The Log House Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Three Rivers, California
This cozy backwoods hideaway overlooks the valley of the Kaweah River in the foothills of the Sierras. It's a 10-minute drive from Sequoia National Park, a five-minute drive from Lake Kaweah. The Kaweah River is even closer. The Log House Lodge offers two rustic, country-style rooms and a suite that can sleep up to six guests. Lanterns, log beds and handmade quilts invoke a charming cabin ambiance. Wrap-around decks offer priceless views of the valley and foothills. Full breakfast is included, and rooms have queen beds and private baths. A complimentary homemade dessert is offered nightly.
Balance Rock Inn on the Ocean, Bar Harbor, Maine
Built in 1903 for Scottish railroad tycoon Alexander Maitland and his family, this spectacular shingle-style seaside mansion is a five-minute drive from Acadia National Park. Balance Rock Inn captures the splendor of the Gilded Age—from the sumptuous decor to the distinctive architectural details to the staggeringly opulent rooms and suites. Guests can indulge in private decks, Whirlpool tubs, a lavish buffet breakfast daily, Select Comfort beds and unforgettable views of Frenchman Bay. Step onto the sundeck, where a heated swimming pool overlooking the ocean awaits. In the evening, gather under the gazebo, complete with fire pit.
Bentwood Inn, Jackson, Wyoming
This fortress of an inn was constructed in 1995 from massive 200-year-old logs trucked in from Yellowstone National Park. A forest of mature cottonwood and pine surrounds Bentwood Inn, promising privacy and solitude year round. Each of the five themed guestrooms offers a wellspring of creature comforts such as giant jetted tubs, window seats, and serene views of the garden, woods or mountains. The Bunkhouse room has a delightful Scandinavian Inglenook bed tucked between log walls. The Cowboy Room's plaid tattersall-tiled shower, reminiscent of a cowboy shirt, is bound to elicit smiles. A stay includes chef-prepared gourmet breakfast.
The Iris Inn, Waynesboro, Virginia
From its 12-acre Blue Ridge mountaintop setting, the Iris Inn treats guests to breathtaking visions of Shenandoah National Park and the Shenandoah Valley. The property was designed so that all rooms have a unique view of the stunning terrain that surrounds the inn. Each room, cottage and cabin is spacious and quiet, with multiple windows and doors leading to expansive decks. Stand-alone cabins offer the most luxury and seclusion, with washers and dryers, full kitchens, built-in platform king beds, and heated bathroom floors. Breakfast, inspired by the seasons of Virginia, is served in the great room. Heidi's pumpkin pancakes are a fall must-have.
Eight Gables Inn, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Conveniently located at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, minutes from downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Eight Gables mixes casual elegance with country charm. Classic rocking chairs line the inn's shared porch. In the atrium dining room every morning, a full hot breakfast arrives on elegant china. The 19 suites add modern luxuries to the experience: plush king beds, jetted tubs for two, large flat-screen TVs. Can't decide? Go for the Grand Laurel, a popular choice for its screened-in balcony with a private woodland view. To sweeten your stay, a complimentary nightly dessert is served at turn-down. If you're in the mood for extra indulgence, book an in-room massage for two.
Sunflower Hill, Moab, Utah
Just five minutes by car to Arches National Park, Sunflower Hill is quiet and peaceful, and offers rustically elegant guestrooms in classic, deluxe or luxury options. For the ultimate in luxurious pampering, consider the French Bedroom with its antique queen bed, vaulted ceiling and stained glass window. The bath suite beckons with a two-person Jacuzzi tub, a double vanity and Molton Brown spa products. Breakfasts are homemade and homegrown (as much as possible), and served buffet style in the Farmhouse dining room or on the patio. Burn off that veggie frittata and homemade honey-almond granola with a few laps in the pool.
Hilltop Manor Bed & Breakfast, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Legend has it Al Capone once visited this five-acre estate bordering the National Park Forest. Built in 1910, the Craftsman-style B&B has been fully restored to the elegance of a bygone era along with modern amenities. For instance, the Hilltop's Spruce Suite has the feeling of a comfortable cabin with lavish amenities such as a four-poster king bed, a floor-to-ceiling stone mantel, a generous Jacuzzi tub and a breakfast nook overlooking the landscape. Awaken to a homemade breakfast, elegantly plated and served hot, wherever you wish, including in your room. Even Capone would have found the crème brûlée French toast criminal.
At the Crater's Edge, Hawaii National Park, Hawaii
An environmentally minded architect designed At the Crater's Edge, which is located just one mile from Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. It's built from sustainable timbers and cedar, and stunning walls of glass create intimacy with the surrounding tropical forest of giant tree ferns and lush orchids. The property offers two private studio rooms. Each is spacious and has king beds wrapped in fine Italian linens and spa bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs and heated floors. Rooms are stocked with tropical fruit bowls, coffee, teas and freshly baked bread. The inn doesn't serve breakfast, but a few nearby restaurants have you covered. Don't leave without experiencing the infrared sauna and hot tub.
Sandaway Waterfront Lodging, Oxford, Maryland
Sandaway offers 18 non-smoking rooms, many with private screened porches overlooking Chesapeake Bay. Some rooms offer step-up king beds and polished claw-foot tubs. Complimentary amenities include a breakfast basket delivered each morning, use of lounge chairs on a private sandy beach, and snacks and beverages in the parlor. Nearby Salter's Tavern, a circa-1710 inn, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Sandaway's waterfront location makes it popular for seaglass hunting, kayaking and picnicking. Or simply take in the magnificent sunsets from a pair of Adirondacks.
The Golden Leaf Inn, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Built in 1922, this original Arts and Crafts home stands on five acres of scenic mountain property, only a 10-minute drive to Rocky Mountain National Park. The Golden Leaf Inn has been thoughtfully restored to honor the history of the property. A king sleigh bed, a Stickley writing desk, an electric fireplace, and a private bath with claw-foot tub create an inviting bedroom in the Heavenly Room, which offers the finest view of Long's Peak from the inn. Farm-fresh breakfast is prepared daily. The artichoke egg soufflé provides the perfect fuel for a stroll to see the wildlife that roam the surroundings – bears included.
—written by Paul Lee Cannon