Staying in a bed and breakfast can be a wonderfully relaxing experience where you're entertained by affable hosts and served delicious homemade scones. Or, you can find yourself sleeping in a room stuffed with antique teddy bears and eating vegan granola (true story). Need tips for choosing the best bed and breakfast? Here are the questions you should ask.
A bed and breakfast vacation is a more sociable experience than staying in a hotel. Guests often fall into conversation in the parlor or around the breakfast table - which is part of the appeal. But if you're in the mood for an intimate, secluded stay, look for a B and B with detached cottages, separate entrances or private patios.
The classic bed and breakfast is a Victorian mansion furnished with velvet settees and antique clocks. The old-fashioned feeling can be charming, but don't expect HDTV and wi-fi in your room. If antiques are too fussy for you, look for a more modern B and B with sofas you can sink into. Or, choose one that combines the best of both worlds. The Queen Victoria bed and breakfast in Cape May has abundant Victorian charm with updated, cozy guestrooms.
Enjoying a sumptuous breakfast is half the fun of staying at a B and B, but every owner's approach is different. Some may serve up light fare, such as muffins and yogurt. Others will go for the gusto with bacon, eggs and butter-laden grits. Each year, BedandBreakfast.com awards a winner for the Best Breakfast from a B and B. And the winners are...
Do a little research before you book to make sure the breakfast is what you expect. And if you have dietary restrictions, be sure to ask about accommodations ahead of time. Many innkeepers are happy to personalize the menu.
Not every bed and breakfast is in a historic home. If you're feeling the call of the sea, you can stay in theSaugerties Lighthouse bed and breakfast in New York, which dates to 1869. Or try the Red Caboose Getaway B and B in Washington, which consists of six cute cabooses parked around a duck pond. Breakfast is served, naturally, in the Art Deco "Silver Eagle" dining car. Check out the Travel Channel's list of unique bed and breakfasts here.