Celebrate Earth Day by Being Pampered: Green Bed and Breakfast Inns
Being green has never been more popular; grocery store clerks no longer look at you quizzically when you tell them you’ve brought your own bags, your friends are all anxious to carpool, and Michelle Obama has just planted the first vegetable garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. Now is the time to take the next step: eat more locally grown organic food.
A little known fact is that a typical food item in a U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1500 miles to get your plate. As Steven Hopp explains in the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, “If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.” If this seems too hard, how about letting somebody else prepare that one homegrown meal for you? Luckily, there are many bed and breakfasts across the country that are celebrating Earth Day by proudly stepping forth with their own organic gardens or making an effort to cook with all local items – so you can relax, but still feel good about your choices! For your convenience we’ve grouped the inns by decadent luxury (Platinum), special treat (Gold), and affordable budget (Silver).
The luxurious Gramercy Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Maryland has always celebrated Earth Day. The 45-acre estate has boasted a thriving organic farm since 1950, specializing in culinary herbs sold to local grocers. Tour Koinonia Organic Farm and take home your own potted herb or simply a selection of fine cut herbs for your kitchen. If you make a reservation before the end of May you will also receive a complimentary subscription to the magazine Organic Gardening.
Appealing to your romantic nature, Donna’s Premier Lodging B & B in forested Ohio is offering a couple’s escape to the woods for Earth Day: take two nights at any of their villas with a Jacuzzi and fireplace for $378 plus tax. Included will be a one-year subscription to Organic Gardening, a basket of organic goodies (to snack on whether you stay in or go out!), and a packet of organic seeds to plant in your garden or window boxes when you get back home. What a delightful way to remember your vacation: a blooming pot of organic green.
Nestled in the mountains of southern California, Strawberry Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast, shares the environmental concerns of its state. Everything from the coffee and tea to the free-range eggs at breakfast is organic and delicious. The innkeepers offer special arrival packages (chocolates and champagne) or picnic baskets if you’d like to lunch under the pines – of course practically everything will be organic and/or locally grown, so it will be extra-special. For Earth Day the inn will offer a discount on either the gourmet picnic lunch or their special spa basket, which includes all-organic Aveda products, a bathrobe, and a lavender eye pillow.
We at IloveInns love California, but for springtime it’s hard to beat the blooms on the east coast. At the elegant Victorian inn, The Queen, you’ll be invited to tour the gardens and choose 3 perennials, trees, or shrubs to take home with you as an Earth Day special. Each morning you’ll be served a gourmet breakfast prepared with locally grown foods and garnished with organic flowers and herbs from the garden. If you like, you can pick your own fresh raspberries and the honey will be fresh from the backyard. Your Earth Day Package also includes a free one-year subscription to Organic Gardening Magazine.
The Lathrop House B & B considers itself green for many reasons – not least for being across the street from Forest Park, 735 lush woodland acres – but right now they are even greener. Reserve two nights from now until May 31 (or two rooms) and receive a free subscription to Organic Gardening Magazine. On top of that the innkeepers will throw in a $15 gift certificate to the Tuesday Farmer’s Market or a detailed permaculture tour of the inn’s own organic herb, flower, and vegetable garden. At the end of your stay take home a basket of fresh seasonal veggies or a u-pick sachet creation of your choice.
Browse through the 19,000 Bed and Breakfasts and country inns that specialize in other events and locations that may interest you. Many of the properties listed above are also in the best-selling bed and breakfast guidebook Bed & Breakfasts and Country Inns with a Buy-One-Night-Get-One-Night-Free Certificate. ILoveInns also offers Bed and Breakfast Gift Certificates, a perfect solution to help celebrate any occasion.