7 Top Historic Inns and Bed-and-Breakfasts
With roots dating back hundreds of years, these retreats are steeped in history.
Travel back in time at these storied properties.(Getty Images).
Inns have become a favorite lodging choice for millions of travelers each year. After all, the quaint, homey atmosphere of an inn provides a personalized experience that's hard to replicate in larger brand-backed properties. So, if you're looking for a change of pace from a cookie-cutter hotel or resort, consider a stay in these historic inns across the country for an enticing alternative.
The Farmhouse Inn
Located in California wine country, the Farmhouse Inn is nestled on six beautiful acres in the Russian River Valley and boasts a unique history. The owners of the Farmhouse Inn are fifth-generation local farmers and siblings. With only 25 romantic rooms and suites, this tucked-away inn offers an intimate and personalized experience. The original farmhouse sits at the front of the property, which now houses a highly regarded restaurant built back in 1873. Over time, the restaurant has been a cornerstone for the property, and the food is sourced from a local ranch and nearby artisan farmers. Pamper yourself at the inn's spa, or enjoy roasting s'mores under the stars at night.
Pocono Manor Resort & Spa
Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania
In 1901, a group of friends from Philadelphia yearned for a respite from the hectic routine of the big city. Ideally, this place would be set in a beautiful natural environment conducive to the Quaker philosophy of peacefulness. A call went out to their many friends to gather at the meeting house of the Society of Friends in Philadelphia. After a few months, they purchased land in the nearby Pocono Mountains and began constructing the Inn at Pocono Manor. Recently rebranded as Pocono Manor Resort & Spa, the property is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places and attracts guests from the world over. Situated on 3,000 pristine acres of natural woodlands, the property invites guests to enjoy a variety of seasonal recreational activities, including golf, skiing, horseback riding, archery and hiking.
The Aurora Inn
Aurora, New York
The Inns of Aurora feature four distinct properties. The Aurora Inn opened in 1833, and features guestrooms and common spaces showcasing historic art. By the mid-19th century, Aurora became a major stop on the Erie Canal for boats carrying agricultural products from area farmers to New York City. During its colorful past, the Aurora Inn was a favored overnight destination for visitors traveling by coach, canal boat and rail. And a complete renovation in 2003 revitalized the inn. Today, the property offers guests freshly baked muffins and coffee each morning as well as an afternoon wine and cheese reception hosted by designated innkeepers. What's more, the inn embodies the refined simplicity of the Federal style, with an exterior showcasing graceful columned balconies, stone terraces and a lawn that rolls gently to the water's edge.
Washington School House Hotel
Park City, Utah
A National Historic Registry landmark built in 1889, the Washington School House Hotel reopened in 2011 after undergoing an extensive renovation. The project maintained the building's historical integrity while reimagining its interior. Located in one of the last surviving original school houses in the U.S., the Washington School House has been a Park City icon for well over a century. Sitting atop Park Avenue, just steps above Main Street, Park City's urban dining, shopping and entertainment district, the property boasts an original quarried limestone exterior which has restored the building's authenticity. Plus, a new heated pool and spa have been added into the hillside, which sits surrounded by aspens and boulders.
Westerly, Rhode Island
A Rhode Island landmark since 1899, the Weekapaug Inn reopened in fall of 2012 after a $20 million, five-year long renovation. Located in the peaceful community of Weekapaug, with sweeping views of Quonochontaug Pond and the Atlantic Ocean, the inn features a classic Cape Cod style with red cedar shingles, dark brown trim and red shutters. The decor also displays a blend of Colonial Revival accents and new furnishings, and each room features a distinct color palette and a distinct bedding pattern. The property boasts 31 guest rooms, including four two-bedroom signature suites with spacious sitting areas, full kitchens, dining rooms, fireplaces, pullout queen sleeper sofa and a private elevator and entrance. What's more, the inn offers access to a private, white-sand beach that's just a short walk from the property.
The Charlotte Inn
Set on Martha's Vineyard in the estate of an old whaling merchant from 1864, The Charlotte Inn reflects a bygone era of grace and elegance. No minor detail was overlooked as the house was appointed with fine art and English antiques, quickly becoming one of Edgartown's prized gems. While the ensuing years took their toll on the inn, the property changed for the better in 1972, when current owners and innkeepers, Gery and Paula Conover, transformed the property back to its original grandeur. The inn now boasts sitting rooms with bespoke pieces, spacious guest quarters and exceptional dining at The Terrace restaurant. Stroll along meandering brick paths through the inn's English country–style gardens and soak in the inn's fascinating history.
Windham Hill Inn
West Townshend, Vermont
This 1825 property was originally a farm. In 1962 Windham Hill began its transformation to become a country inn. Now, the Windham Hill Inn is getting back to its roots, with gardens and partnerships with local farms, as well as restored historic rooms where guests can brush up on the past in luxury. The inn features 22 cozy guest rooms placed among the main house, converted barn suites and a private cottage. All rooms are equipped with their own private baths, some of which are jetted spa tubs. Widely known throughout the region for its superior fine dining, the inn offers artfully presented meals and gracious hospitality. Tucked on 160 acres between Green Mountain National Forest and charming hamlets such as Brattleboro and Grafton, the inn offers boundless options for recreational outdoor activities.
Unique Bed-and-Breakfasts Across America
Slideshow: Unique Bed-and-Breakfasts Across America
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Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.
Edited by Liz Weiss.
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