BIRDERS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER
AT SOUTHEAST STATES B&Bs
With over 70 million birdwatchers in America, it's no wonder that birding is one of the fastest growing activities of the new millennium. It's a sport you can enjoy almost anywhere; all you need is a good set of binoculars, a birder's field guide, and comfortable shoes. Complement days spent enjoying the great outdoors by nesting at America's bed and breakfasts; they offer ideal accommodations for more than just lovebirds. B&B travelers are finding everything from hummingbirds to herons and hawks as BedandBreakfast.com members welcome them with special packages and hallowed grounds for plentiful sightings. Those in search of fine feathered friends are especially welcome at these birder-friendly BedandBreakfast.com member inns. Looking for bird watching specials beyond the Northeast? Visit www.bedandbreakfast.com/specials/index.aspx?ctx=S for more bird watching specials throughout the country.
Siam Garden Resort Luxury Suites & Apartments, Anna Maria Island, FL: This small resort is located in Anna Maria Village at the northern tip of Anna Maria Island. Both the village and island are designated bird sanctuaries, making this an ideal destination for avian admirers. Nearby Passage Key is a protected nesting island just a few hundred yards off the northern shore of Anna Maria Island. Visitors will enjoy watching pelicans, gulls and wild parrots. Magnificent frigate birds, sanderlings, yellow crowned night herons, double crested cormorants, semi-palmated plovers, royal terns, osprey, palm warblers, snowy egrets, green herons, blue herons and sand pipers also abound. This resort B&B combines the tropical charm and hospitality of a quiet Florida island with the intriguing culture and artwork of Thailand (formerly Siam). Info: 941-778-2000 or www.SiamGardenResort.com.
Victoria Inn B&B, Lafitte, LA: Birders love the three great birding trails located near the Victoria Inn and Gardens. The levee walk starting from the inn is perfect for spotting shorebirds like Brown and white pelicans, a variety of ducks, cormorants and a recently relocated group of nesting eagles at the far end of the levee. Three miles up the bayou is the Jean Lafitte Nature Study Park, with a two-mile trail that starts as a raised boardwalk in beautiful healthy cypress swamps, eventually coming out on a marshland then continuing on an abandoned wellhead levee trail. Open year round, you will see a variety of birds, depending on the season. Then, about seven miles up the bayou from the inn is the Barataria Unit of the Jean Lafitte National Park with twelve miles of boardwalk and twenty-three miles of canoe trails. Two nearby businesses offer canoes, peddle boats and kayaks. The first weekend of October celebrates the fall migratory bird season with "Wings Over The Wetlands" where local bird clubs lead walks at all three places, along with speakers and crafts. Shuttle Bus Service between the festival sites is available. Info: 800-689-4797 or www.victoriainn.com.
The Alexander House Booklovers Bed and Breakfast, Princess Anne, MD: Every April, the Delmarva Birding Weekend is held in historic Princess Anne on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The Alexander House Booklovers B&B is located in the center of this prime birdwatchers territory . Hoping to view some of the 296 species of area birds, participants take canoe and kayak trips, boat and trekking excursions to observe peregrine falcons, eagles, hawks, glossy ibises, black-necked stilts, geese, and countless species of waterfowl in the marshes of the Deal Island Wildlife Area. Boat excursions to Smith Island, where the inhabitants speak an ancient English-Cornwall dialect, leave from nearby Crisfield, and allow birdwatchers views of pelicans, waterfowl, herons and other shore and water birds. On Assateague Island, herons and other marsh birds can be observed along with the famous wild ponies. In Salisbury, participants go on night-time owl prowls near Pemberton Historic Park and follow-up during the day with a visit to the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, to observe the competitors in the annual Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition. Info: 410-651-5195 or www.bookloversbnb.com.
Fountain Hall B&B, Culpeper, VA: Located in Culpeper County, Fountain Hall B&B is in a prime bird watching location. The county has been named a bird sanctuary, and to celebrate, Fountain Hall B&B offers a 25% discount on any two night midweek stay (Sunday through Thursday), and a 10% discount on selected weekends. Some restrictions apply, so please mention the Bird Watching package when inquiring about availability Info: 800-29-VISIT (800-298-4748) or www.fountainhall.com.
Inn at Narrow Passage, Woodstock, VA: Although better known for fishing, hiking or antiquing, many have discovered this great location is for birdwatching. Many guests come here for the northern migration of Baltimore Orioles, which arrive like clockwork around April 28th. As many as twenty can be seen roosting in the trees that surround this inn. There are several varieties of raptors here too. Guests who mention the "birdwatching special" when they call will receive at 10 % discount on their stay during Orioles migration season. Info: 800-459-8002 or www.innatnarrowpassage.com.
Oaks Victorian Inn, Christiansburg, VA: Here is some of the best birdwatching in Virginia. Located between the Allegheny and the Blue Ridge Mountains, birders come from far and wide to bird in Claytor Lake State Park, on the 54-mile-long New River Trail, on Cascade Falls trail in the Allegheny Mountains, plus the fabulous New River Gorge in nearby West Virginia. Stay two nights and get a gourmet picnic to eat along the trails, plus bikes, if needed. Info: 540-381-1500 or www.bedandbreakfast.com/property/ppf/id/601275/index.aspx.
Bright Morning Inn, Davis, WV: The Bright Morning Inn is well located for birdwatching forays into over 860,000 acres of the Monongahela National Forest, and is only minutes away from Blackwater Falls State Park, the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and the Dolly Sods Wilderness area. Blackwater Falls and Cathedral State Parks provide beautiful backdrops for viewing yellow-billed cuckoos, eastern wood-pewees, and Blackburnian and black-throated blue warblers. Dolly Sods Recreation Area is a grassy, tundra-like habitat with both wet and dry areas. In the fall, it hosts songbird-banding and hawk-watch programs. The two-night birdwatching package includes two nights lodging at the inn, full breakfast daily, one box lunch and a copy of the outstanding (and waterproof) Canaan Valley Adventure Map, with marked trails for exploring the area. Just $170 double. Info: 304-259-5119 or www.brightmorninginn.com.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, prices quoted are for two people in a room, and are subject to change without notice. Any charges for tax and service are additional.
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