MacArthur Place Country Inn & Spa, continued

to be one of the oldest Victorian homes in Sonoma. Five generations of the Burris family lived here, and their home was known for gracious hospitality and gala events.

In 1971 Anna Burris Welch sold the estate to Howard and Jane Good, who enhanced the gardens and maintained the estate for 26 years.

In 1997, Suzanne Brangham contracted with the Goods to create a country inn. The result, MacArthur Place, has been honored by the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation. The 20 buildings comprising today’s MacArthur Place feature Greek revival Victorian style design, with individually hand-carved spindles on porch and balcony railings. Shutters duplicate those of the original mansion.

Creative gardens—such as the enlarged chess board of the Chess Garden—and art paths, featuring unique sculptures from local artists, link the buildings. Saddles, MacArthur Place’s signature restaurant, is my choice for dinner. The original estate barn—circa 1857 and said to be fashioned after Thomas Jefferson’s barn in Monticello —houses this authentic steakhouse, which specializes in corn-fed 100% U.S.D.A. prime beef, steaks, chops and a variety of fresh seafood.

Wine, of course, is from Sonoma and Napa Valleys.

The décor is distinctly sophisticated equestrian: restored original hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, and white-clothed tables with comfortable leather chairs. Life-size paintings of    READ MORE