Visit a Family-Friendly B&B or Inn
Staying at a Bed & Breakfast or family-friendly inn can offer a chance to step back in time, an opportunity to be pampered, and enjoy the type of experience you remember when you went to Grandma's for the weekend. Our children's favorite B&B memories include feeding the farm animals, horseback riding through the mountains, hiking along trails lined with beautiful autumn colors, and helping the owner bake chocolate chip cookies to serve with afternoon tea.
Inns and B&Bs are unique individual properties -- that's what makes them so special. Many inns have children's menus, and a number of them can provide family suites, children's game rooms and a host of activities. The trick is to find the one that's just right for you and your family.
BedandBreakfast.com is a good source of information with over 27,000 listings of inns and B&Bs throughout the United States. A wide variety of search functions and extensive maps enable parents to find the perfect B&B. To find the perfect spot for your next family getaway, visit http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/, click on Advanced Search, and B&B Specials, and you'll come to a drop down box where you can select family fun. You can also go to http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/ and select "children welcome" or "family travel" to find kid-friendly B&Bs.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Wildflower B&B-On the Square, Mountain View, AR: Several family suites offer spacious, private accommodations. Enjoy the mountain music this town is famous for, then explore Blanchard Springs Caverns, one of America's top ten caves, plus hiking trails and swimming areas. Info: 870-269-4383 or http://www.wildflowerbb.com/.
Turtle Beach Resort, Siesta Key, FL: Bring your family to the Travel Channel's #1 beach. Family-friendly cottages welcome you to a world of swimming, fishing, boating and water sports at this bayside resort. Explore the mangrove islands, paddle next to dolphins and manatees, or visit a private beach only accessible by boat. Use of the swimming pool, kayaks, paddleboats, canoes, bikes and fishing poles is included free with your stay, Pets are welcome, too. Info: 941-349-4554 or http://www.turtlebeachresort.com/.
Lodge on Little St. Simon's Island, Little St. Simon's Island, GA: A vacation on Little St. Simon's Island is like taking the basic beach trip and adding a pinch of Robinson Caruso, a dash of "Fantasy Island" and a big slice of National Geographic. Ten thousand acres and seven miles of deserted beaches await just 30 lucky guests. From the Loggerhead Sea Turtle Monitoring & Protection program to a Salt Marsh Adventure in search of fiddler crabs, periwinkle snails and other inhabitants of the sea, families will enjoy experiencing and learning about this barrier island's secluded ecosystem. The Lodge on Little St. Simon's Island is open year-round, welcoming all children from May through September and kids eight and older year-round. Accessible only by boat, rates are all-inclusive including three meals, all activities, and all recreational equipment and gear. Info: 888-733-5774 or http://www.littlestsimonsisland.com/.
The Roosevelt, Coeur d'Alene, ID: This former school house named after President Theodore Roosevelt still offers the three R's - Relaxing, Re-connecting and Rose - the inn's themes. Two-bedroom family suites, perfect for children six and up, offer the ideal accommodations. The Hiawatha bike trail, along with kayaking and cruises on beautiful Lake Coeur d"Alene are just minutes from the inn. Info: 800-290-3358 or http://www.therooseveltinn.com/.
Christopher's Bed and Breakfast , Bellevue, KY: Christopher's Bed & Breakfast has a special Aquarium package that includes accommodations and two admission tickets to the Newport Aquarium. At the Newport Aquarium, you and your familywill be taken to the oceans' depths, the river's edge and the fringe of the Antarctic Frontier. This attraction has 60 state-of-the-art exhibits to immerse you in wonder and glass floors will let you walk on water. The specially-designed underwater tunnels will have you diving with the sharks and swimming through a colorful coral reef. Winding walkways are punctuated by special musical scores and larger-than-life murals will take you on an up-close encounter with 11,000 of the world's most beautiful, bizarre and dangerous creatures. Paramount King's Island family packages are also available. For more information, call : 888-585-7085 or visit their website at http://www.christophersbb.com/.
Stone Mill Suites, Lanesboro, MN: Explore the beauty and bluffs of historic Lanesboro, including the 60-mile paved bicycle trail, followed by a trip down the scenic Root River via canoe or inner tube. Info: 866-897-8663 or http://www.stonemillsuites.com/.
Franconia Inn, Franconia, NH: Vacationing families can enjoy a variety of fun activities in this area, including a horseback ride through the scenic Easton Valley, the Attitash Alpine Slide, the Heritage-NH Interactive Museum, the Conway Scenic Railroad, and more. Info: 800-473-5299 or http://www.franconiainn.com/.
Inn the Gardens B&B, Ocean City, NJ: Take a fall nature tour by kayak, go fishing, enjoy the beach, stroll along the boardwalk or the walkways in the beautiful zoo, see how water is treated at a plant, learn about recycling at the landfill, take a tour and learn how a local newspaper is printed, or learn how taffy is pulled and pastries are made at the local bakery. Info: 609-399-0800 or http://www.nvo.com/.
The Gallets House Bed & Breakfast, Allegany, NY: Hike, bike, roller-blade or stroll with the whole family on the many trails at nearby Allegheny State Park. Families enjoy accommodations in the three-bedroom Carriage House suite. Info: 716-373-7493 or http://www.galletshouse.com/.
Heartland Country Resort, Fredericktown, OH: This country inn is a working farm and family camp at its best. The Heartland Country Resort offers horseback riding, biking, hiking, golfing, canoeing, fishing, and much more. In addition to accommodating guests, this working farm is home to horses, calves, chickens, miniature horses, goats, farm cats, golden retriever dogs, and a variety of other animals. The Resort is also pet friendly. Info: 800-230-7030 or http://www.heartlandcountryresort.com/.
Crystalwood Lodge, Klamath Falls, OR: Families will enjoy outdoor adventure here all summer long, choosing from hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, mushroom hunting, road bicycling, and more in nearby Crater Lake National Park, the Fremont-Winema National Forest and Sky Lakes Wilderness Area. This is a pet friendly property. Most rooms have dog crates, and are named for parts of Alaska's famous Iditarod Dog Race. Info: 866 -381-2322 or http://www.crystalwoodlodge.com/.