Enjoy the Sea in Albion Without Drowning in High Prices

Posted November 10, 2009 by Kate Hamman

AbaloneShell-DEF Not far from Mendocino County, you'll find a small town that's big on the ocean, but not on high prices. In Albion, you can dive for abalone, dine on local dishes with a French twist, and stay at a historic inn overlooking the water.

Noyo-Pacific Outfitters abalone diving: Saying "diving for abalone in Albion" may be a tongue twister, but it's also a must-do activity for any visit to the California Coast. Feel the invigorating rush of searching for the elusive mollusks as you dive from a kayak or the beach. If you're unsure about how to dive for abalone, Noyo-Pacific Outfitters offers a two-hour guided trip with an experienced diver for $150. However, if you think you can handle it on your own, you can rent the proper equipment for $25 all day.

Ledford House Restaurant: Sitting high above the water on a bluff in the Albion Headlands, the Ledford House creates Provencal-inspired dishes with California produce. The menu changes monthly based on seasonal products and the chef's whim, almost guaranteeing you won't have the same meal twice. Most entrees cost between $20 and $30, but you can save money by ordering from the small-plates menu, which features items such as duck pate with lavender jelly for $12. The restaurant is open Wednesdays through Sundays, and you can listen to live jazz music as you enjoy sweeping views of the ocean.

Fensalden Inn: Once serving as a stagecoach stop, the Fensalden Inn still offers weary travelers a place for rest and relaxation. The hotel sits on 20 acres of land 400 feet above the ocean, and you can wander through a meadow with deer or read a book by your room's fireplace. Be sure to have a drink in the Tavern Room, where the ceiling is still marked by bullet holes dating from the inn's livelier days. Rooms start at $149 per night, and include breakfast.

To search for flights and compare prices to San Francisco, which is home to Albion’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo iStockphoto.com/Astrida Valigorsky)

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