FAMILIES

Vee Bar Guest Ranch, Laramie, Wyoming

 

Parents and kids alike will find plenty to do at Wyoming's Vee Bar, a Western dude ranch perched along the little Laramie River. For those looking to experience life on the range, this former cattle ranch and stagecoach stop offers tons of family-friendly activities, from campfire cookouts to horseback riding across the plains. Children can try their hand at sheep herding, spend evenings roasting s'mores or set out on wagon rides. They'll also love the spacious rustic cabins and hearty pancake-and-biscuits breakfasts. Staff offers baby-sitting services for young children with advanced notice.

 

 

 

FOODIES

La Bastide des Princes, Provence, France

 

Food and France go hand-in-hand, and Provence has turned eating into art. There's no better place for foodies to experience culinary delights than La Bastide des Princes, owned and operated by an award-winning French chef. From the onsite vegetable garden to the communal dining table, food is an integral part of this five-guestroom manor house. Pierre Paumel prepares gourmet meals daily in the inn's centuries-old kitchen and hosts culinary classes in Provencal cooking and pastry making. When you're not busy preparing and sampling dishes, take advantage of Provence's many gastronomic-related offerings, including markets, wineries and the Castelain chocolate factory.

 

 

 

NATURE LOVERS

Quiet Creek Inn, Idyllwild, California

 

With 10 studio and suite cabins tucked among several forest acres that are home to hummingbirds, blue jays, the occasional black bear and plenty of squirrels, Idyllwild's Quiet Creek Inn is a nature lover's delight. Each creek-side cabin has its own small refrigerator and basic kitchen tools. Pack groceries for the week and spend your days savoring the surrounding scenery. Hike nearby trails, play a round of horseshoes, or watch for wildlife from the comfort of your private deck. At night, curl up next to your wood-burning fireplace, where a pair of slippers will be waiting.

 

 

 

COUPLES

Rancho Pescadero, Todos Santos, Mexico

 

Mexico's adults-only Rancho Pescadero is the perfect beachfront getaway—something that's evident from the first sip of your welcome cocktail. Located along 15 acres of the Baja coast, this casual hotel and resort offers plenty to keep you entertained and relaxed, from two swimming pools to complimentary use of surfboards, bicycles and fishing gear. Each of Rancho Pescadero's 26 suites boasts spectacular views and make full use of the natural sea breezes. Spend afternoons snoozing in a beach cabana, dining on freshly caught fish and shrimp, sipping margaritas or enjoying a cleansing facial or a couples massage at the onsite spa.

 

 

 

CULTURAL EXPLORERS

Antigua Capilla Bed and Breakfast, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

 

Situated just minutes from the historical center of one of Mexico's most alluring towns, the Antigua Capilla Bed and Breakfast offers an authentic cultural experience from the moment you enter its doors. Each of the Spanish Colonial-style inn's eight guestrooms are individually decorated with folk art and handicrafts gathered from across the country. There's the stunning Oaxaca Room, sporting intricate wood carvings from this southern Mexico state; and the Guerrero Room, home to colorful Amate bark paintings from Guerrero's Nahua people. The B&B is an easy walk to the popular artisan market, as well as to San Miguel's bustling town square, el Jardin Principal, and its innkeepers have plenty of recommendations for true cultural immersion—from local house tours to evening culinary walks.

 

 

 

HISTORY BUFFS

Morris House Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

Occupying a late Colonial-style structure built two years before the creation of the U.S. Constitution, this National Historic Landmark turned boutique hotel retains many of its original features. The Morris House Hotel ground-floor library boasts original 1787 woodwork as well as period antique furnishings, and the home's 18th-century brick facade remains entirely intact. There's an outdoor courtyard for socializing and an onsite restaurant serving American gourmet dishes such as pan-fried quail and braised short rib. The Morris House is an easy walk to some of the country's most historic sites, including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

 

 

 

ECO-CONSCIOUS

Eden Vale Inn, Placerville, CA

 

It's easy to feel good about staying at Gold Country's Eden Vale Inn. This renovated and repurposed early 20th-century barn goes above and beyond the typical linen/towel reuse program. From motion-controlled light sensors to complementary reusable water bottles in each room, the seven-room inn is doing its part for the environment. Go for a dip in the property's swimming pond or dine on seasonally changing dishes created with vegetables and eggs from Eden Vale's own garden and chickens. Along with kitchen composting and recycling, plans are also in the works for a new photovoltaic and solar thermal energy system to supply the entire inn.

 

 

 

SOLO TRAVELERS

Parker Guest House, San Francisco, California

 

When traveling solo, it's nice to find a place that's both centrally located and welcoming. San Francisco's Parker Guest House is just that. Only minutes from the heart of SF's colorful Castro District and an easy walk to both the Haight and the Mission neighborhoods, this 21-guestroom property spread between two early 20th-century homes offers all the amenities needed for a comfortable, enjoyable stay. Check in time is flexible and guestrooms are affordable (ranging from a spacious Jr. King Suite to an economy room with semi-private hall bath), and there's a complimentary wine social in the B&B's sun room daily.

 

 

 

EXPLORERS

Leaves and Lizards, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

 

Nestled in the rainforest with prime views of Costa Rica's active Arenal Volcano, Leaves and Lizards is a great base for thrill-seekers. From its hill-perched cabins—each one crafted from an array of tropical hardwoods and one, the Hobbit House, built partially into the hillside—to its tailored tours and packages, this local retreat makes adventure a breeze. Embark on a horseback ride through the jungle, encountering toucans, sloths, and monkeys en route; wade through an underground river beneath stalagmites; or rappel down a canyon wall alongside a gushing waterfall. You can also set out on a private guided hike to a base of the active volcano and afterward, splurge on a rewarding onsite massage.

 

 

—by Laura Kiniry