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“Affordable even for graduate students, with the charm expected of retired executives”

The Pelican Inn Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 1 Restaurants in Muir Beach
Cuisines: Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed June 17, 2014

THE PELICAN INN is a hotel and restaurant located in Marin County in California. The Inn can be reached from either one of two roads that wind their way down the southern flank of Mount Tamalpais. One of these two roads passes right by Muir Woods. A third road enables people from the north, e.g., Stinson Beach, Bolinas, and Point Reyes, to drive southwards along Route One and reach The Pelican Inn.

The Pelican Inn is located on Route One (not on some remote road), and thus is easy to find. The Pelican Inn has English Tudor architecture. There are no other commercial businesses nearby, and thus nothing to mar the scenery or to disturb the ambiance. Inside, is a taproom with a few tables, where one can enjoy meals. The taproom has a dartboard, where amateurs can practice their skills. The ground floor also has a medium-sized dining room, and there are additional out-of-door dining tables in back of the Inn. Upstairs, one finds a dozen or so bedroom suites, each having canopy beds and furnishings that seem to be quaint museum pieces. The room comes with fresh cut flowers and a small bottle of Bailey's Bristol Creme (anyway, that was my experience 17 years ago, when I stayed overnight on two occasions). Altogether, I had meals at The Pelican Inn on about six occasions in the past 17 years. The menu features traditional British cuisine, and so, one should not expect to find entrees that happen to be the current fad and fashion in California, such as a bizarre hybrid of Thai/Korean/French cuisine. Of course, the tap beer and stout is "de regueur" for the complete Pelican Inn experience. The stairway that leads from the ground floor to the bedroom suites upstairs is narrow.

Everything about The Pelican Inn is likely to leave lasting memories of abundant pleasantness, e.g., for families with children, for younger men who are in a courting mode, for older couples, and for tourists of any type. On weekends, the dining room guests often include athletes wearing their bicycling suits. Regarding the surroundings outside, Muir Beach is a short walk. The beach is a secluded one, though it lacks the singing pebbles that are found at nearby Tennessee Beach. Muir Beach includes a couple of charming footbridges that convey visitors over the marshland. This marshland is an excellent place for birdwatching, and the beach is excellent for picnics, and so on. At night, from your bedroom suite in The Pelican Inn, one can sometimes hear a symphony of frogs, with thousands of froggy-voices croaking in unison.

Of course there are other choices for charming hotels on the California coastline, but The Pelican Inn is the closest one to San Francisco, and is the only one to have Tudor architecture and traditional British cuisine. For tourists interested in spending several hundreds of dollars per night, and who don't care for the affordable rates at The Pelican Inn, there are other options. For example, people wishing to get-awy-from-it-all, and also wishing to spend over $500.00 per night, can stay at any one of the charming hotels further up north near Salt Point State Park, and even further north, at Elk, California (with its magnificent sheltered bay), and also in the famous town of Mendocino, CA.

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Thank TomBrody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 - 112 of 188 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2014 via mobile

We arrive on Sunday and were greeted immediately by a friendly staff. The property is a unique English style boutique hotel. Very comfortable. Very we'll located only a short walk from the beach. Muir Wood was only a few mile away. Breakfast was excellent. The entire staff was wonderful.

Thank Tron4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2014

I like it here in the winter, when the tourist season has waned, and you can easily get a table, without staying at the Inn. I like the week-end buffet, and a warm table by the roaring fireplace.

2  Thank dakine94110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2014

Arriving around 6pm mid-week we walked through the restaurant part of this typical English pub. The farthest part of the restaurant which was almost a lean-to extension was the only area with laid tables and a few customers. We were welcomed but within a minute another waitstaff came in and, looking at some notes, pleasantly apologised as all the tables were booked, mainly (we understood) by guests staying there.

We were invited to eat at the pub side and walked through the dark, empty, inner restaurant and around the corner into the small pub side, which seats 20-25, and was almost full with very casually dressed couples, many in shorts, who seemed to be locals. We were given both the pub and the restaurant menu.

The pub menu offered some salads, a soup, and mainly English pub staples like beef stew, shepherds pie, bangers and mash, fish & chips. Prices were $7-12 apart from the fish & chips which was $16 and was also on the restaurant menu at the same price. The restaurant menu was fancier, with chicken, lamb, beef Wellington, steak, roast beef and the like; most entrees were between $30-36.

We shared an excellent, crispy battered fish with OK fries and went back the next evening for the same (we were staying nearby and there's nothing else within 15" down some hairpin bends - and it's not as easy as you'd think to find crispy deep fried battered fish back in England, the home of fish& chips). The portion was large so we took away the shepherds pie for later, but it was disappointing; we couldn't finish as it was too bland and gloopy.

There were only 2 staff in the whole place so far as we could tell. On our first visit they nicely asked us to call after 9.30am next day if we wanted to make a booking as they were not authorized to do so.

Thank exotissima1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2014

We dropped in this delightful little Inn on our way out to the Marin headlands in order to book a table for dinner on our way back. I had visited a few times over the last 10 years and it had always been very busy. We returned about 30 minutes before our reservation time and we were greeted warmly like a regular customer and shown straight to our table. I ordered a (imperial) pint of Fullers ESB which was delicious and noticed a crack in the glass. Our server efficiently took the drink away. The bar tender promptly returned with a fresh pint and apologized for the problem. Yes - you would expect no less, but it was handled very professionally - they really appeared to care. We liked that the menu was not too extensive and overwhelming and settled on the Beef Wellington and the salmon. What a great choice, both were well prepared and tasty. The roast beets were outstanding.
The only real negative was the building itself (including the Pelican sign outside) - it really is showing it's age and is in need of a good overhaul. I am sure due to the location, the weather gives it a good beating

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Thank UKNickUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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