- Some bed and breakfasts make a special effort to mirror historic places
- The George Washington Inn in Washington state is a replica of Mount Vernon
- In Staunton, Virginia, a thatched roof cottage is reminiscent of Anne Hathaway's English home
What's better than easing into a B&B where you can feel presidential, get a little taste of Mayberry or immerse yourself in Shakespearean intrigue?
We've handpicked six bed and breakfasts that replicate or give a nod to historic places and are sure to transport you to another time.
The George Washington Inn
Port Angeles, Washington
This picturesque B&B, situated on a seaside lavender farm and perched on a bluff overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, is, from the outside, a nearly spot-on replica of President George Washington's beloved Mount Vernon.
"We love Southern architecture. It fascinated us," says Dan Abbott, who owns the inn with his wife Jane. They decided the simple square design of Washington's Mount Vernon could easily translate to their patch of heaven on the Olympic Peninsula.
This Greek Revival-style B&B was built in 2006, and it features five well-appointed rooms with expansive ocean and mountain views. Rates begin at $235 per night. In the morning visitors can expect a traditional breakfast, complete with homemade lavender biscuits crafted with fresh lavender plucked from the on-site farm. www.georgewashingtoninn.com
Portland's White House
Built in 1911 as the summer home for lumber baron Robert Lytle, this Greek Revival-style mansion presides over a gracious corner in Portland, Oregon's, tree-lined historic Irvington neighborhood. The 14 towering white columns, circular drive, burbling fountain and grand entryways feel distinctly presidential; hence the name of this majestic B&B.
Lanning Blanks, a Southerner by birth and nature, purchased this historic beauty in the 1990s and restored it to perfection, adding his own collection of antiques and artwork. Guests can stay the night in one of five in-home suites (there are three more rooms in a carriage house adjacent to the main home), and room rates begin at $135 per night.
When it comes to feeding folks, Blanks isn't shy.
He uses fresh eggs from a brood of chickens who reside across the street (you are in Portland, remember!) and local, seasonal berries. Guests are greeted in the morning with plates of chicken and waffles or eggs benedict with smoked salmon, among other offerings. Enjoy a cocktail on a sunny patio surrounded by climbing roses and baskets of seasonal blooms. It's the perfect place to consider a run for office or your next big political move. www.portlandswhitehouse.com
Taylor Home Inn Bed & Breakfast
Clear Lake, Wisconsin
When guests check into the Taylor Home Inn it's a bit like stepping onto a newer rendition of "The Andy Griffith Show" set, complete with Sheriff Andy Taylor's guitar and Aunt Bee's Blue Willow dishes.
This cozy B&B is a labor of love for owner Dave Scheuermann, who scoured E-bay and antique stores for most of the memorabilia that makes the Taylor Home Inn a treat for fans of the iconic family comedy, which aired for eight seasons in prime time and has been on eternal rerun status ever since.
"It takes some detective work, but you just have to keep fishing for (memorabilia). Part of the fun is trying to find all of this stuff that makes (the B&B) kind of retro and timeless," he says.
Guests can choose to stay in one of three rooms -- Opie's, Andy's or Aunt Bee's. There's a recreation of the Mayberry Courthouse in the basement and guests are invited to wander the grounds, complete with a putting green and a replica of Wally's Service Station. Rooms begin at $135 per night and include a family-style breakfast with eggs, gravy and biscuits and lots of good Wisconsin cheese. www.taylorhomeinn.
The Elkhorn Inn & Theatre
Landgraff, West Virginia
It's impossible to escape the rich history of West Virginia's coal mining industry when you check into this rustic B&B. Situated on the West Virginia Coal Heritage Trail, the 1922 brick and concrete building was originally an opulent miner's clubhouse.
The B&B is nestled between the trout-filled Elkhorn Creek and a railway line that sees up to 30 trains per day, according to co-owner Elisse Clark, who says many guests are fans of railroad lore and memorabilia.
Also on the property is a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Unfortunately, there's not currently a theater troupe performing in the space, but it may be rented for special events. Rates start at $99 per night including continental breakfast or a hot breakfast can be purchased for $10. Chef and co-owner Dan Clark prepares hearty dinners. www.elkhorninnwv.com
Anne Hathaway's Cottage
Guests will find that snuggled amidst a jam-packed English garden in Staunton, Virginia, is a thatched roof cottage reminiscent of Anne Hathaway's home in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The literary among us will remember that Anne Hathaway is the scarcely known wife of William Shakespeare, and questions remain as to whether they were a love match or a marriage of necessity. Lucky for us, guests can mull this mystery as they stroll through garden paths where lanky cats wander and tea is served with scones and homemade marmalade or wine jelly.
Rates start at $129 per night, and guests may stay in one of three rooms: Juliet's, Romeo's or William's. Just a few miles from the inn, the American Shakespeare Center puts on live theatrical performances most nights and weekends. www.anne-hathaways-cottage.com
Newport Belle Bed and Breakfast
Touted as the only riverboat B&B in the United States by its owners, Michael and Nancy Wilkinson, this unique inn has three decks and nearly 3,000 square feet of living space.
Built in 1993, this vessel is seaworthy but stays moored in Yaquina Bay and has spectacular views of the beautiful Yaquina Bay Bridge and surrounding coastline. The sternwheel riverboat, fashioned after vessels crafted in the early 1900s, features five well-appointed staterooms and rates begin at $150 per night.
Guests are invited to relax in the solarium on the aft deck and enjoy spectacular sunsets. The Newport Belle is closed in November, December and January, but re-opens in February in time to celebrate the local Seafood and Wine Festival. www.newportbelle.com