A Little R&R at a B&B

Summer is now a distant memory and fall is in full swing. If you’re anything like me, you’re already missing those summer getaways and looking forward to where you’ll be going next year. Although I can’t help you bring the warm weather back, I can give a suggestion for a quick getaway now.  And what better a time to get away than this weekend? Columbus Day is this weekend and for many of us it means a long weekend! Cheers to that…

Clarkston Inn, Newport

Way back when–this summer–my boyfriend and I decided to go away for a short vacation to Newport, RI. Newport is only about an hour drive but we thought we would make it feel like a real “vacation” by spending the night there.  We love Newport and knew exactly what we wanted to do, but we weren’t sure where to stay. Being a beach town, many of the hotels were already booked.  We were left with two options: pay upwards of $300 at a sub-par chain hotel, or try out one of the many Bed & Breakfasts that Newport has to offer. We decided on the later.

Consider staying at a quaint B&B or Inn instead of the usual hotel chain.  It’s a completely different experience. With a B&B, you still get all of the basic amenities (like room service, discounts at local attractions, complimentary soap in the bathroom, etc), but you also get so much more! At B&Bs, everything just seems more personalized. They call you by your first name, walk you up to your room (which are usually bigger and have a more “homey” feel) and cook you breakfast in the morning.

You know every time you go away–whether it be for the day, or for a week–you always ask, “Where should be go for *insert name of meal here?*”

Well the great thing about B&Bs is that the answer is obvious–downstairs!  Although the experience will most likely vary depending on where you go, I would imagine it’s generally similar.  How it worked at the one we stayed at is that you go downstairs into a large dining room where everyone staying congregates for breakfast.  The waitress comes over and tells you the menu for the day.  When we stayed we got to choose from fresh blueberry pancakes or waffles, french toast, fresh fruit salad, toast, bacon, eggs, etc.  One of the most unique things about a B&B is getting to sit and meet people from all over the country (and world!).  My boyfriend and I met a couple from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Italy. Then (it’s pretty obvious) you sit, eat and make small talk with the people around you.  If you’re not familiar with the area it’s a great way to get ideas about things to do and to learn about other’s traveling experiences.

Finally, if you’re staying at a B&B don’t expect it to be a 5-Star hotel.  Chances are it isn’t going to have a gym, wi-fi, swimming pool (although many have jacuzzi tubs), or conference center. You know, all the things that most hotels have that you probably never even use.  Make sure to spend a little time looking for a good B&B and comparing prices.  Not sure where to start looking?  Sites like this one and this one let you search by location and will give you plenty to choose from with pictures, prices and reviews–some even offer special discounts!

~J

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