1. Eat Your Breakfast

From the Foxfield Inn’s baked country eggs with ham and spinach in Charlottesville to the Azalea Inn and Villas’ rustic watermelon Benedict (and to every delicious dish in between), B&Bs serve amazing breakfasts that put to shame your local chain motel’s stale cereal selection. Enjoy a hearty, homemade meal from your host, or take a cooking class and learn to make your own winning dish.


2. Get Fit

There’s a run on gym passes at the start of each new year. In 2016, do something different and try your hand at a brand-new sports skill while on vacation. Discover your inner Andy Roddick at The Inn at I’On, where seven lighted clay courts and a professional staff can help you perfect that serve. Afterwards, cool off in one of three on-site swimming pools, or head to charming Charleston for cocktails and dinner.


3. Get Spiritual

Walk a labyrinth, take a meditation class, visit historical houses of worship—discover spirituality or renew your faith with a B&B visit this year. Quiet your mind in Taos at the Adobe & Pines Inn, where a labyrinth and an outdoor fire ring offer space for contemplation. In Oregon, check into the Zen Garden Bed and Breakfast, where a Japanese-style garden and soaking tub for two (plus included kimonos and tea) soothe and revitalize.


4. Become an Artist

This is the year to pick back up those charcoals (or canvas or clay) and finally explore your creative side. You could take a class at the local Y—or you could embark on a B&B escape, where you’ll paint, draw, or sculpt to your heart’s content. Consider Shenandoah Manor and its indoor and outdoor studios perfect for painting plein air among Virginia’s rolling Blue Ridge Parkway, or The Gibson House in Haverhill, New Hampshire, where artist-led weekend workshops await.


5. Finally Finish Reading a Book

Spend an entire vacation reading? Sounds great to us. Whether it’s War and Peace or the final Harry Potter volume, that book is just begging to be finished this year. Our pick: On beautiful Amelia Island in Florida, the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge’s library stocks books galore, plus wide-angle views of the Atlantic from its ocean-facing porches. Grab a stack of books, a chair, and a cooling glass of the inn’s homemade lemonade, then read to the sound of gently crashing waves.


6. … or Writing One

Walnut Hill House in rural Tennessee bills itself as a writer’s retreat, where beautifully decorated rooms come with antique writing desks and few distractions. Or sequester yourself on San Juan Island in Washington state, where the Harrison House Suites have cozy fireplaces and sunset-facing porches, utterly perfect for inspiring your poetry, prose, or screenplay … as long as you don’t get distracted by the view.



7. Go Green

Whether it’s to get eco-inspired and learn some new strategies or to reward yourself for recycling and conserving throughout the year, you deserve a green getaway in 2016. Check out Portland, Oregon’s eco-friendly and uber-quaint Apas House, where LED light bulbs, all-natural toiletries and linens, and home-grown organic produce are all found on-site. Or head to the other Portland (Maine, that is) and check into the Mercury Inn, a funky inn whose sustainability practices and locavore menus draw praise.


8. Learn How to Relax

Kick off the year with a day of renewal, grab a girlfriend or your loving spouse, and embark on a rejuvenating B&B getaway. Try a traditional Hawaiian lomi lomi massage at Pennsylvania’s Glasbern Inn or The Madeleine Bed and Breakfast Inn’s slate of spa treatments, inspired by Indonesia by way of Santa Fe. Or go all in on a couples’ day-long spa package at Michigan’s Munro House.


9. Live a Little

If 2015 felt a bit dull, make sure 2016 is anything but. Unleash your inner adventurer and book a stay at one of these unusual, thrilling B&Bs. The Volcano Forest Inn’s backdrop is towering Kilauea and Mauna Loa, two of the world’s most active volcanos, and its location is minutes from some of Hawaii’s wildest landscape. Seafaring more your style? Stay and sail aboard the vintage ketch Rozinante, via Bed and Breakfast Afloat. You can charter a sunset cruise of Boston Harbor and catch sight of a whale or two.


10. Make New Friends

One of the things we love most about B&Bs are all of the opportunities for meeting and greeting fellow guests. (We’ve even stayed pals with some we’ve encountered along the way.) A few favorites: Rendezvous has a complimentary evening cocktail hour around the courtyard firepit; the desert views and Palm Spring sunsets are sure to inspire conversation. In Ithaca, The William Henry Miller Inn’s unique evening dessert buffet is the centerpiece around which new friendships bloom. And the Birchwood Inn (Lenox, Massachusetts) offers a friendly afternoon tea with freshly baked pastry, pie and mulled local cider fireside, where the whole house gathers.


11. Renew Your Love

It doesn’t have to be a big anniversary year if you’re looking to renew your vows. Plan a ceremony under the beech tree and a Champagne toast for two at the the Chesapeake Bay-area Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn. It’s a perfectly simple way to underscore your lifelong commitment to each other. (The lavish king-sized beds, Japanese-style soaking tubs and hand-crafted dark-cocoa truffles certainly add to the romantic atmosphere.)


12. Spend Time with Family

Bed and breakfasts are often filled with kid-friendly amenities, so what better place to set aside time for the fam than one of these top properties? The Hideaway Ranch in Bluff Dale, Texas, has chuckwagon dinners, scavenger hunts and guided horseback rides. Taharaa Mountain Lodge in Estes Park, Colorado, offers summer and winter activities for all ages, from fishing to festivals. And Los Angeles’ Life Is Good B&B plays host to a shaded swimming pool and a friendly on-site dog (not to mention a location right near Disneyland).


13. Work a Bit Harder

Putting in extra effort doesn’t mean pulling overtime all year long. Instead, get your hands dirty at the cozy-cute Country Girl at Heart Farm in Hart County, Kentucky. It’s a sustainable inn and real working farm where guests can gather eggs, feed chickens, plant, mulch, harvest, and even move livestock from pasture to pasture. The produce grown and picked on-site is later featured in your farm-fresh breakfasts; who knew earning your keep was such fun?


14. Spend Less, Save More

Don’t forgo a vacation just because you’re saving pennies in 2016. In fact, a B&B may be the best option for tight budgets, with low rates, included meals, and plenty of in-room freebies. We already rounded up some unbelievably wallet-friendly B&Bs under $200 per night for you to consider, including the seaside Peter Shields Inn (starting at $99 per night) and the picturesque western-influenced Good Medicine Lodge in Whitefish, Montana ($105/night). At these rates, you can afford more than one vacation!


15. Splurge Just Once

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with blowing your budget just once per year. Here are some of our favorite spend-worthy suites: The Station House Cottage at the Inn at Irish Hollow in Galena has a wood-burning fireplace, lush custom furnishings and its own wet bar. New Orleans’ Fleur de Lis Mansion is home to the Fleur de Lis Suite, with a private balcony and an open-concept Jacuzzi … in the bedroom. In Forestville, near Napa, the Farmhouse Inn’s suites have double saunas and rainfall showeherheads. And finally, Hawaii’s Holuaola Inn’s cottage is perfectly decorated with fine art and encircled by a wraparound ocean-view deck with to-die-for views.


16. Speak a New Language

You’ll have to head out of the country to tackle this one, but it’ll be worth it. Immerse yourself in German at Die Sprachpension, a charming guesthouse in the small vineyard town of Vogtsburg. There, enroll in full-immersion German courses with warm instruction from owner Anne Kowalski. Want to learn Spanish instead? Head south to Bed and Breakfast Puebla La Paz in Mexico’s mole capital, Puebla, where you can take Spanish lessons between bites of the country’s most famous dish.


—by Dara Continenza