One of a Kind B+B

Cottage Inn

Lake Tahoe, CA

The western shore of Lake Tahoe is home to the Cottage Inn, a collection of knotty pine cabins nestled snugly in an old pine forest. Each cabin has its own unique theme, from western cowboy to modern romance (replete with crisp white linen and Japanese soaking tub). Located less than a block from a private beach, these accommodations are ideal for swimmers and sunseekers. Tuck into a country breakfast al fresco from the cabin’s deck before hitting Tahoe’s sights, from the shops and galleries in Tahoe City to the glittery casinos to the south. Or simply spend your time in the cold, clear water of Emerald Bay Beach, one of the most photographed places on Earth.

 

 


One of a Kind B+B

One of a Kind B+B

Lake Champlain, VT

Outstripping the competition by miles, Lake Champlain is New England’s largest lake. And of the region’s many inns, One of a Kind just might be its most creative. A two-room suite and private cottage are perched above the sparkling expanse of Lake Champlain. Owned by artist Maggie Sherman, frequented by a friendly resident cat, this B&B is tailor-made for painting, writing, or reading (with water views, of course). Sit in the backyard tree swing and ponder nature for untold hours, or pop into Burlington, a compact college city buzzing with creative energy and cool bars.

 

 


Old Rittenhouse Inn

Old Rittenhouse Inn

Lake Superior, WI

The Old Rittenhouse Inn is all Victorian elegance, from its white wicker furniture to its gabled wraparound verandah to the perennials nodding politely in their pots, nudged by the Lake Superior breezes. Guest rooms have opulent touches like stained-glass windows and richly detailed, period-appropriate wallpapers. Most importantly, most have wide-angle views of the lake and Apostle Islands on the horizon, reminding guests that once they’ve managed to leave the soaking tub for two, Wisconsin’s best fishing, sailing, and sea caving are very near.

 

 


The Roosevelt Inn

The Roosevelt Inn

Lake Coeur d’Alene, ID

What earns the Roosevelt Inn an A+ in Cool Hotels 101? Is it the converted 1904 schoolhouse itself, listed on the National Register of Historic Places? Or is it the lake views you can glimpse from the cleverly named Principal’s Executive Suite? The handy location within walking distance of both funky downtown C’oeur d’Alene and the lake itself, which just happens to be one of the country’s top spots for viewing the elusive bald eagle? Or the fact that the inn is both kid- and pet-friendly? Whatever the reason, the Roosevelt Inn deserves its top marks.

 

 


Bass and Baskets

Bass and Baskets

Lake of the Ozarks, MO

With a name as evocative as Bass and Baskets, how could you refuse? This B&B was inspired by innkeepers Ed and Debbie Franko’s dual interests: bass fishing and Longaberger baskets (Ed collects the fish, Debbie the baskets). Each guest room is uniquely decorated, from the Old Bass Lodge’s pine bed and oak-plank floors to the Bed of Roses’ romantic Victorian flair. Some rooms have a lakeview deck, and aspiring anglers can book a fishing trip with Ed during their stay. There are few better basecamps for exploring Missouri’s largest lake region, where over 1,000 miles of shoreline await — some right outside your window.

 

 


Huron House Bed & Breakfast

Huron House Bed & Breakfast

Lake Huron, MI

An adults-only B&B with 14 sumptuously outfitted king suites, the Huron House might just be the best place in the country to catch a sunrise. Incredible lake views can be found inside and out this Diamond Collection inn. The privacy of your own deckside hot tub is perfect for watching freighters as they ply the glittering Great Lake each day. Explore Lake Huron yourself from the decks of the AuSable River Queen, an authentic paddlewheel riverboat. But don’t skip breakfast first: Past guests rave about the inn’s signature fresh-baked croissants, covered in caramel sauce and walnuts.

 

 


Dreamkatchers Bed & Breakfast

Dreamkatchers Bed & Breakfast

Lake Powell, UT

You’ll catch dreams, sure, but you’ll also catch waves and stars here. Located in Big Water, far from city lights that pollute the night skies, Dreamkatchers is utterly perfect for sunsets and stargazing. While adventure activities on Lake Powell, Antelope Slot Canyon, and the Colorado River are all a quick car trip away, you’ll want to make sure you return to the inn just in time for a rooftop Jacuzzi to soak in the stars. You’ll be rewarded with a quiet solitude that you simply can’t find elsewhere — and a gourmet breakfast of Swedish pancakes and lingonberry preserves the next morning.

 

 


Fern Lodge

Fern Lodge

Friends Lake, NY

Few destinations are as outdoorsy and iconic as the Adirondacks, its mountains and lakes the bygone stomping grounds of gentlemen explorers. Today, guests can trace their steps at the downright luxurious Fern Lodge on the shores of Friends Lake. Five guest rooms are packed to the rafters with unbelievable amenities like soaking tubs, two-person spa showers, and private fire pits. The property itself has a wine cellar, a nine-person theatre, and a sauna to enjoy. So it’s not exactly roughing it, but who cares? Both Lake Placid and Lake George are within an hour’s drive, meaning summer’s best water sports (and winter’s Olympics-level skiing) are never far.

 

 


The Lakehouse Inn

The Lakehouse Inn

Lake Erie, OH

This one is truly lakeside. Situated on two acres of prime property along Erie’s southern shore, the The Lakehouse Inn has much to recommend it — aside from its winning waterfront, of course. A boutique winery, a day spa, and a farm-to-table eatery slinging hot wood-fired pizzas are all right on-site. For a vacation fit for the family, reserve the Beach House for its panoramic views of Lake Erie and the Geneva Marina. Visit small-town Geneva’s vintage treats like its arcade or roller rink, and drive around the region to sample Ohio Wine Country’s top vineyards.

 

 


The Cove BnB

The Cove BnB

Lake Travis, TX

Austin may be just minutes away, yet this Lake Travis inn is as far as could be from the Texas Hill Country capital. With three airy and modern guest rooms, The Cove feels like more of a lakehouse rental than a bustling B&B, its private baths and kitchenettes just a few of the homey touches to be found. The property’s private ramp and dock mean that guests can BYO boat, or they can use one of the complimentary kayaks. From there, discover the Lake Travis area’s waterfront restaurants and music clubs; along with its vacationing residents, Austin’s reputation as the live music capital of the world extends here.

 

 


—by Dara Continenza