labrador Retriever in the Carter House Hotel. As this is a pet-friendly property, our dog was welcomed with her own bed, dog dishes and a bottle of water. She was happy to follow us to our room on the second floor via the elevator, but if you are looking for a little exercise, you may opt for the stairs.

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The 23 room hotel is also home to the well respected Restaurant 301. This is where you’ll eat your breakfast every morning from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. weekdays and 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. on weekends. We had checked out the menu online before our arrival to know that we would making a dinner reservation. If you like lamb and duck, order the Field & Fowl if it is on the menu. Everything is good, but the meats were excellent, as is their wine list. Co-owner Mark Carter has a California wine country connection, as he and his wife co-own Calistoga-based Envy wines with Napa Valley’s Nils Venge. Now I understand why the restaurant boasts a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list and includes the Napa Valley Vintner’s Association logo.

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Upon check-in you’ll learn of the afternoon nibbles and featured glass of wine (or non-alcoholic beverage) that are offered to guests, in addition to evening tea and cookies that are put out nightly by the fire. My husband and I enjoyed the bar above the lobby – they have a great happy hour. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or family-friendly lodging, there’s quite a variety of cottages and rooms available at different price points. I didn’t see the rooms in the cottages or across the street, but pictures and descriptions are available on the website. The place seems to draw a lot of repeat guests.

“We stayed here two years ago for the Christmas Holiday,” said Leah Hodge of San Jose, California. “Eureka is very nice during that time. We had our dog with us because they are pet-friendly and walking distance to old town. Now we’re back in our same room. The breakfast is very good. Don’t forget to try the Carter Cellars. We’re wine snobs and this one is really good!”

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Rates at Carter House Inns range from $170 – $425 not including tax. Off street parking and an electric car charging station are available behind the hotel. Carter House Inns is a member of Unique Inns and Select Registry.

Review by Nancy D. Brown, Bay Area Travel Writer and fan of Queen Anne Victorian architecture. I was a guest of Carter House Inns in Eureka, California while researching another article for an online publication. All photos courtesy Nancy D. Brown.

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