On our recent trip to Kernville, California, we knew where we wanted to go in the area, but we wanted to get a feel for the place before we made our bed and breakfast or hotel choices. We were hoping for something unusual and quiet. To our delight, what we found was the Durrwood Creekside Lodge B&B.
While I tend to want to find a place in town so I can walk to restaurants and other services, Andy was specifically looking for something a bit more in line with the wilderness around us. So, we drove through downtown Kernville, noting the many options right in town, before continuing up M99. For about 20 minutes we followed the winding path that follows the Kern River and heads up the mountain. And voila!
Rustic, charming and (definitely) quiet, we decided to make the Durrwood Creekside Lodge our home for the night. One night that turned into two because we wanted to keep exploring and the Durrwood turned out to be not only comfortable, but particularly well-situated for the wandering.
We landed in the Bear Room. From the picture, I’m betting you can figure out why it is named that. The room wasn’t fancy, but it did have a refrigerator that came in very handy, as well as a TV/DVD combo that we did end up taking advantage of (they have a whole collection of movies available in living room upstairs).
Staying up there did take some planning in terms of meals. There is a grocery that is part of a timeshare camp not far, but it closes early during the week. McNally’s was the closest restaurant, and it was closed on the days we were up there (though their hamburger stand was open during the days). The Durrwood offers outside cooking options (propane only when the fire restrictions are in place), so we headed to the town grocery to pick up stuff for the grill and snacks. I loved the outdoor set-up. Between the gorgeous grounds and the twinkle lights, it felt pretty magical.
Breakfasts are provided by the Durrwood, and I have to say that Dee really goes all out. While I’m not super chatty with strangers, it was actually fun sitting around the table and talking to other wanderers. We shared tips about what to see in the area, and Dee gave us some great ideas about what to see (and how to get there). So, if you are a reluctant socializer like I am, I can recommend taking the plunge.
The B&B is set up against a creek (thus the name), and they have made considerable effort to create little spots of refuge for relaxation and reading. Eddie and Dee gave us the tour and some history on the place on the afternoon we arrived, and we did some exploring the next morning, as well. The property is actually surprisingly large, and I got the sense that it was a carefully cultivated balance of wilderness and tamed areas for guest enjoyment.
There is even a gazebo right above the water that is often used for weddings. In fact, there were rows of benches set up just opposite it for the guests of a wedding the previous weekend.
Pets are welcome for a small extra fee. Keep in mind that this is wilderness, and bears and other wild animals are not uncommon. While the owners do a great job maintaining the property, I think it’s a good thing to be aware of if you decide to wander at night.
As you can probably tell, I’m a fan. It’s a great spot to escape to from the city (only 3 hours from LA). It’s close to the Trail of 100 Giants, hiking and loads of water activities along the Kern River (which is low due to drought, but still flowing). Prices vary depending on the size of the room (they have a separate cabin, along with lodge rooms and camping areas), but we found it to be a perfect fit for our constrained budget.