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travel

Inn Style

The agenda is very specific. A getaway. In the purest sense. No art exhibits, no scene, no high-cultural mind-bending. You want to sit very, very still. You want to relax in a beautiful place and eat currant scones for breakfast. Nothing more. To help you with your mission: a guide to some of the country’s best inns and bed-and-breakfasts. At these spots you can feel no pressure to do anything. At all.

Real Southern Hospitality
Charleston, with its antebellum splendor, is the jewel of the South. The Vendue Inn is the jewel of Charleston. It’s in the heart of the French Quarter, just steps from the harbor. Each room is unique, though all have been done up in the best and grandest Southern style. The sweetest touch? Milk and cookies are served every night. (19 Vendue Range, Charleston, South Carolina, 843-577-7970, 800-845-7900.)

Vendue Inn

Washington Times
It doesn’t get more serene (or over-the-top) than the Mayflower Inn in Washington, Connecticut. This is the place to hole up, write, eat great food, exercise (if you want), and simply zone out. The attention to detail is insane. Chippendale desks, Frette linens, Pay Per View … You name it, it’s there for you. Once you’ve been, you’ll never settle for less (if your wallet can afford it). (118 Woodbury Road, Washington, Connecticut, 860-868-9466.)

Mayflower Inn

Music for the Soul
Concerts in the living room and your own baby grand upstairs? No need to venture to Williamstown or Tanglewood for arty delights! They’re part of the charm of Blackinton Manor. So are claw-foot tubs, brass beds, and mountain and garden views. So this is what the Berkshires are supposed to be. Our West Coast editor swears by Blackinton, and not just because her parents own it. (Full disclosure.) (1391 Massachusetts Avenue, North Adams, Massachusetts, 413-663-5795.)

Blackinton Manor

Wind Country
Were Napa and Sonoma invented for B&B escapes? You’ll trip over all the country charmers promising a rustic retreat there. (Don’t be fooled: Most of them are pretty tacky.) Buck the valley’s trend and opt for Hotel Healdsburg. It has an amazing bar, with comfy couches, a great pool, and Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant on the first floor. (25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, California, 707-431-2800.)

Hotel Healdsburg

To the Manor Borne
Step off a seaplane and back in time to Hastings House. Designed to evoke an English-manor feel, the inn overlooks Ganges Harbor in Canada’s dazzling Gulf Islands. (Arrival really is by taxi plane.) Salt Spring Island has drawn artists for years, so there’s plenty to see. But if you end up roaming the 25 acres and sampling only the restaurant’s grown-on-premises organic fare, well, all the better. (160 Upper Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, 250-537-2362, 800-661-9255.)

Hastings House

Hearth in the City
Edith Wharton slept here. Or it sure feels like it. You’re in 1871 House, a B&B in the middle of New York’s Upper East Side. It’s unfathomable that Madison Avenue is just blocks away. But doesn’t that just add to the charm of finding yourself nestled into a four-poster bed on your own floor of a charming brownstone? (130 East 62nd Street, New York, New York, 212-756-8823.)

1871 House

One Tree Hill
Ah, the wild, wild West. Big mountains, big views, big skies. And an earnest whatcha-see-is-whatcha-get ethos. The Teton Treehouse, just outside Jackson Hole, is built … in a tree (climb 90 steps to reach it) on Heck of a Hill Road. (Yes, that’s what it’s called.) Hike the Grand Tetons and muse on how uncomplicated life can be. (6175 Heck of a Hill Road, Wilson, Wyoming, 307-733-3233.)

Teton Treehouse

Temple of Serenity
Once you’re tucked into the Amaranth Inn, you’ll never guess that Seattle is a mere twenty minutes away. Turn-of-the-century touches include high ceilings, antiques, and fireplaces. The day begins with a two-course gourmet breakfast, and the day-long vibe is all beauty and serenity. No wonder: It was previously a Buddhist temple. (1451 South Main Street, Seattle, Washington, 206-720-7161, 800-720-7161.)

Amaranth Inn