When I first stayed at a Bed and Breakfast years ago, I didn’t appreciate it – there was no phone in my room, no TV, and no entertainment. At the time, I preferred the variety and amenities of a hotel. Since then, I’ve stayed at several B&B’s and really enjoy the unique experience of each one. And these days they have modern amenities like Wifi. B&B’s are also a wonderfully romantic getaway, so Valentine’s weekend is a great time to plan a visit.
February is also Black History Month, so I suggest visiting one of the following B&B’s that all have a connection to the Underground Railroad – the secret route leading escaped slaves to the Northern United States and Canada. In fact, by age 40, Harriet Tubman (the most famous “conductor”) had made 19 trips back to the South and helped at least 300 slaves escape to freedom. Makes you want to reassess your life at 40, huh? So why not mix a little history with romance at the following B&B’s…..
- Amelia Island Williams House: Fernandina Beach, FL – Built in 1856, this mansion included a trap door in the dining room closet, offering access to a secret room where slaves were allowed to hide during their journey to freedom.
- Christopher’s B&B: Newport, KY – Throughout 2010, stay in the Loretta or Beverly Rose Junior Jacuzzi room and receive two adult tickets to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, just over the river in Cincinnati.
- Cambridge House B&B: Cambridge, MD — Visit the nearby Harriet Tubman Museum, the Bethel Methodist Church where her family worshipped, and the Stanley Institute – a 19th-century African American schoolhouse.
- Escape Guest House: Brooklyn, NY – Visit nearby Plymouth Church, known as the “Grand Central Depot” of New York’s Underground Railroad. You can still visit the tunnel-like basement where slaves traveling to Canada were reportedly hidden.
- Six Acres B&B: Cincinnati, OH – Built in the 1850’s by noted abolitionist Zebulon Strong, this home is close to Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
You don’t have to have a mate to enjoy a B&B. Get your girlfriends together to celebrate your 40th birthday or go alone for some much-needed quiet time. Visit www.BedandBreakfast.com for more information and a list of B&Bs. And remember: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
Kalin Thomas is Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. She is also Senior Writer/Photographer for SoulOfAmerica. Before starting her own multimedia company, Kalin spent 17 years at CNN where she won several awards for her work as producer/correspondent for CNN’s weekly travel program, CNN TravelNow. She is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information on Kalin, go to www.seetheworldproductions.com.