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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Do you know who is celebrating one epic birthday this year? If you guessed the second largest country in the world, Canada, you’re correct. The sesquicentennial marks the anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, when all of the country reunited. With 150 years under its belt, the nation is celebrating with festivities throughout all of its provinces and territories.  And the best part? They have a party gift for you!

You are invited to explore the country’s national treasures with a free Discovery Pass. All of their national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada are accessible.

The biggest day for celebrating is July 1, Canada Day, however, you don’t have to wait.  In June, celebrate at Ottawa’s multi-award-winning 65th Canadian Tulip Festival, showcasing the capital’s official flower as a symbol of international friendship with millions of tulips.  Later that month, check out The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, North America’s largest dragon boating festival where the four-day celebration will offer free admission to a variety of entertainment such as concerts, amusement attractions, sports demonstrations, various artisans, exhibitors, delicious culinary treats, a children’s area, and non-stop racing.

Need a break from all of the hoopla?

Those celebrating in Ontario and looking for some peace and quiet outside of the birthday festivities are in luck as the incredibly tranquil Connemara House located in Greely delivers just that.  Guests staying at the inn will experience quiet seclusion while being surrounded by towering trees yet still being within close proximity to the bustle and attractions of the country’s capital. Tucked in the southern end of Ottawa, Ontario, Greely is largely rural yet only a short 27 minute drive from Parliament Hill, one hour from Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, two hours from Montreal, and 45 minutes from Merrickville.

Connemara’s rooms are each appointed with handmade quilts and Canadian-made pine beds. Fill up in the inn’s kitchen or dining room with a delicious made-from-scratch breakfast like Peggy’s homemade quiche or Angus’s fruit salad.

Named after the perfectly preserved land in Connemara, Ireland, where St. Patrick would often retreat after hours spent preaching, the innkeepers strive to maintain the utmost warm and comfortable atmosphere. Welcoming guests with the same hospitality practiced eras ago; Angus and Peggy hope to offer all guests a retreat of their own, with the goal of having everyone leave the inn refreshed and rejuvenated in mind, body, and spirit.

Like we said, there will be nonstop sesquicentennial celebrations all year. So whether you’re planning a visit during the Ottawa Jazz Festival or Escapade in June, the Mosaicanada or Ottawa Bluesfest in July or Cityfolk in September, check out the Connemara House for some restful accommodations and party like it’s 1867!

Monday, May 22, 2017

This Thursday, May 25th marks a special occasion for oenophiles everywhere: National Wine Day. And even though technically every day can be National Wine Day with the right attitude, why not uncork and relax at a beautiful B&B? Looking for ways to celebrate this glorious day? The real question you should be asking is – red or white? Go beyond the call of happy hour and discover inns from Ohio to California that will leave you drunk (in love).

Whether you like sweet or dry, red or white, finding a picturesque spot to sip your favorite varietal adds to the enjoyment.

Iris Inn Bed & Breakfast, Waynesboro, VA

Nestled on 12 wooded acres on the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Iris Inn Bed & Breakfast in Waynesboro, VA, offers guests a romantic retreat in one of their six private cabins. Take some time to slow down and enjoy a refreshing glass of wine from the porch overlooking the tranquil Shenandoah National Forest. If you’re an oenophile at heart, you can savor a complimentary wine tasting at the inn or visit one of the 28 wineries located nearby.

Old Monterey Inn, Monterey, CA

In the heart of beautiful Monterey, CA, the Old Monterey Inn will transport you to another place and time. Embodying the spirit of Old World romance, you will be enveloped by the lush gardens while sipping your favorite varietal from your own secluded private patio. Quiet sitting areas where you can listen to the soothing sounds of the water fountains are located around the grounds. Savor nightly hors d’oeuvre before a gourmet dinner in town.

El Farolito Bed & Breakfast, Santa FE, NM

Surround yourself with colorful culture and relaxation when you make your way to Santa Fe, NM. Only a few blocks away from the downtown historic area lies the secluded El Farolito Bed & Breakfast, with its traditional adobe architecture and intimate casitas. Tucked away amongst gardens and walled-in patios, you can soak in the picturesque sunset with a chilled glass of white wine from your very own private patio.

Lakehouse Inn & Winery, Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH

The Lakehouse Inn & Winery in beautiful Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH, offers 5 traditional B&B rooms and 3 suites (all with private baths), 3 vacation rental cottages, and the luxurious Beach House, for the ultimate lakefront experience. The property features a spa with a variety of rejuvenating treatments using wine, including their Signature Cabernet Massage and the all new Stomping of the Grapes Spa Pedicure and Spa Manicure. They also provide wine tastings onsite. Located in Ohio Wine Country, the Lakehouse Inn is within a 10-minute drive of more than a dozen wineries.

Friends Lake Inn, Chestertown, NY

Sit back and sip on some of the amazing vino options included on an award-winning wine list at the charming Friends Lake Inn located in the midst of the Adirondacks. The inn’s onsite restaurant features delectable New American/French influenced cuisine and an impressive wine cellar honored by as Best of Excellence by Wine Spectator magazine. With 25,000 bottles from around the globe, tempt your pallet with some of the regions this Finger Lakes inn focuses on – French, Italian, and Napa, California.

So, on your next getaway make sure to uncork some fun! Take a trip to a vineyard or enjoy a dinner pairing with delicious varietals on a food and wine getaway.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Peach season is nearly upon us, so what better way to celebrate than with a delicious Peaches and Cream French Toast recipe from the luxurious Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Georgia. With its creamy, pillowy filling and juicy, ripe peaches, you’ll want to serve this for breakfast AND dessert. Here’s how to make it…

Ingredients:

Cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract (the inn uses Neilson Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla)
1 tsp orange extract (the inn uses Neilson Massey Orange Extract)
Powdered sugar
Maple syrup
Jam or jelly

Directions:

1. Preheat a griddle or pan to 350 degrees. Soften the cream cheese by either letting it sit out for a bit or in the microwave using the soften function if it has one. Once softened, mix the jam or jelly into the cream cheese. Add some cinnamon to taste.

2. Remove the skin and the seed from the peaches and take three of the peaches and cut them up into chunks in a small bowl. Add a little granulated sugar (to taste depending on how sweet the peaches are). Macerate them just briefly with a fork or a potato masher just until they are soft and somewhat spreadable.

3. Using a serrated knife, slice each piece of Texas toast ¾ of the way just so you can open it, stuff it, and then close it back. Open a piece and, on one side, spread about 1 Tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. On the other side, spread the macerated peaches and then close it back.

4. For the batter to dip the bread into, whisk one egg into the milk. Add vanilla and orange extracts and lots of cinnamon. Put each piece of bread into the batter for around 10 seconds on each side before putting it on the hot griddle (you may need to butter or spray your griddle or pan if it isn’t seasoned). Once golden brown on each side, remove and slice diagonally down each piece. Sprinkle fresh chopped peaches on top along with confectioner sugar. Drizzle maple syrup. We like to serve it with sausage from a local farm.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Like diamonds? How about crystals? If you’re all about gems, consider vacationing in one of the most geologically rich destinations in the world: Arkansas.


Historically, there are only two areas in the world known to produce the best quartz crystals: Brazil and Arkansas. And when it comes to Arkansas quartz, your best bet is to head to the Mount Ida region, a.k.a. The Quartz Crystal Capital of the World. This place is so saturated in quartz crystals you might just pick one up right off the ground.

With crystal and gem shops lining city streets selling not only locally mined quartz crystals but also imported gems and crystals like fluorite, citrine, and amethyst, Mount Ida is sure to delight any rock hound. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go on your very own treasure hunt for these precious stones. The surrounding region offers many dig-your-own experiences in the quartz crystal deposits of the Ouachita Mountains. And when we say mines, we really just mean pits and exposed hillsides,  – not the dark cavernous mines you might be imagining.

Never mined anything before? BnBFinder has got you covered with what to pack for quartz mining. Since the process can be a bit of a mess, make sure to wear gloves for protection, old clothes, and shoes that you do not mind getting dirty. Layer with a jacket and a long sleeved shirt. Bring a sun hat and sunblock, plenty of water, and a three-pronged gardening tool. Mines are open year-round, but summers in Arkansas can get pretty hot. Arkansas winters are fairly temperate, making for optimal mining weather.

Named one of the Top 25 Small Hotels, Lookout Point Lakeside Inn, offers a luxury Bed & Breakfast experience for your unforgettable gem-hunting getaway in the Ouachita Mountains. Innkeeper Kristie Rosset says her guests enjoy mining at the Ron Coleman Mines in Jessieville, Arkansas, about a 30-minute drive from the inn. Guests are guaranteed to find quartz crystals while educating visitors on how to dig and clean up them up. You can also purchase training and protective gear, like protective gloves and eye-wear at Ron Coleman.

Also popular for mining is the Crater of Diamond State Park, the world’s only diamond-producing site open to the public, only 90 minutes from the inn. Most visitors won’t make a fortune from this ancient volcanic ground, but with 40 other rocks and minerals in the area, you’re sure to find something interesting. Lookout Point offers a Creating Memories Family Fun Vacation to guests including passes to the Ron Coleman quartz mine. Also nearby are local hiking trails, the Hot Springs Fine Arts District, and the Magic Springs Amusement Park.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Thanks to teachers, the lives of millions of children are forever changed each and every day. They passionately guide, educate and empower children with the tools to become successful, confident and compassionate adults. Being a teacher can certainly be tough, so take the time to share your gratitude for the educators leading the students in your community and #ThankATeacher during Teacher Appreciation Week, a dedicated time to show appreciation for all teachers. These two B&Bs show their gratitude for educators everyday, offering discounts on overnight accommodations for full-time teachers.

Stone Haus Bed and Breakfast, Hermann, MO


At the incredibly charming Stone Haus Bed and Breakfast in Hermann, Missouri, guests enjoy their stay in a traditional B&B in a beautifully restored nineteenth century stone home. Sited on a bucolic nine-acres of property overlooking historic Hermann, Missouri, Stone Haus offers five spacious rooms and suites each with a private bath and sweet little nooks tucked throughout the home. Enjoy outdoor living spaces along the property and take a soak in their outdoor hot tub. Stone Haus offers a 10% discount for teachers and their family members with a valid identification card.

Glynn House Inn, Ashland, NH


Lovingly described as “New Hampshire’s Finest Small Inn,” the historic Glynn House Inn is tucked in the heart of the White Mountains and Lakes Region in Ashland. Offering a romantic retreat and unrivaled hospitality, the inn offers exquisitely decorated guest rooms with private baths, fireplaces, luxury linens, and comfy bathrobes. Enjoy a scrumptious, multi-course, gourmet breakfast each morning in the elegant Victorian dining room. Offering their appreciation for full-time teachers, the Glynn House offers a 15% discount when staying three or more evenings throughout the year.

Looking for a perfect gift for teacher appreciation week? BnBFinder Travel Gift Certificates are easy as 1-2-3. Plus, certificates can be accepted at participating inns and start at just $20. Your teacher can choose from 1,500 participating B&Bs in the U.S. and Canada. From sailing from your coastal retreat in Bar Harbor Maine to a pampering spa getaway on the California coast – our BnBFinder gift certificates offer something for every teacher looking to make the most of his or her school break.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Land of the free. Home of the brave. Let freedom reign. These catchy all-American slogans weaved into the fabric of our country’s everyday culture wouldn’t mean very much without those brave men and women who serve us. National Military Appreciation Month, remembers, recognizes, and honors all military personnel; those men and women who have served throughout our history, all who currently serve in uniform, as well as those Americans who have given their lives in defense of our freedom. With well over 90 million Americans serving throughout more than 230 years of the nation’s history, this national awareness month, as designated by Congress, has been celebrated across the country for 18 years. In honor of National Military Appreciation Month, BnBFinder has rounded up some wonderful inns owned by folks who have served our country in the armed forces. These inns offer a salute to our military with discounts to active and former service members. From our teachers to our firefighters and our military, BnBFinder innkeepers salute our everyday heroes year-round.  Visit our Salute our Heroes page for special offerings.

Fitch Hill Inn, Hyde Park, VT

Offering sweeping views of the Green Mountains in Vermont, the Fitch Hill Inn is a 1700s farmhouse turned B&B on 100 acres of bucolic paradise. Nestled on the quiet dead-end Fitch Hill Road, the inn offers easy access from Vermont Routes 15 and 100. With four guest rooms and two one-room suites, the inn is equipped with modern amenities.  Innkeeper John Rohleder spent his career in the Air Force, traveling for two decades in and out of the country from Southern California to southwestern Germany. Several years before John retired, he and his wife Julie journeyed through New England, falling in love with Vermont, and spent John’s remaining few years of service figuring out a way to settle there. And so, the Fitch Hill Inn was born. Fourteen years later the Rohleders continue to welcome guests to their lovely bed and breakfast. The Fitch Hill Inn extends a 10% discount to all active duty and retired military.

The Foxtrot Bed and Breakfast, Gatlinburg, TN

Tucked in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee, The Foxtrot Bed and Breakfast offers four well-appointed guest rooms, each with a private bath, coveted views of Mt. Leconte and the Great Smoky Mountains, and sumptuous three-course breakfasts every morning. With its chalet-style cedar and stone façade, the inn blends seamlessly with its rustic surroundings, sited high above the noise and traffic offering a hilltop mountain retreat. From whitewater rafting and horseback riding to outlet shopping and arts and crafts, the Foxtrot offers plenty for visitors of all ages. Pack a picnic and take a hike along the Great Smoky Mountain National Park’s more than 800 miles of trails.  Visit the inn’s favorite clubhouse Tryolea where the aerial tram skirts the tree tops alongside the tennis courts and swimming pool. Check out the North Club House or the Alpine Club House for a quick dip in the pool. Foxtrot innkeeper Bob Price served as a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam era from 1971-1975. After retiring, he and his wife looked for something they could do together. Between learning from his mother coupled with his years spent in the military, Bob knew how to make beds and clean baths. The Foxtrot offers a 10% discount to active duty and veterans and offers a free room to a veteran on Veterans Day.

Wolf Cove Inn, Poland, ME

Perfectly sited on the eastern shore of Tripp Lake in the Sebago Lakes Region of Maine, the Wolf Cove Inn offers 560 feet of private lakefront property, scenic gardens, and expansive pine groves. Explore Tripp Lake with complementary canoes, kayaks, or rowboats, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, jump right in from their private dock.The nineteenth-century inn was purchased in 2013 by current Innkeepers Sue and Roy Forsberg. The Wolf Cove Inn features 11 well-appointed rooms, most with a private en suite bath, and authentic Down East breakfast. (Think blueberry baked stuffed french toast and eggs over sweet potato hash browns and baby spinach with a southwest salsa.) Innkeeper Roy Forsberg served as an active duty officer in the US Navy from May of 1982 to May through 1986 and in the Naval Reserve until 1989. Stationed on a cruiser, USS Dale – CG19, in Mayport, Florida, Roy was deployed multiple times to the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean. The Wolf Cove Inn showcases “Trusty Shellback” and “Suez Safari” diplomas in their reception area, which offers great conversation starters for those who have been indoctrinated into the Royal Order of Neptunus Rex. The Wolf Cove Inn offers a 10% discount for active duty military.

Hopkins House Farm Bed & Breakfast, Salem, NY

Nestled on 15 acres in rural Washington County, New York, Hopkins House Farm Bed & Breakfast offers a good night’s sleep and a sumptuous breakfast. When creating their B&B, Aggy and Charlie Duveen had three priorities in mind: a comfortable bed for a good night’s sleep; a healthy country breakfast with great coffee, delicious tea, and local farm fresh products; and a relaxing atmosphere, where guests feel at home. Intent on preserving the historical integrity of the house, the Duveens have stayed true to the original footprint of the eighteenth century home, with five double occupancy guest rooms that share two communal baths. Guests enjoy the comfort of handmade Aireloom mattresses at night and awake to the smell of coffee, freshly ground and roasted that morning. A navy veteran himself, Charlie Duveen says he enjoys accommodating military guests at the B&B as they reminisce about duty stations, share tales of boot camp, and compare dates of service. Hopkins House Farm Bed & Breakfast offers a special 10% discount to active duty and retired veterans.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bar Harbor, the coastal town on Maine’s Mount Desert Island has changed a lot since it was the official summer home to the wealthy families of the Vanderbilts and Astors. After the great fire of 1947 destroyed most of the village homes the downtown area has survived (and thrived). Ever since, Bar Harbor has flourished as one of the top summer travel destinations, thanks to loads of lobster, warm temperatures, and festivals.

Walking the line between a lively tourist spot and a whimsical escape, Bar Harbor garners the attention of everyone from traveling families to nature enthusiasts. Deliciously frozen in time, you won’t find any Starbucks or fast food joints here. Both then and now, Mount Desert has served as a adored hub for outdoor activities: hiking, biking, and boating. At day’s end, travelers can sit back and relax with a blueberry beer (Bar Harbor’s specialty) and a lobster roll. Those wandering during the evening have the ability to watch sailboats drop anchor and magnificent sunsets plunge over the rocky horizons Just in time for summer, we’ve rounded up the best things to do and see, and the top places to stay.

What to Do:

Witness Mount Desert Island, the largest island off the coast of Maine and the second largest on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. Embedded with a rich history and culture, the island population swells in the summer and is a can’t-miss for tourists. You might even spot celebrities such as Martha Stewart or Rockefeller heirs who have summer cottages on the island.

Looking to learn about Bar Harbor’s rich history? The museums are both small and focused, and travelers can learn about everything from the towns “Gilded Age”, the Gulf of Maine’s unique ecosystems and species, and the natural wonders of Acadia National Park. At the Abbe Museum, visitors can explore the history and culture of Maine’s native people, the Wabanaki tribe.

The spectacular Acadia National Park is a national treasure that you’d be remiss not to explore when visiting Bar Harbor. The 47,000-acre park features rocky beaches, pristine views, lush woodlands, and glacier-capped granite peaks. Enjoy everything from hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, bird watching, climbing, and so much more.

Head to the water and experience one of Bar Harbor’s many cruises. Catch a glimpse of humpback, Minke, and finback whales on a whale-watching tour, enjoy breathtaking views of Frenchman’s Bay on a sunset cruise, awe over the beautiful lighthouses of Somes Sound and Great Duck Island, and catch a ride on a lobster boat.

Where to Stay:

Bass Cottage Inn, 14 The Field

Bar Harbor’s oldest continuously operating inn, the Bass Cottage Inn located on a quiet lane, is both a central and serene private retreat located in the heart of the city. Built in 1885 during Bar Harbor’s Golden Age, the inn was extensively renovated and preserved to meet the needs of today’s discerning traveler. Fresh, vibrant, and clean, the rooms are uniquely named and decorated after spices and herbs. Cinnamon, a rich and bright room features wood floors, a cozy fireplace, and cottage charm. If you’re looking for something feminine, floral, and crisp, the Verbena room is one of the largest and features broad, sunny windows, a jetted tub for two, and a pillow-top king bed with canopy. Breakfast is also a highlight when staying at the Bass Cottage. Their food philosophy is simple: they showcase ingredients from local farms, season with inspiration from regional cuisines, and serve Maine-roasted coffee. In the morning, guests can enjoy a delicious three-course breakfast – one sweet, one savory and a healthy choice option.

Aysgarth Station, 20 Roberts Avenue

The breathtaking Bar Harbor vista views seen from the third-floor deck and front porch of the Aysgarth Station can’t be beat. This historic property offers six spacious, uniquely decorated rooms perfect for a romantic getaway, all of which offer plush beds and private baths – some with jetted tubs. The waterfront is just a stroll away from the inn, allowing guests to enjoy all of the benefits of a Bar Harbor summer getaway: fantastic dining options, water activities such as sunset cruises, kayaking, and more.

Atlantean Cottage, 11 Atlantic Avenue

Atlantean Cottage, a Tudor-style property built by famed architect Frederick L. Savage, provides modern amenities while still honoring it’s historic past. Accommodations are diverse, with six carefully appointed guestrooms and two spacious suites featuring private, ensuite bathrooms perfect for long, quiet getaways.

Saltair Inn, 121 West St.

There’s a reason that the Saltair Inn has been voted by editors of Yankee Magazine as the “Best Oceanfront B&B in Maine” and praised by The Boston Globe. This romantic, four-season waterfront property on the shores of Frenchman Bay provides the perfect Bar Harbor vacation setting with eight well-appointed guestrooms fit for both the budget and luxury traveler. Soak up fabulous views, a delicious breakfast, luxury waterfront suites, and more.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Our innkeepers are some of the wittiest around, and we love how they put their humor to good use when displaying some of their silliest novelty signs. Check out the slideshow below for some good laughs.

Monday, May 1, 2017

When it comes to serving up something quick, easy, and delicious for breakfast (or anytime for that matter), eggs are always the answer. They’re the major player in everything from crème brûlée to frittatas and soufflés. An egg recipe we’re loving lately? The delicious Baked Eggs and Asparagus Gratin dish courtesy of Kristin Fintel, innkeeper at Chehalem Ridge Bed and Breakfast in Newberg, OR.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
20 each asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 cup half and half, or heavy cream
1 each garlic clove, smashed
salt and pepper
8 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Prep work:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a pie plate, toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter. Bake for 6 minutes, until golden. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

2. Put cream, garlic, salt and pepper in a microwave-proof bowl. Heat on high until just simmering. Let steep a few minutes. Strain and store in the refrigerator.

3. Morning Work:
Place trimmed asparagus in a damp paper towel. Par-cook the asparagus in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, until crisp-tender.

4. Spray gratin dishes with non-stick spray.

5. Divide the asparagus spears (4-5 per dish) into the gratin dishes. Crack 2 eggs on top of the asparagus. Pour 2 tablespoons of garlic cream on top of the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and then parmesan cheese.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the whites are nearly firm and the yolks are still runny (12 minutes for 2-4 dishes, 15 or more minutes for 6-8 dishes). Let sit for 2 minutes before serving, but not more than 5.

Serves: 4

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ah, spring cocktails. Warmer days call for cooler drinks, and while most bars are well-stocked with an array of fresh fruits: lemons, limes, and watermelon, they certainly shouldn’t have all of the fun. One important vegetable is a must-add: the cucumber (aka the unsung hero of spring cocktails). Since it’s naturally cooling and has a light and fresh sweetness, the cucumber is a staple when it comes to creating one of the most fabulously refreshing boozy beverage. For the mixologist, it serves as a unique flavor base that works well when blending with stronger notes such as mint or melon. The talented mixologist at the chic La Table Provencale Bar & Lounge at L’Auberge Provencale in White Post, VA introduced us to their newest cocktail for the spring (and summer) season: Cool as a Cucumber. Here, we’ve featured the mouth-watering, fresh cocktail. Drink up!

Recipe:

4 round cucumber slices

2.5 oz. vodka

2 oz. lime juice

3/4 oz. agave nectar

3 dashes bitters

2 sprigs mint

Directions:

Muddle all ingredients together and serve over ice with a lime twist or cucumber ribbon.

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