Gibson Mansion Bed and Breakfast
Perfect If: You're looking for outdoorsy fun in a place you've yet to see.
The Inn: A sprawling white Victorian filled with antique stained-glass windows and warm wooden floors, the Gibson Mansion is undeniably historical. But things never feel stuffy. Butter-soft linens, fresh flowers and carefully chosen furnishings make this vast manse feel like the home-away-from-home of your dreams. And, when school's out for summer at the nearby University of Montana, you'll have plenty of room for exploring Big Sky Country's finest sights.
Summery Extras: Grab a stack of books and a glass of the Gibson's homemade mint lemonade, then head for the inn's gardens. A bubbling lion fountain, a comfy gazebo and a soundtrack of birdsong make this outdoor spot a prime summertime oasis.
Around Town: Tucked in the Rocky Mountains, Missoula is an outdoor-lover's dream, with city parks, nature trails and wildlife refuges aplenty. Insiders recommend a visit to the Garnet Ghost Town for a midsummer fright.
Captain Jefferds Inn
Perfect If: You're bringing Sir Barksalot along this summer.
The Inn: It's all seaside calm and nautical flair (but in a tasteful way) at this former sea captain's home in Kennebunkport. Modern rooms come with whirlpool tubs, private baths and plenty of thoughtful touches. But Captain Jefferds' pet-friendly policy that makes this Maine stay such a keeper. The innkeepers Sarah and Erik Lindblom warmly provide pet supplies and special treats for your furry B&B companion. They can even connect you with a dog sitter if you want a night out on the town!
Summery Extras: Fresh-squeezed lemonade and home-brewed iced tea quench guests' thirst, while breakfasts make Maine's best-known fruit the star of the show: Don't miss a hot stack of blueberry-lemon-cornmeal pancakes.
Around Town: Take a drive along Ocean Avenue or hit up pup-friendly Gooch's Beach for some Frisbee tossing and sand digging. If you've gotten a night off from dog duty, have a classy and romantic bite at the AAA Five Diamond White Barn Inn.
Perfect If: You're an American-history buff.
The Inn: In a town filled with battle scars and important stories, the Brickhouse Inn has a few tales of its own. Its circa-1830 Welty House was occupied by Confederate sharpshooters. Each room of the inn is named for a state represented at the Battle of Gettysburg, and many have bay windows, clawfoot tubs and period-appropriate antiques.
Summery Extras: The inn's History Lover's Package includes a three-hour tour of Gettysburg battlefield, dinner at the historic Dobbin House Restaurant and two old-fashioned hot-fudge sundaes to cool you down.
Around Town: In July, the annual Gettysburg Reenactment kicks off to mark the anniversary of the significant battle, with live demonstrations, fife and drum music, religious services, and even ghostly tales. All summer long, the Gettysburg National Military Park and its visitor center is a must-visit.
Tucker House Inn
FRIDAY HARBOR, WASHINGTON
Perfect If: You're chasing after a whale tale or two.
The Inn: The seaside town of Friday Harbor is the San Juan Islands' bustling heart. Here, find the cozy and cute-as-a-button Tucker House Inn. It's comprised of a series of Victorian buildings and cottages, including the main teal-painted house and its wide white porches. Inside, rooms come with en-suite baths and handcrafted organic toiletries in summery seasonal scents. Three-course gourmet breakfasts are made with island ingredients and paired with locally roasted coffee.
Summery Extras: With every stay, the Tucker House throws in complimentary use of bicycles and kayaks, a barbecue just for guests, and outdoor spaces galore, including private sun decks. But back to those kayaks. ...
Around Town: Hop into a kayak or sailboat for an up-close-and-personal peek at Washington's wildlife. After all, this is one of the world's top places for spying orcas, humpbacks, minkes, gray whales, sea lions and other aquatic creatures.
Garden Gables Inn
Perfect If: You've got tickets to Tanglewood (or are just feeling pretty artsy).
The Inn: A Diamond Collection property, this 1780s-era home is all antique on the outside, modern on the inside. Garden Gables' library and sherry room, acres of gardens, and a heated pool all offer luxurious distraction. Sumptuous breakfasts of local ingredients (including apples from the inn's own orchards) start off each day, and an on-site spa relaxes muscles and minds after long days of theatre and gallery hopping.
Summery Extras: We always say that viniculture is our favorite culture. At Garden Gables, guests are invited to tour the on-site orchard and winery and even enjoy a complimentary wine tasting at their leisure.
Around Town: From Tanglewood, where the BSO hosts its summer season, to Jacob's Pillow, the modern-dance mecca and festival home, Lenox and its like-minded Berkshires neighbors are chock full of arts and culture.
Gracehill Bed and Breakfast
Perfect If: You're looking for cool mountain air and tranquility for miles.
The Inn: From its rose gardens to its near-endless private verandahs (2,000 square feet in total, we're told), Gracehill is just that—graceful and secluded, perched on the side of Little Round Top Mountain. From your room windows, spy bears eating blackberries along the mountain slopes or sunsets sinking over the Smokies at night. By day, catch a whiff of mountain laurel and other heady scents as they float on the skin-cooling Tennessee breeze.
Summery Extras: The calming views alone are worth the trip to Gracehill, but it's the extra activities on offer that add a little zing to your stay, from hot air ballooning to fly fishing to river tubing the Little River.
Around Town: Gracehill is perfectly triangulated by Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Townsend, so you have endless options. We recommend the Titanic Museum and Dollywood in equal measure, as well as the Sugarlands Distilling Company for a tipple or two.
Lefferts Manor Bed & Breakfast
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Perfect If: You're a city slicker at heart.
The Inn: So long, Manhattan. We're hitting cooler, hipper Brooklyn and its sunny Lefferts Manor Bed and Breakfast. A steal at well under $100 per night, this B&B has plenty to recommend it, from modern design and free Wi-Fi to rooms that are surprisingly spacious. Feel like a local in Lefferts' residential neighborhood; it's just a short walk to the subway and a quick commute into Manhattan. Plus, innkeeper and local Mark Osborne has endless recommendations for your city break.
Summery Extras: Airy apartments come with garden views and large back decks, plus kitchen and dining areas for entertaining.
Around Town: The sultry months of summer may make Brooklynites sweat, but expect to find plenty of places to chill out, from shady Prospect Park to the air-conditioned Brooklyn Museum to the cool theatres of Broadway. (Hint: Hit the TKTS line for discount admission to top shows.)
—by Dara Continenza