Paradise Found: Bed and Breakfast Island Getaways
So you’ve always dreamed of running off to a secluded island and escaping from the rest of the world for a while. What if you could do it without leaving the US, and rather than rough it–stay in a luxurious bed and breakfast inn? Discover just a few of the many US islands where one may delight in the perfect combination of serenity and self-indulgence.
Cumberland Island is one of the few places left in the world where you can see wild horses dashing freely along a windy beach and escape from cars, phones and TVs for as long as you like. The only access on or off the island is by a National Park Service passenger ferry running twice daily during peak season; no vehicles, except ranger vehicles are allowed on the island, and none are needed as it is a walker’s paradise. A mere 16 miles long by three miles wide at its widest point, the island can be walked in one full day along the shoreline beside wild horses, while other wildlife such as deer, bobcat, armadillos and a variety of birds scamper throughout the nearby shady forests. The island also features photogenic historic mansion ruins covered in vines as well as an old cemetery.
Nestled amidst the wilds of Cumberland Island sits The Greyfield Inn. The Carnegies built this four-story mansion around 1900, and it now affords gracious southern hospitality in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy an honor bar in the old gun room, mingle fireside in the living and dining rooms or meditate on the natural beauty from a porch rocker. Expansive views of the Intracoastal Waterway can be enjoyed from the balcony. The inn offers the use of guest bicycles to tour the island. There are no televisions or telephones, however cell phones usually work.
This rugged island, connected to several other islands and the mainland by a series of bridges, contains over 82 miles of shoreline, with sandy beaches, sheltered coves, harbors, rocky headlands and marshes. Abundant wildlife, including osprey, harbor seals, bald eagles, deer, and moose share Georgetown Island with its 1,000 human inhabitants. The Seguin Island Lighthouse stands proudly near the mouth of the Kennebec River.
Coveside Bed & Breakfast sits on five secluded acres on a rocky, mid-coast cove. The farmhouse Inn, built in 1880, features guest rooms which overlook the cove where the Sheepscot River merges with the Atlantic Ocean. The rooms are decorated in a simple, comfortable style. Guests are invited to lounge on the deck, stroll the five acres or take the innkeeper’s canoe out and explore the island. The suites can sleep four, and each includes a bedroom, bathroom, living room and a kitchen/eating area. Every room has a water view, whether in the main house of the bed and breakfast or the Cottage Guest House.
Nantucket, a quaint and picturesque former 19th-century whaling town off Cape Cod, is accessible by plane, boat, or ferry. Tourists often opt for bicycling through the village’s flat roads to reach the numerous public beaches surrounding the island or the countless shops and galleries. Although it can be crowded and touristy in the summer, the off seasons provide a quiet, sparsely inhabited step back in time. To explore the abundant variety of inns on this popular island, click on the link above.
Standing boldly atop the majestic Mohegan Bluffs of Block Island, the Southeast Lighthouse has testified to the power of ocean storms since its creation in 1874 and overlooks an equally scenic national wildlife refuge. The isolated island is adorned with colorful Victorian homes overlooking miles of pristine beaches and is accessible by year-round ferry or by air.
Blue Dory Inn. This 1887 Victorian inn offers 12 guest rooms, many with ocean views. The Cottage, The Doll House and The Tea House are separate structures for those desiring more room or privacy. Antiques and Victorian touches are featured throughout the inn, which received Boston Best Guide’s “Creme de la Creme” award as Block Island’s most romantic B&B.
No cars, neon signs or traces of modern city life are in view on Mackinac Island. Inhabitants still traverse the island with horses and bicycles. Imagine taking a quiet buggy ride to a quaint restaurant for a candlelit dinner.
Bay View Bed and Breakfast. For a trip back in time, the circa 1890 Bay View Cottage is the perfect Victorian retreat. Each guest room boasts a beautiful water view, as does the lovely veranda.
Cloghan Inn. Pronounced “Clah han,” the 1884 inn’s name is Gaelic for “stony ground” in reference to Mackinac Island’s beaches. Built spacious enough to house Thomas and Bridgett Donnelly’s large Irish family, this handsome antique-filled Victorian home is owned and operated by their great grandson James Bond. The inn’s gracious exterior boasts a front porch and upper balcony where guests enjoy watching the horse-drawn carriages pass by.
Located in the Puget Sound between Seattle and Tacoma, Vashon boasts incredible views of the Cascades & Olympic Mountains. It’s a gorgeous 15-minute ferry ride from either city, during which one can often catch a glimpse of seals or Orca whales.
A flourishing arts community, the island boasts several galleries, great restaurants and shops perfect for browsing. There are three lovely public beaches providing an excellent setting for a picnic, beachcombing and exploration. Ride bikes on miles of lightly-traveled back roads, rent a sea kayak or take leisurely walks.
Artist’s Studio Loft B&B is nestled in a flower garden and meadow setting that abounds with wildlife, artistic arbors and ponds. This quiet, serene atmosphere provides a relaxing retreat, perfect for nature lovers, birdwatchers, honeymooners and those seeking an enchanting getaway. Amenities include an outdoor hot tub spa with deck and gazebo, private entrances, private baths, fireplaces, skylights and artistic stained glass.
Still undecided? Browse through the 19,000 B&Bs and country inns that specialize in other events 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.com also offers Bed and Breakfast Gift Certificates, a perfect solution to help celebrate any occasion.