Looking for a quaint, romantic little boutique motel?
If I said I have just the spot in a quiet neighborhood shrouded by tall pine trees within walking distance of eclectic shops, restaurants, and coffee shops, and recreational opportunities abound, would you partake?
That is exactly what we experience any time we stay in Nevada City, California. In the heart of Gold Country, sits a quiet and relaxing "roadside" motel full of charm and character called the Outside Inn.
One of the last standing motels
Most motels nowadays have seen their past glory fade away. The days of traveling on long deserted highways and stopping to stay in a room filled with plastic flowers, flickering neon, and gravel driveways have given way to expensive resorts, vacation rentals, and towering hotels with fancy websites and fast internet connections.
The Outside Inn is horseshoe-shaped because motels back in the day were built to where you drove up to the front door of your room and dropped off your luggage and at most hotels, you parked right in front of your room.
The Outside Inn is a family-owned renovated 1930's motor court hotel. The office was once a convenience store for locals to purchase milk and groceries. The refurbished motel was re-opened as the Outside Inn in 1998 and the owner, Kate Smith, then sold the place to daughter Erin Thiem in 2011, where Erin and her husband Dan now run the Outside Inn. Dan and Erin and the staff are simply wonderful, good people.
What does the Outside Inn have to offer?
There are 15 rooms at the Outside Inn, all uniquely decorated with an outdoor theme. All rooms have either a King or Queen size bed, free WiFi, cable TV, coffee maker, mini-fridge, A/C, and bathroom in all rooms. Kitchenettes and extra beds are available in some rooms.
Outside there are picnic tables, barbecues, and a swimming pool open during the Summer months. All rooms are non-smoking and dogs are welcomed in 14 of their 15 rooms. There is a $25 charge per dog, per room, per night and the dogs can not be left alone during any time.
When Patti and I go to the Outside Inn, we prefer to stay in one of their two cottages. We prefer cottages, well, just about anywhere we stay when cottages are an option and the Outside Inn has two, "The Cabin" and "The Cottage." Reserving a cottage gives you a bit more privacy, with no neighbors, not that it is noisy at the Outside Inn, but cottages are just the way to go for us. Each cottage has a kitchenette and we enjoy grabbing a couple of steaks and barbequing them on the outdoor grills and cooking the rest of our dinner inside. Both the "Cabin" and "Cottage" provide extra space and more rooms for bringing in additional family members or friends.
There are a lot of recreational opportunities around Nevada County. Patti and I enjoy visiting nearby Scotts Flat Reservoir and spending the day there. There is also the beautiful South Yuba River and many more swimming holes in the area. We prefer Scotts Flat on a hot Summer day because it's less crowded as all the "watering holes" can be packed, but don't let that be a deterrent because it is magical.
Here is their wonderful blog that highlights all the fun things to do and places to go in Nevada County:
Do yourself a favor and spend a romantic weekend at the Outside Inn. There really is a lot to do and see. Travel back in time and experience a hotel where plastic flowers have been replaced by real flowers and check out their fancy website!