Eureka Inns

The Carter House Inns and Restaurant

 Of all Eureka inns, The Carter House Inns are the most romantic and historic, with one of the best restaurants in Northern California.

The Carter House Inns in Eureka, CaliforniaThe Carter House Inns in Eureka

Of all the Eureka inns, the Carter House Inns and Restaurant must look the most impressive when you arrive. There’s the main hotel building and then across the corner are three more buildings, one of them bright yellow and all of them looking elegantly Victorian in style. It’s certainly a romantic spot to reach after a day driving the Pacific Coast Highway.

Some of the buildings are original Victorian, but the Carter House itself was built in 1982 by owner Mark Carter. He meticulously copied the plans for a house from San Francisco that had been built in 1884-5 but later destroyed in the earthquake.

Our Pick of the California Guides

Rough-Guide-California-2023.png

It looks right at home among the other grand old Eureka inns and mansions. Mark originally intended the house to be his own family home, but construction took longer and cost more than he’d planned, and he started taking in paying guests. When we pulled up outside the buildings and said ‘Wow!’, we were sure glad that he did.

The Carter House Inns in Eureka, CaliforniaThe Carter House Inns in Eureka

All photos (c) Donna Dailey

We’d driven from Mendocino that day, and for the later part of the drive Highway 101 veers inland, away from the Pacific Coast. But that’s no bad thing as it goes through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, a chance to spend some time among those magnificent giant trees, definitely one of the PCH highlights.

The Carter House is easy to find, just a block or so off 101 as it goes through the center of Eureka, and we got there as the daily wine tasting with hors d’oeuvres was being held in the hotel lobby. A nice welcome.


You can see more photos by Donna Dailey on our YouTube slideshow

Eureka Inns: Carter Cottage

We were keen to see our room, though, and were booked into the Carter Cottage, across the street. It was cute from the outside and huge inside. We entered into the large living and dining area, with its own kitchen and a dining table big enough to host dinner parties.

You can book the Cottage to do that if you wish, and the hotel’s award-winning Restaurant 301 will do the catering for you. (We decided to make life easier and would wander over to them to eat.)

The Cottage Kitchen at The Carter House Inns in Eureka, CaliforniaThe Cottage Kitchen

The Cottage managed to keep a historic feel, with fireplaces, wooden floors, and a four-poster bed with drapes around it, but it was set off by stylish modern touches, with carvings and statues, and of course all the modern comforts - two bathrooms, a two-person deep jetted tub, beautiful toiletries, and high-speed internet. 

The Cottage Bedroom at The Carter House Inns in Eureka, CaliforniaThe Cottage Bedroom

Eureka Inns: Other Options

As well as the Carter Cottage the inn also has the Bell Cottage, next door. This was built in 1890 and beautifully restored in 1992. This is a cottage for slightly larger parties than the Carter Cottage, as it has three suites but also has a full kitchen for anyone wanting to self-cater or have dinner parties catered by Restaurant 301.

At the end of the row is the original Carter House, where the inn was first located before moving across the street. The Carter House has two large rooms and two two-bedroom suites.

Eureka Inns: The Carter House Inn

The main hotel building, which is also where the restaurant is, was constructed from scratch in the mid-1980s, but again a lovely job was done of making it look like it’s been there for a hundred years.

Here they have a range of options from regular rooms through to luxury suites. It’s also where Restaurant 301 is located, where the afternoon wine and evening cookies are served, and all room rates include a gourmet breakfast in Restaurant 301.

The Cottage Bathroom at The Carter House Inns in Eureka, CaliforniaThe Cottage Bathroom

Restaurant 301

We tried not to fill up too much on the complimentary hors d’oeuvres as we’d booked a table at Restaurant 301, which Frommer’s has called ‘one of the best restaurants in Northern California’. We haven’t eaten in every restaurant in Northern Caifornia, but if you know of a better one than here at the Carter House Inn please email us.

Restaurant 301 is formal dining but in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It’s definitely a place for that special romantic supper, with high ceilings and plenty of space around the tables. The kitchen follows a garden-to-table philosophy, which began when the restaurant first opened almost 30 years ago and an edible flower and vegetable garden was planted. You can visit the organic garden, if you like, just down the street.

Otherwise food is primarily sourced from the best suppliers in Humboldt County, and the quality of the produce shows in the menu’s dishes. We had some wonderful flavor-filled plates such as Redwood Forest Wild Mushroom Risotto, Oregon Coast Kumamoto Oysters, and a Pot Roast Breast of Rosie Farm Chicken, with an amazingly tasty Dried Apricot, Pistachio, and Pineapple Sage Stuffing.

Restaurant 301 Wine List

The restaurant’s wine list is quite daunting, as it carries almost 4,000 wines and is one of less than a hundred places worldwide to win the highly coveted Wine Spectator Grand Award.

I always enjoy reading wine lists, even if I can’t afford half of them, but thankfully there’s a helpful sommelier to steer you through and also a separate list of wines by the glass if you want to try a different wine with each course, which we did.

Next morning we toured the town and saw some more of Eureka’s inns and old mansions, but we’ve no hesitation in recommending the Carter House Inns and Restaurant if you’re looking for a historic and romantic hotel in Eureka.

Decor at The Carter House Inns in Eureka, CaliforniaDecor in The Cottage

Contact Details

Carter House Inns
301 L Street
Eureka, CA 95501
Freephone: 800/404-1390
Phone: 707/444-8062
Email: reserve@carterhouse.com 

Unique Inns
The Carter House Inns and Restaurant in Eureka is a member of Unique Inns. For more details and for online booking information for all the Unique Inns in California, Oregon and Washington, as well as their inns in Idaho, and British Columbia in Canada, visit the
Unique Inns website.

Other California hotels

  • If you’re looking for a Cambria Lodging then the Cambria Pines Lodge in Cambria is a few miles from San Simeon and Hearst Castle.

    Cambria Lodging at the Cambria Pines Lodge

    If you’re looking for a Cambria Lodging then the Cambria Pines Lodge in Cambria is a few miles from San Simeon and Hearst Castle.

  • Standing on the Pacific Coast Highway in California, Santa Barbara is an attractive resort with a historic downtown, sandy beaches, a mission, and good museums.

    Santa Barbara

    Standing on the Pacific Coast Highway in California, Santa Barbara is an attractive resort with a historic downtown, sandy beaches, a mission, and good museums.

  • The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel is Ventura 's only beachside hotel with ocean front swimming pool and rooms with ocean views.

    Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

    The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel is Ventura 's only beachside hotel with ocean front swimming pool and rooms with ocean views.

  • A walk around the Point Lobos State Reserve near Monterey and Carmel provides lots of photo opportunities, especially of the Harbor Seal Birthing Area.

    Point Lobos State Reserve near Carmel and Monterey, with photos

    A walk around the Point Lobos State Reserve near Monterey and Carmel provides lots of photo opportunities, especially of the Harbor Seal Birthing Area.

  • Oceanside is a typical southern California beach town with a surf culture and with the Pacific Coast Highway running right through it.

    Oceanside

    Oceanside is a typical southern California beach town with a surf culture and with the Pacific Coast Highway running right through it.

  • The Pelican Inn and Suites in Cambria on California's Central Coast has oceanfront views, swimming pool, gardens, and is right on the beach near Hearst Castle.

    Pelican Inn and Suites in Cambria on the Central Coast of California

    The Pelican Inn and Suites in Cambria on California's Central Coast has oceanfront views, swimming pool, gardens, and is right on the beach near Hearst Castle.

  • Where to Stay in Carmel include reviews of the Mission Ranch, Sea View Inn, The Cypress Inn, Lamp Lighter Inn and Vagabond's House Inn.

    Where to Stay in Carmel

    Where to Stay in Carmel include reviews of the Mission Ranch, Sea View Inn, The Cypress Inn, Lamp Lighter Inn and Vagabond's House Inn.

  • San Clemente in California is a small city on the Pacific Coast Highway midway between San Diego and Los Angeles, noted for its beaches and surfing.

    San Clemente California

    San Clemente in California is a small city on the Pacific Coast Highway midway between San Diego and Los Angeles, noted for its beaches and surfing.

  • The Pacific Coast Highway goes right through Laguna Beach, a relaxed artsy beach resort whose attractions include shopping, galleries, dining, and beaches.

    Laguna Beach

    The Pacific Coast Highway goes right through Laguna Beach, a relaxed artsy beach resort whose attractions include shopping, galleries, dining, and beaches.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel recommends some of the top wildlife spots along the California coast.

    Top Wildlife Spots on the California Coast

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel recommends some of the top wildlife spots along the California coast.

  • Drive the Pacific Coast Highway and you have to cross Bixby Bridge in California, ten miles north of Big Sur and 30 minutes south of Monterey.

    Bixby Bridge

    Drive the Pacific Coast Highway and you have to cross Bixby Bridge in California, ten miles north of Big Sur and 30 minutes south of Monterey.

  • The Lighthouse Inn at Point Cabrillo is a romantic, historic guesthouse on the Mendocino California coast, on the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Lighthouse Inn at Point Cabrillo

    The Lighthouse Inn at Point Cabrillo is a romantic, historic guesthouse on the Mendocino California coast, on the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • For Cambria accommodation on California Central Coast, not far from Hearst Castle, check out the Olallieberry Inn with private bathrooms and great breakfasts.

    Cambria Accommodation, The Olallieberry Inn

    For Cambria accommodation on California Central Coast, not far from Hearst Castle, check out the Olallieberry Inn with private bathrooms and great breakfasts.

  • The Inn at Morro Bay offers accommodation in Morro Bay State Park, close to beach and wildlife, with outdoor pool, just off the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Inn at Morro Bay

    The Inn at Morro Bay offers accommodation in Morro Bay State Park, close to beach and wildlife, with outdoor pool, just off the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • Santa Monica Pier is just off the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica near Los Angeles, with an amusement park, an aquarium and many other attractions.

    Santa Monica Pier

    Santa Monica Pier is just off the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica near Los Angeles, with an amusement park, an aquarium and many other attractions.

  • San Luis Obispo in California is half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on the Pacific Coast Highway and with lots of things to do and see.

    San Luis Obispo

    San Luis Obispo in California is half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on the Pacific Coast Highway and with lots of things to do and see.

  • Whale watching in California is one of the most popular things to do along the Pacific Coast Highway, in places like San Diego, San Francisco and many more.

    Whale Watching in California

    Whale watching in California is one of the most popular things to do along the Pacific Coast Highway, in places like San Diego, San Francisco and many more.

  • The Oceana Santa Barbara beachfront hotel has a perfect seafront location, close to Stearns Wharf and State Street, and whale watching cruises.

    Santa Barbara Beachfront Hotel

    The Oceana Santa Barbara beachfront hotel has a perfect seafront location, close to Stearns Wharf and State Street, and whale watching cruises.

  • Mendocino in Mendocino County is a small but pretty California coastal town, popular with artists and with travelers. It has featured in many songs and movies.

    Mendocino

    Mendocino in Mendocino County is a small but pretty California coastal town, popular with artists and with travelers. It has featured in many songs and movies.

  • The Madonna Inn is a historic landmark resort hotel in San Luis Obispo, California, with 109 uniquely decorated rooms, steak house, and fitness centre.

    Madonna Inn, California

    The Madonna Inn is a historic landmark resort hotel in San Luis Obispo, California, with 109 uniquely decorated rooms, steak house, and fitness centre.

  • This Visiting Hearst Castle page gives all the practicalities including location, types of tour, length of tours, how long to allow, and much more information.

    Visiting Hearst Castle

    This Visiting Hearst Castle page gives all the practicalities including location, types of tour, length of tours, how long to allow, and much more information.

  • There are lots of free things to do on the Pacific Coast Highway and here's our list of ten of them including wildlife, the best free views, and free museums.

    Free Things to do on the Pacific Coast Highway

    There are lots of free things to do on the Pacific Coast Highway and here's our list of ten of them including wildlife, the best free views, and free museums.

  • Encinitas is a beach city in Southern California, famous for surfing, and regularly chosen as one of the best places to live in both California and the USA.

    Encinitas

    Encinitas is a beach city in Southern California, famous for surfing, and regularly chosen as one of the best places to live in both California and the USA.

  • Dana Point in California is the official start or end of the Pacific Coast Highway, and its attractions include whale watching, and Doheny State Beach.

    Dana Point

    Dana Point in California is the official start or end of the Pacific Coast Highway, and its attractions include whale watching, and Doheny State Beach.

  • Unique Inns on the Pacific Coast Highway include some of the best independently-owned boutique hotels, spas, and lodges in California, Oregon and Washington.

    Unique Inns on the Pacific Coast Highway

    Unique Inns on the Pacific Coast Highway include some of the best independently-owned boutique hotels, spas, and lodges in California, Oregon and Washington.



Recent Articles

  1. Best Restaurants in Malibu

    Jul 19, 24 06:25 AM

    cafe-habana-malibu-sign.webp
    Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks ten of the best restaurants in Malibu, including Californian, Greek, Cuban, steakhouse, and seafood choices.

    Read More

  2. Best Restaurants in Santa Monica

    Jul 17, 24 10:04 AM

    the-lobster-restaurant-santa-monica-pier.webp
    Pacific Coast Highway Travel picks ten of the best restaurants in Santa Monica, including Californian, Asian, vegetarian, Italian, and seafood choices.

    Read More

  3. The 50 best beaches in Southern California

    Jul 16, 24 08:42 AM

    When you visit the 50 beaches from San Diego to Santa Barbara on The Times’ best beaches list, we want you to feel like you’re having one of those oh-so-California beach days.

    Read More