Check it Out: Bed and Breakfasts for the Booklover
“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, and all the sweet serenity of books,” mused poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Indeed there is nothing more relaxing when you head off to a bed and breakfast than escaping into a great adventure, romance or mystery, which is why so many of us pack a book or two on holiday. What better way to enhance your trip than to combine the relaxation of a vacation with the excitement of a good book. We found some very bookish bed and breakfasts, which are literally lovely.
The Alexander House Booklovers’ Bed and Breakfast – Princess Anne, Maryland‘s Eastern Shore
Nestled in the historic district of a quaint Eastern Shore village between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this bed and breakfast is a celebration of books and writers. Guests can relax by the fire and enjoy a good read in the Mark Twain Parlor and Library (with a diverse selection of books). Each room realistically reflects the life and times of a beloved author. Revel in the romance of Regency England in the elegant, yet sexy, Jane Austen, immerse yourself in the jazzy Art Deco Harlem Renaissance of the Langston Hughes Room, or dream of pirates and treasures in the nautical Robert Louis Stevenson Room. The whimsically French Café Colette contains a collection of 34 cats in pictures and collectibles, in honor of Colette’s love of felines.
The Book & Blanket – Jay, New York
This Adirondack Mountains inn served as the town’s post office for many years and also as a barracks for state troopers. Thankfully, it is now a restful bed and breakfast catering to the literary set. It offers three spacious guest rooms: the Regency inspired Jane Austen room, the sophisticated F. Scott Fitzgerald Room and the rustic Jack London Room. There’s also a library and James Thurber nook (Thurber wrote one of his short stories on a stay in town), a large porch, complete with swing, and a friendly basset hound on the premises. But most of all, there are books – in every room. Many of the books may be borrowed by guests “indefinitely” and guests are encouraged to leave a book for the next booklover.
Akwaaba Bed and Breakfast – Washington, DC
Located in the heart of one of DC’s best neighborhoods, this four-story 1880 Victorian row house bed and breakfast offers a choice of eight guest-rooms, each uniquely decorated and tailored around African-American authors and classic genres. Rooms are tributes to Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison and Walter Mosley. Other guest suites are named for literary themes: Romance, Modern Classics, Inspiration, Poetry and the Writer’s Suite.
Sylvia Beach Hotel – Newport, Oregon
Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a pristine beach, this historic hotel is an homage to all things literary. Named after Sylvia Beach, a patron of literature during the ’20s and ’30s in Paris, it offers twenty rooms celebrating such authors as Dr. Seuss, Agatha Christie, Tennessee Williams, Alice Walker, Hemingway, Shakespeare, Tolkien and our favorite–The Edgar Allan Poe Room, with black walls, a stuffed raven and an imitation pendulum axe over the bed (pleasant dreams…). The oceanfront attic library contains comfortable chairs and sofa, a fireplace and, of course, lots of books. Listen to the roar of the sea while enjoying one. The inn’s Tables of Content restaurant overlooks the ocean and serves up gourmet breakfasts and dinners.
The Hawthorne Inn – Concord, Massachusetts
The Hawthorne Inn, nestled in the heart of the literary town of Concord, pays homage to homegrown authors Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Sydney, Henry David Thoreau and Hawthorne, all buried in the town’s Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. The inn is an historic home on land once owned by Nathaniel Hawthorne; rooms are named Alcott, Emerson, Walden and Sleepy Hollow, and books can be found all over the inn. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s actual home, “Wayside,” is across the street, and next door is the “Orchard House,” long-time home of Alcott, who penned Little Women, and later home to Margaret Sydney, who wrote The Five Little Peppers children’s books. The nearby Emerson House is open for tours.
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.