Americans still love to travel, but these days, last-minute affordable getaways are most popular. With this in mind, BedandBreakfast.com, the leading online B & B directory representing 27,000 B & Bs worldwide, offers a host of affordable vacations. Each costs no more than $168 per person, and some are considerably lower.
Alaska Gold Rush B & B, Palmer, Alaska: Minutes from one of Alaska's recreational gold panning areas, you'll be given all the necessary equipment to make your fortune the old-fashioned way. Instruction on how to pan, and identify "fool's gold" is included. Construction on the B & B's own "Gold Camp" replica is underway and expected by 2004 when educational tours will be added. All suites, cabins and rooms start at $95 per night for two people, including panning equipment and instruction, along with breakfast. Info: (877) 745-5312 or www.alaskagoldrush.com.
Kaleidoscope Inn & Gardens, Nipomo, California: If you love to explore the California coast, book the adventure package. Day one features sea kayaking along the ocean cliffs; day two, hike the Pacho Coast Trail to the lighthouse in the hills overlooking the bay, followed by a delicious lunch on the Avila Beach Pier. The package for two costs $335, and includes two night's accommodations, breakfast each morning, basket of trail munchies, kayak rentals, hike and lunch. Info: (805) 929-5444 or www.kaleidoscopeinn.com.
The Tudor Rose Bed & Breakfast, Salida, Colorado: Enjoy a high country horseback adventure in the Colorado Rockies. The two-night package for two combines beautiful accommodations plus a half-day horseback ride with snack, breakfast each morning, and a special dinner for two at Dakota's. Rates start at $290, including taxes. Info: (800) 379-0889 or www.thetudorrose.com.
Two Sisters Inn, Manitou Springs, Colorado: The Two Sisters Inn invites you to experience "America's Mountain" on the century-old historic Pikes Peak Cog Railway, just one mile from the inn. The breathtaking views from the summit of Pikes Peak (14,110 ft.) are inspiring. Your package includes two-nights lodging, creative breakfasts, Cog Railway tickets, box lunches for the train ride and a souvenir of your trip. Rates start at $285. Info: (800) 2-SIS-INN (274-7466) or www.twosisinn.com.
Flery Manor, Grants Pass, Oregon:
When they tell you to "take a hike" here, the innkeepers are not hoping you'll get lost. The Take-A-Hike Package includes a two-night stay, plus healthy gourmet breakfasts. Enjoy a 2.5 mile hike on the private Jumpin' Jack Trail with plenty of uphill sections and views of Mount Sexton, the Coast Range, and the snow-capped Siskiyou mountains. Packages start at $200 for two for the two nights. Info: (541) 476-3791 or www.flerymanor.com.
Ann Starret Mansion, Port Townsend, Washington: Enjoy a whale watching tour in the waters where Free Willy was filmed. Perhaps you'll see one of the new baby whales born into the spectacular Orca Whale pod last spring. The package includes two nights lodging, tickets for the Puget Sound Express Whale Watching Boat and a picnic breakfast, all for $320. Info: (800) 321-0644 or www.starrettmansion.com.
Wildflower B & B On the Square, Mountain View, Arkansas: Experience the beauty and adventure of exploring Blanchard Springs Caverns, rated among the "Top Ten" caves in the country. The scenic recreation area surrounding the caverns features access to many hiking trails, swimming and picnic areas.
The Caverns Package for two includes two-nights lodging in the best room available, breakfast and afternoon snacks each day, access to the Blanchard Caverns Dripstone Trail, music at John Taylors Barn, dinner at a choice area restaurant, and two inn mugs, all for $259. Info: (800) 591-4879 or www.wildflowerbb.com.
Golden Lantern Inn, Red Wing, Minnesota: This is the perfect one-night getaway, no matter how busy you are. This package includes a 30-minute plane tour of the bluff country, from Lake Pepin to Red Wing to Lake City. Afterwards, you'll dine at the Lavender Rose or the Port restaurant. Midweek one-night packages for two start at $225 for a room with a fireplace, breakfast, plane ride and dinner. Info: (651) 385-8509 or www.goldenlantern.com.
Poplar Creek Guesthouse B & B, Grand Marais, Minnesota: Perched on a glacial esker, this remote guest house offers a two-night inn-to-inn hiking package. Hike between Poplar Creek Guesthouse B & B to Old Northwoods Lodge through the Boundary Waters trails. The package includes accommodations, breakfasts, trail lunches and car/luggage shuttle for $155 per person. Info: (800) 322-8327 or www.littleollielodging.com/packages.html.
Captain Montague's B & B, Huron, Ohio: Roller coasters and thrilling rides aren't just for kids. Enjoy a day at Cedar Point, renowned for its famed rides. You'll need a night of pampering relaxation after a day of heart-pounding fun as you plunge down hills of steel. The package -- geared for two fun-loving adults -- includes two midweek nights in a deluxe room, hearty breakfasts and afternoon/evening snacks daily, plus two adult one-day tickets to Cedar Point (excludes Soak City) for $300. Info: (800) 276-4756 or www.Captainmontagues.com.
The Elkhorn Inn & Theater, Landgraff, West Virginia: Located in a 1900s historic building on West Virginia's Coal Heritage Trail, the Elkhorn opened on May 15, 2003. Located about 30 minutes from the Bluefields, and near access trails to the famed Hatfield and McCoy Trails, this inn hosts avid ATV four-wheeling fans. Great hiking, biking and fishing are nearby. The two-night summer package includes accommodations and continental breakfast each morning starting at $99 double. Info: (800) 708-2040 or www.elkhorninnwv.com.
Christopher's Bed and Breakfast, Bellevue, Kentucky:
For an adventure of unmatched depths, ask for the Newport Aquarium Package. See more than 60 exhibits and walk along underwater tunnels for a close-up encounter with the world's most beautiful and dangerous creatures. The package includes one-night accommodations for two, breakfasts, and aquarium tickets for $125. Make it a two-night getaway and add an additional night for just $89. Info: (888) 585-7085 or www.christophersbb.com.
New England and Mid Atlantic
Deacon Timothy Pratt Bed and Breakfast, Old Saybrook, Connecticut: Enjoy two nights in an elegant room with private bath, four-poster or canopy bed, fireplace and whirlpool tub, candle-lit breakfast and a ride along the scenic Connecticut River aboard the Essex Steam Train. Then transfer to a riverboat to cruise back on the river. The package starts at $275 for two. Info: (860) 395-1229 or www.connecticut-bed-and-breakfast.com.
Haddonfield Inn, Haddonfield, New Jersey:
Innkeepers Fred and Nancy are avid sports fans, and have multiple season tickets to all Philadelphia Eagles football, Flyers hockey, Sixers basketball and Phillies baseball games, including playoffs. They've packaged tickets (great seats!) for Philadelphia's sports events with a stay at their inn, just 20 minutes by car from Veteran's Stadium. Your package consists of two tickets to a game of your choice, and a one-night minimum stay at the inn. Regular season Philadelphia Phillies packages start at $205 for two tickets and an overnight stay with breakfast. Info: (800) 269-0014 or www.haddonfieldinn.com.
Rufus Tanner House, Pine City, New York: Float your cares away on the beautiful Chemung River. Your package comes compete with inner tubes and water cannons, not to mention two nights lodging, breakfast for two each morning, and picnic lunch, starting at $285 for two. Info: (607) 732-0213 or www.rufustanner.com.
The Gallets House Bed & Breakfast, Allegany, New York: Famous for the many area golf courses, the Golf Special includes a three-night midweek stay, breakfasts, a round of golf at the Birch Run Country Club, along with dinner at a local restaurant for $279 per couple. Info: (716) 373-7493 or www.galletshouse.com.
Weekwood Farm B & B, Troy (Hamilton) Ontario, Canada: This B & B offers the perfect mid-point for exploring Ontario's Grand River, which meanders for 200 miles of woodlands, meadows, Indian settlements and historic villages. A two-night river adventure package offers an ideal getaway for families who'd like to spend some time together on the water. The package include two nights lodging, full country breakfasts, and a day of rafting, canoeing or kayaking, starting at US $250 for a family of four. Info: (519) 647-3343 or http://home.primus.ca/~vweeks.