CHRISTMAS HOUSE TOURS & HOLIDAY PACKAGES
Though the weather outside may be frightful, the B&Bs are most delightful, with crackling fires, beautiful decorations, plus open house tours and holiday getaway packages.
Bells are jingling across the country as innkeepers ready their bed and breakfasts for the holidays, decking the halls in festive holiday finery. Many inns open their doors for tours, inviting the public to enjoy both d�cor and decorations, and often to partake of seasonal refreshment. Open houses typically benefit a community project, so you can help a good cause at the same time. For more information, visit http://www.bedandbreakfast.com, the largest online directory of B&Bs and country inns, for a host of wonderful holiday packages and open houses. Just click http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/specials/index.aspx , then Christmas Open Houses from the pull-down box.
For a jolly holly bargain this holiday season, even Uncle Scrooge would be pleased to know that each of the following inn tours offers a way to receive free tickets to the event, up to a $50 value (with a two-night stay).
Still seeking the ideal holiday gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list? Give the gift of a getaway! BedandBreakfast.com gift certificates are honored at nearly 2300 inns and B&Bs across the country. Who wouldn't be thrilled with a gift of rest, rejuvenation and romance? Visit http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/giftcertificates/index.aspx for all the details.
Northeast Holiday Tours & Getaway Packages
Chatham, Cape Cod, MA: 6th Annual Historic Inn Tour, December 8, 1-5 pm. From the grandest oceanfront resorts to the most intimate inns of Chatham, you'll see each inn decorated in its holiday best, plus music, arts & crafts and Christmas cheer. Tickets are $10 each in advance and $12 at the door. Stay at the Old Harbor Inn for two nights, and receive two free tickets to the tour. Rates are $99-249 nightly. Info: 800-942-4434 or http://www.chathamoldharborinn.com.
Lee, Berkshires, MA: Holiday Trim-A-Tree Inn Tour, December 8, noon-4 pm. Tour five inns, all decorated for the holidays. You'll take home an ornament from each inn, gathering a lovely collection to trim your own tree. Stay at any member of the Lee Lodging Association during the tour, and receive a free tour ticket. Info: 413-243-1824 or http://www.leelodging.org/events.html.
White Mountains, NH: 6th Annual Inn-to-Inn Christmas Cookie Tour, December 7-8, 11-5 pm. Sweet celebration is guaranteed as you tour 18 award-winning inns, sampling cookies at each one. Take home a keepsake collection of tried and true cookie recipes, along with wonderful decorating ideas. Most participating inns are packaging tour tickets with a two-night stay. Tickets are $20 per person. Info: 603-356-9460 or http://www.countryinnsinthewhitemountains.com.
Cape May, NJ: 29th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tours, Saturdays, December 7, 14, and 28, 5:30-8:30 pm. Over 20 beautifully decorated homes, inns, and churches are open for touring each night for this long-standing Cape May tradition. Enjoy strolling musicians, spectacular trees, home-baked items and warm beverages. Continuous shuttle on heated trolleys. Adults $22, children (3-12) $11. Info: 800-275-4278 or http://www.capemaymac.org/Tours-Events/this-week-in-cape-may-tours-events.htm.
North Fork, Long Island, NY: First Wine Country Holiday Showcase, December 7, 2-6 pm. Tour nine wonderfully decorated B&Bs, each of which will treat you to tastings from local wineries paired with festive foods from area restaurants, plus live holiday music. Antiques, gifts, and decorative items will be on sale as well. Tickets are $25, or free to anyone booking a two-or-more night stay over the weekend of the event. Info: 631-734-2053 or http://www.northfork.com/nfbba.
Gettysburg, PA: Bed & Breakfast Inn Holiday House Tour, December 14, noon- 5 pm. Tour seven historic inns in and around Gettysburg, and enjoy a taste of Christmas Past. Book a two- night stay at the Brickhouse Inn or any of the 18 inns in the Gettysburg B&B Association and receive two complimentary tickets. Info: 800-864-3464, http://www.brickhouseinn.com or http://www.gettysburgbedandbreakfast.com.
Ancestors Inn, Liverpool, NY: You can literally wrap up all your shopping and entertainment goals in this creative getaway. The package includes two-nights lodging with breakfast and dinner, tickets for Lights on the Lake and Christmas Around the World, two tickets to either The Nutcracker or West Side Story, plus all the gift wrapping supplies you need to wrap those presents you find while on your getaway. Double rate, $290-325. Info: 888-866-8591 or http://www.ancestorsinn.com.
The Sterling Inn, South Sterling, PA: Christmas Tree Weekends (Nov. 27-29, Dec. 13-15 and Dec. 20-22) include a guided tour to a local tree farm where guests can pick and cut the perfect Christmas tree or choose a freshly cut wreath.. This package also includes a full country breakfast each morning, dinner each evening, bonfire and marshmallow roast Friday night, Christmas cookies and tea Saturday afternoon, and live jazz music Saturday night for listening and dancing. Rates start at $320 double for the weekend. Info: 800-523-8200 or http://www.thesterlinginn.com.
The Woodbridge Inn of Woodstock, Woodstock, VT: Special buffets for Christmas and New Years Eve, complete with Champagne toasts to ring in Christmas and the New Year. Party favors, hors d'oeuvres, a late-night buffet, and watching the ball drop on the 52" TV are all New Year's Eve features. Two-night packages start at $359 per couple. Info: http://www.woodbridgeinnofwoodstock.com, 1-866- 966-3274.
Southern Holiday Tours & Getaway Packages
Amelia Island, FL: Annual Bed & Breakfast Christmas Tour, December 7-8, 1-5 pm. The Sounds of The Season theme translates to beautiful music offered at each of the ten inns on the tour. Storytellers and carolers dressed in Dickens-era costumes evoke nostalgic thoughts of Christmas' past. Tickets are $15; more info: http://www.ameliaislandinns.com/christmas-tour.html. Stay at Fairbanks House and receive complimentary tour tickets. Info: 888-891-9915 or http://www.fairbankshouse.com.
St. Augustine, FL: 9th Holiday Tour of Historic Bed & Breakfast Inns, December 8, 2-6 pm. An amazing 26 inns will be ablaze with enchanting Christmas decorations. Many innkeepers will be dressed in Victorian costume, serving you the finest local sweets and savories. Tickets are $15, including Keepsake Holiday Book with recipes, tour map, and calendars, and benefit the local Police Athletic League (PAL). Stay at Centennial House and buy one ticket for $15 and receive the second for half price. Info: 800-611-2880, http://www.centennialhouse.com, or http://www.staugustineinns.com/tour.html.
Midwest Holiday Tours & Getaway Packages
Duluth, MN: Historic Home Tour and Holiday High Tea, December 1 and 8, 12:30-3 or 3:30- 6 pm. Tour historic inns, enjoying these grand homes, live music, period costumes and a five-course high tea. Tickets, $26.50 each. Info: 218-724-6405 or http://www.duluthbandb.com/high_tea.
Wildflower B&B On The Square, Mountain View, Arkansas: Enjoy the "Folk Music Capital of the World" aglow with thousands of twinkling lights. Relax with two special holiday concerts, weekends November 30 through December 22, 2002. First, take in the traditional holiday concert in the underground cathedral room of Blanchard Springs Caverns, known for its spectacular acoustics. The next night, participate in an old-time Holiday Hoedown. This two-night package includes lodging, breakfast and afternoon snacks, Caroling in the Caverns Christmas Concert (weekends only), White River Hoedown (Saturdays only), a commemorative Christmas ornament, and all taxes for just $219 per couple. Info: 800-591-4879 or http://www.wildflowerbb.com.
Inn at Cedar Falls, Logan, OH: Combine great holiday classes with an overnight stay for the perfect pre-Christmas getaway. December 4 or 5, attend Christmas Cookie Baking, where you'll join Innkeeper Ellen and Chef Kim in baking five different holiday cookies or candies. Take home the fruits of your labor. December 11, enjoy Holiday Decorating with Bobbi Gill where you'll create an all-natural holiday swag or wreath to take home. Classes scheduled from 11 am-2 pm; $29 per person including lunch. Info: 800-65-FALLS or http://www.innatcedarfalls.com.
West Coast Holiday Tours & Getaway Packages
Mendocino Coast, CA: 14th Annual Candlelight Inn Tour, December 11-13, 2002, 4-8 pm. Open houses at 33 inns from Albion to Little River to Mendocino over three nights; enjoy festive Christmas refreshments and decorations at each inn. Tickets are $15, with proceeds benefiting Big Brothers/Big Sisters and The Children's Fund. Book a three-night stay during the tour at Fensalden Inn in Albion, and rooms are $99 per night (normally $125 - $225), including two free tour tickets. Info: 800-959-3850 or http://www.fensalden.com.
Gold Country, CA: 7th Annual Lodging Christmas Homes Tour, December 7-8, 2002, 1-5 pm. Eleven inns of El Dorado County open their doors for tours, with a different feature at each inn, including wine tastings, live music, and art shows, plus holiday refreshments and decorations. Tickets are $15 for both days. Stay two nights at Chichester-McKee House and receive two free tickets. Info: 877-BNB-INNS or http://www.innlover.com.
Port Townsend, WA: Holiday Open Parlor, December 6, 5-7:30 pm. Eight local innkeepers showcase their historic homes, decked in festive finery, and serve refreshments in the holiday spirit. Tickets are $10 for adults; $2 for children 12 & under. Stay two nights at the Blue Gull Inn (http://www.bluegullinn.com) or the Chanticleer Inn (http://www.chanticleerinnbb.com) and get two free tour tickets. Info: 360-385-7911 or http://www.ptguide.com/mainstreet/events/openparlor/index.htm.
For a host of wonderful holiday packages and other Special B&B Deals, visit http://www.bedandbreakfast.com. For a "one size fits all" present, BedandBreakfast.com gift certificates make the ideal gift. Purchase them online at http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/giftcertificates/index.aspx or call 1-800-GO-BANDB (1-800-462-2632), extension 3483. BedandBreakfast.com is the leading online bed & breakfast reservation network, listing over 27,000 bed & breakfasts and inns throughout the United States and internationally. A wide variety of search functions and extensive maps enable inngoers to find the perfect B&B. Travelers can make reservations online, purchase gift certificates accepted at nearly 2300 U.S. bed & breakfast inns, subscribe to a free newsletter, and post questions on expert-hosted message boards. Founded in 1994 by Eric Goldreyer, BedandBreakfast.com's goal is to provide the best possible experience for innkeepers and inngoers alike.
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