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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wine has sommeliers and Beer has cicerones. The world of malts and hops is rapidly expanding and an ever growing population of microbreweries have been exploding onto the spirits scene. Emerging cults of beer enthusiasts are traveling far and wide to experience the fragility and deliciousness of the craft. Some of the best places for beer lovers to vacation are at a bed and breakfast. Who Knew!? Here are a few B&B’s that offer their guest the ultimate ‘brew’cation.

Woodstock Inn Station & BreweryWoodstock Inn Station & Brewery

The Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery in North Woodstock, NH has been crafting award-winning ales since 1995. One of the few B&Bs that owns a full-time brewery, this inn offers a “Brewer’s Weekend” package that includes a brewery tour, meals and commemorative apparel to remember your trip. The brewery tour showcases the use of a traditional seven-barrel system that helps create their 16 seasonal ales and stouts that you can sample throughout the weekend.

Forty Putney Road Bed & BreakfastForty Putney Road Bed & Breakfast

The eco-friendly, Forty Putney Road Bed & Breakfast in Brattleboro, VT offers the “Good Sport Package” – where guests receive 6 local micro-brewed beers or hard cider, a selection of local gourmet meats and cheeses, a Putney Road Pub pint glass and stainless steel bottle opener. The inn’s authentic Irish Pub, is also a great spot to unwind and sample refreshing craft beers or wine with the locals.

Sherwood Forest Bed & BreakfastSherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast

Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast in Saugatuck, MI had the beer enthusiast in mind when partnering with the Saugatuck Brewing Company for a weekend filled with “hops”. The weekend package includes a two-night stay plus access to the breweries facilities. SBC provides the recipes, from light to dark, over 70 different recipes are available; as well as the ingredients, equipment and expertise to help guests brew their own 11-gallon batch of beer. Bottom’s Up!

Friday, October 17, 2014

From costumes to pumpkin carving, getting the most out of this spooktacular holiday with friends and family is what Halloween is all about. BnBFinder has rounded up bed and breakfasts around the country that are serving up spooky offerings celebrating the Halloween spirit. So take a break from the mere mortals this October and stay with a few ghouls and ghosts at these BnBFinder inns.

1851 Historic Maple Hill Manor B&B1851 Historic Maple Hill Manor B&B

Bring your team of paranormal investigators to 1851 Historic Maple Hill Manor B&B in Springfield, KY, and rent out the entire inn for your own ghost investigation. Offered year-round, this inn’s paranormal investigations have been featured in over a dozen books, TV shows and magazines. On October 24 & 25 join the inn for their Annual Ghost Retreat Weekend. The 2-night event includes a ghost walk in neighboring Bardstown, an investigation and dinner at Maple Hill Manor, a Civil War Battlefield Walk, and costume contest.

Pine Bush House B&BPine Bush House B&B

“If you are looking for an experience that goes beyond the ordinary – all the way to the other side! – than I highly recommend a stay at the Pine Bush House B&B,” says Linda Zimmermann, Author of the Ghost Investigator series, and Hudson Valley Haunts. This Halloween season, participate in Pine Bush House’s Ghost Tour & Psychic Reading where local psychic Barbara Roth will take you through the house and tell the tales of the spirits that roam the halls. She’ll tell you which rooms are haunted and much more. End the tour with your personal 20-minute psychic reading. Part of the Haunted History Trail of New York State, Pine Bush is a proven hot-spot for paranormal activity.

Bechtel Victorian Mansion Bed and Breakfast InnBechtel Victorian Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn

Bechtel Victorian Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn in East Berlin, PA is located in one of the most haunted areas of the U.S. With deep Civil War roots, specifically the Battle of Gettysburg, the area is notorious for sightings and unexplained events. A visit to the area this Halloween season gives visitors the choice of eight haunted attractions including: Mourning Theatre, Ghost Lab, Candlelight Walking Tours and Paranormal Investigations. Some attractions will keep visitors in town with stories of recurring spirits, some will take them inside haunted houses and others will lead visitors to the sites where paranormal activity has been reported. But you won’t escape the paranormal upon return to The Bechtel Victorian Mansion, their spirits may or may not visit overnight guests. The most active ‘permanent resident’ is Flossie, who often sneaks around stealing cigarettes, rearranging personal items on the bureau and rattling doors.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October is National Chili Month, a celebration of the classic dish swirling with flavors from meats, peppers, beans and herbs. Over the years numerous variations of the dish have been created to satisfy palettes nationwide. Try one of these exciting chili recipes from BnBFinder inns to help you celebrate all month long!

Black Bean and Chicken Chili Black Bean and Chicken Chili

Black Bean and Chicken Chili from Queen Anne Guest House

Ingredients:
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 T Riley’s (all purpose) seasoning
• 2 pounds cubed Chicken breast
• 14 1/2 oz. cans of chicken broth
• 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
• 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
• 6 oz. can tomato paste
• 16oz. can refried beans
• Three 15 oz. cans black beans (rinse somewhat)
• 1 large diced red pepper
• 1 large diced onion
• 1-2 cloves crushed garlic
• 1 T Amish all purpose (herb) seasoning
• 1/2 t. cumin
• 1/2 t. chili powder
• 12-24 drops hot sauce
• 1/2 t. crushed red pepper
• 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
• 1/3 cup chopped mild banana peppers
• 1/2 t. Liquid smoke
• 2/3 cup fresh Spinach, chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro

Directions:
1. Saute chicken, onion, red pepper and garlic together in large skillet with 1 T Riley’s seasonings and 2 T olive oil
2. Add all other ingredients in large pot and place sautéed items in pot
3. Bring to boil then simmer 20-30 minutes

Sweet Potato and Black Bean ChiliSweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili from Stonewall Jackson Inn

Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium red onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons sea salt
• 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• Zest and juice of 1 lime
• 1 28-can diced tomatoes
• 4 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 6 cups freshly cooked)
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
• 1 tablespoon cumin
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
• 1 lime, cut into wedges
• 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves, washed and dried

Directions
1. Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and salt. Saute until soft, about 4 minutes.
2. Add the sweet potato and lime zest, and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, continuing to stir occasionally.
3. Add the tomatoes, black beans, jalapeno, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cocoa, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Serve over brown rice, if desired, with lime wedges and cilantro, or with corn bread, biscuits, or taco chips alongside.
Serves 6.
HELPFUL HINTS: This recipe freezes well, too, for great leftovers.

Three-Bean Chipotle Turkey ChiliThree-Bean Chipotle Turkey Chili

Three-Bean Chipotle Turkey Chili from Inn on Main Street

Ingredients:
• 2 Tbsp. canola oil
• 1-1.5 pounds lean ground turkey
• 1 large onion, chopped into half-inch chunks
• 1 large jalapeno or serrano pepper chopped fine
• 1 medium bell pepper diced
• 1 carrot chopped in half-inch chunks
• 2 lbs canned or stewed tomatoes
• 2 lbs cannellini (white kidney) beans
• 2 lbs red kidney beans
• 2 lbs black beans
• 1 Tbsp dried oregano
• 1 Tbsp dried basil
• 1 Tbsp chili powder
• 1 Tbsp chipotle powder

Directions
1. Remove seeds from the jalapeno or serrano pepper before chopping if you prefer milder chili.
2. Brown turkey in canola oil on medium high heat. Add onion, peppers and carrot. The carrot adds color and nutrition without really affecting the taste. Add tomatoes and beans to a 4 quart or larger slow cooker and set on warm.
3. Pour in meat and sautéed vegetables. Stir in spices and set on low for two or more hours. If it gets too thick for your taste, thin with beer or water.
4. Garnish individual bowls with corn tortilla strips, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro, if desired. Substitute tofu for turkey to make vegan chili.
Serves 20.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Have you ever wanted to hollow out an 1,000 pound pumpkin and sail it down a river? If your answer is YES, then you are in luck! This Columbus Day, would-be sailors of all sorts will be taking these mammoth gourds attaching a motor to them and racing the floating fruit back-and-forth across the head of the Damariscotta River in Maine.

The quirky event got its start back in 2005 as a local farmer and his pals decided to transform a few of their largest pumpkins into floating motorboats. The spectacle quickly turned into a crowd favorite on the riverbank. Now, in its 8th year – organizers are projecting more than 14,000 visitors to the small town of Damariscotta. And each year, it’s not just the festival size that grows, this year there is a record-breaking 1,695-pound pumpkin primed to take center stage on Monday’s river race.

The Pumpkin Regatta is just one piece of the larger Damariscotta Pumpkinfest event that takes place all weekend long, every Columbus holiday. So if you are looking for last minute long weekend plans, head to Damariscotta and experience their one of a kind festival!

Where to Stay:

Le Vatout Mid Coast Maine Bed and Breakfast is a traditional New England farmhouse located 8-miles from Damariscotta in Waldoboro, ME. This comfortable and relaxed inn offers 4-guest rooms that are brimming with art and literature. Gourmet breakfasts are a “must have” so bring your appetite!

Le Vatout Mid Coast Maine Bed and BreakfastLe Vatout Mid Coast Maine Bed and Breakfast

Another popular coastal town nearby all the excitement is Boothbay Harbor, METhe Inns at Greenleaf Lane offer 15 guest rooms to visitors and sit upon a grassy knoll overlooking the majestic Boothbay Harbor. Just steps away from all of the areas attractions guests can enjoy a casual bike ride into town to discover the best shops, restaurants and activities.

The Inns at Greenleaf LaneThe Inns at Greenleaf Lane

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Finger Lakes Region in New York is a well-traveled destination for families seeking activity, history and small-town charm. Each autumn, the area attracts hundreds of visitors looking  to admire the stunning fall foliage while also exciting their taste buds. Explore the Finger Lakes Region this season while attending a few of the areas annual fall food festivals.

On the self-guided 17th Annual Wayne County Apple Tasting Tour, visitors will sink their teeth into the finest pickings from local farms as they sightsee throughout the region. Additionally, there will be food samples and door prizes to lure in the crowds as they tour a number of the best farmer’s markets, wineries and fruit farms in the region. The entire tour last the full month of October, with the Tasting Weekend occurring October 10-13.

At the Taste of the Finger Lakes, a local theatre group will host a cornucopia of flavors for all ages. Patrons will relish in the culinary creations made from notable local restaurants throughout the area, with many meals being paired with the best wines produced in the region. Tickets for the event, which is being held on October 11 cost $20 and can be purchased online.

Cheese lovers will unite under one roof while attending the Cheese Trail Open House on October 11. Guests will have the opportunity to sample various cheeses from nine local creameries known for their flavors and organic practices. In addition to the creamy goodness made available, cider and donuts will also be added to the menu to sweeten the family fun.

Where to Stay

1795 Acorn Inn
1795 Acorn Inn

The 1795 Acorn Inn located in Canandaigua is a well appointed luxury inn in the Finger Lakes Region. Known for its serene setting and proximity to nearby restaurants and attractions, the inn is adorned with classic furnishings and beautiful antiques.

Ellwanger Estate
Ellwanger Estate

Recently restored, the Ellwanger Estate is a historical home filled with over 115 years of history. Each of the inn’s spacious rooms provide pretty views of the grounds including the garden and courtyard. Ellwanger Estate is also located near numerous local attractions including the Strong National Museum of Play and the Susan B. Anthony House.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

First Friday Art Walks are family friendly events where both visitors and residents get access to the local arts and entertainment scene. Growing in popularity, BnBFinder has culled a few notable First Friday destinations from around the US.

Fredericksburg, TX

Magnolia House Magnolia House

This popular southern destination offers visitors an artful getaway. First Fridays in Fredericksburg include a handful of galleries showcasing their notable collections. In addition to the free exhibits, artists are present to discuss the inspiration behind their creations, all while demonstrations, live music and wine from the local vineyards are offered. After enjoying an artsy Friday night out, the nearby Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast is the perfect retreat. Throughout the property, guests can take advantage of the serene details including the koi pond, herb gardens and outdoor porch. Every morning, a delicious two-course gourmet breakfast is served along with personalized touches such as fresh flowers, home-brewed coffee, complimentary beverages and fresh baked goods.

Portland, ME

The Chadwick Bed & BreakfastThe Chadwick Bed & Breakfast

Art enthusiasts will get a magnificent coastal view while learning about acrylic, watercolor and various other art techniques during Portland’s First Friday Art Walks. Nine of Portland’s most happening neighborhoods showcase world-famous exhibits for all ages to enjoy. From Peaks Island to West End, over 40 galleries take part in showcasing this city’s bustling art scene. The Chadwick Bed and Breakfast is within walking distance to many of the galleries that participate in First Fridays. The charming inn, which was built in 1891, is also close to many of the city’s other popular attractions including The Old Port which is filled with live music, shopping and microbreweries.

Louisville, KY

The Samuel Culbertson MansionThe Samuel Culbertson Mansion

The Republic Bank First Friday Trolley Hop is a combination of an art show and street festival taking place in Louisville’s Fourth Street corridor. Local businesses come together to provide fun and entertainment with trolleys stopping at each and every hotspot. After enjoying the art walk, The Samuel Culbertson Mansion offers a peaceful retreat for guests to wind-down the eventful evening. Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy a few rounds of pool or relax in the inn’s whirlpool spa.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall’s changing colors will be illuminating national parks throughout North America. Visitors will get an up close and personal view of the fall foliage while enjoying the crisp autumn breeze. Rediscover nature whilst exploring these iconic parks.

Primrose Inn Primrose Inn

Acadia National Park

The national park located in Bar Harbor, Maine is along the state’s coast providing astonishing views of crimson, gold and copper. The park’s 47,000-acre landscape includes mountains, lakes and woodlands that are enhanced by the colorful backdrop. While exploring the park, visitors can do so by foot, bike or even horseback for a peaceful moment with nature before heading to the Primrose Inn, a romantic bed and breakfast just one mile away from Acadia National Park. The inn is also within walking distance of the downtown area, where guests will get a panoramic view of the fall foliage while touring the shops restaurants and museums.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park is Vancouver’s first and largest urban park where visitors can explore over 900 acres of mountains, beaches and more. Within the park, visitors will come across over 500 species of wildlife as they explore the 27km of forest trails available. Throughout Stanley Park, there are many restaurants that offer exciting menus and an even more exciting view of the ocean and fall foliage. Offering luxury suites complemented by a hearty breakfast each morning, the nearby Granville House Bed & Breakfast is located in Vancouver’s popular Granville Island where visitors will enjoy the fresh dining options and family activities available.

Granville House Bed and BreakfastGranville House Bed and Breakfast

Where will you go to view this season’s best fall foliage?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tis the season for pumpkin! Now that fall has arrived it’s the perfect time to snack on your favorite pumpkin-flavored dishes. Here are a few recipes you can make at home to share with friends and family.

    Harvest Pumpkin CheesecakeHarvest Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Harvest Pumpkin Cheesecake from Pine River Ranch Bed and Breakfast

    Ingredients:

    Crust:

    • 1 1/2 Cups Ginger Snaps Cookie Crumbs
    • 6 Tbsp butter melted
    • 1/4 Cup Sugar

    Filling:

    • 2 qty 8oz. Cream Cheese
    • 1 Cup Sugar-Mix until smooth
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1 qty. 15oz. Can Pumpkin
    • 2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
    • 2/3 Cup Sour Cream

    Directions:

    1. Mix Ginger Snap Cookie Crumbs, melted butter and sugar in Food Processor or blender
    2. Press crust into greased 9″ cake pan. Chill crust for 10 minutes in freezer until set or bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees
    3. Cool before filling (OR you can use a ready made graham cracker crust)
    4. Mix Cream Cheese and Sugar until smooth then add Eggs, Canned Pumpkin and Pumpkin Spice and mix until smooth
    5. Fold in 2/3 Cup Sour Cream then pour over ginger snap or graham cracker crust
    6. Bake @ 250 for 1 1/2 hours until set
    7. Cool, cut & serve
    8. Store in refrigerator for up to one week or you can freeze and serve in smaller portions.

    Pumpkin BrowniesPumpkin Brownies

    Pumpkin Brownies from Stonewall Jackson Inn – Bed and Breakfast

    Ingredients:

    • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
    • 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup granulated white sugar
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon allspice
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 container whipped topping or cream cheese frosting (optional)

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together eggs, oil, pumpkin, and sugars
    2. Stir in remaining ingredients until evenly mixed. Pour into a greased and floured 9-by-13 inch baking dish
    3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until center springs back when touched
    4. Top with whipped topping or cream cheese frosting! Great way to use those left over pumpkins!
    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Oktoberfest in the United States, is an exciting celebration where Americans can experience traditional German and Bavarian culture. Bratwurst, beer and fun are always on the menu during these cultural celebrations. Visit these cities for an Oktoberfest to remember.

    Mansion at Maples Heights Mansion at Maples Heights

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh is the first authentic beer hall in the city, modeled after the notable 400-year-old Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany. Each room, is traditionally decorated and full of delicious German fare. During October 26 & 27, the hofbrauhaus is transformed into an event space filled with a haus band, balloon animals and Bavarian bratwursts. The nearby Mansion at Maple Heights is a quiet getaway where guests can relax in one of their luxury bedroom suites following the day’s excitement.

    Apples Bed and BreakfastApples Bed and Breakfast

    Big Bear Lake, CA
    Celebrating one of the country’s most anticipated Oktoberfests, Big Bear Lake in California will be hosting its 44th annual event. Held every weekend from mid-September through October, the fun-filled family event will include log sawing and stein holding contests as well as outdoor game booths for all ages. Inside Big Bear Lake Convention Center, there will be plenty of beer on tap to complement the generous offerings of German meats, Bavarian dumplings and apple strudel. Just five minute from the venue, Apples Bed and Breakfast Inn is a four season resort offering breathtaking views of San Benardino National Forest.

    Victorian Ladies InnVictorian Ladies Inn

    Newport, RI
    Newport’s International Oktoberfest will be held October 11-12, with events and activities taking place on the waterfront. As an official summer sendoff, patrons will get to experience Bavarian culture complete with seasonal brews and savory meals. For entertainment, two local favorite performers, Spitze! and die Schlauberger will return with a special performance. A quick stroll admiring the fall foliage will lead visitors straight to the Victorian Ladies Inn. This intimate yet inviting bed and breakfast is not only within walking distance to the event but it is also close to numerous other attractions including beaches, the Colonial town of Newport and harbor front dining.

    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    The days are growing shorter and the weather is turning crisper; iced tea is giving way to warm apple cider and nature is taking its cue to bring on the reds and golds of fall foliage. BnBFinder inns are located in some of the best towns for leaf-peeping (and fall festivals). So get away for the weekend and enjoy a relaxing getaway to one of these destinations this fall.

    Lodge at SedonaLodge at Sedona

    Sedona, AZ
    Sedona is primarily known for the reds of its canyons, but every fall visitors descend on Oak Creek Canyon just north of Sedona, for the crimson hues of the maple and oaks. Whether driving the length of the canyon or hiking the 3-mile trail beside Oak Creek, any way you tackle it there will be vibrant colors for you to enjoy. Located in the heart of Sedona Rock Country is The Lodge At Sedona. This award-winning sanctuary offers luxury accommodations, artistic cuisine and two-acres of beautiful southwestern serenity.

    Wildwood InnWildwood Inn

    Estes Park, CO
    In Estes Park, CO, otherwise known as “the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park”, you know foliage season has arrived when the aspens start turning golden in hue and the sound of bugling bull elk radiate through the land. It is also during this time of year that the long-running Autumn Gold Festival takes place. Autumn Gold is a “festival of Bands, Brats & Beer,” and is scheduled this year for September 20 & 21. Nearby, the Wildwood Inn offers guests an escape from the festivities with seven-acres of private wooded land adjoining the Rocky Mountain National Park. Enjoy the foliage from your balcony or from the lavishness of your private outdoor hot tub.

    Stone Hill InnStone Hill Inn

    Stowe, VT
    The best time to catch the intensity of the sugar maple leaves is at the end of September through mid-October. Also taking place in peak leaf-peeping season is the Stowe Oktoberfest, which is celebrating its 18th year this October 3 – 5. So whether you are hiking the trails to admire the foliage of the Green and Worcester mountain ranges or listening to the world class music at Oktoberfest (or doing both), rest your head at the Stone Hill Inn located 5 minutes from town. This luxury, nine-acre retreat offers guests peaceful surroundings and a romantic ambiance. Be sure to take advantage of the gourmet breakfast served in the inns beautiful sunlit dining room.

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