Washington Area Bed-and-Breakfasts for Valentine's Day Celebrations

Breakfast at the Blue Heron Inn might feature gourmet frittatas or crepes.
Breakfast at the Blue Heron Inn might feature gourmet frittatas or crepes. (Blue Heron Inn)

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By Ben Chapman
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This Valentine's Day, you don't have to choose between your great loves. Celebrate the holiday with all your crushes by taking your partner to a bed-and-breakfast that specializes in something near to your heart.

Chances are you'll find a match because there are small inns for all kinds: animal lovers, nature lovers, wine lovers, you-name-it lovers.

"Innkeepers put their passions into their businesses," says Mary White, president of BnBFinder.com, a Web-based directory and booking engine for more than 3,000 inns worldwide. "That's why you can find almost anything at a bed-and-breakfast: farming, scrapbooking, cooking, painting or dancing."

February is the busiest month of the year for romantic getaways, according to White, so if you want a Valentine's reservation, book now, as bed-and-breakfasts often have only a few rooms. Here are recommendations for six kinds of lovers. (Some may be sold out for Valentine's Day weekend, but who says you can show your love on only one day of the year?)

Nature Lovers

Stonebow Inn (146 Casselman Rd., Grantsville, Md., 301-895-4250, http://www.stonebowinn.com), about a three-hour drive from the District; rooms from about $140.

The bucolic Stonebow property dates to the 1870s, when parts of the inn were built as components of a gristmill complex. The Stonebow is adjacent to four-acre Casselman Bridge State Park, where a single-span stone-arch bridge from 1813 straddles Casselman River, a popular spot for fly fishermen. The inn has four buildings, including the Victorian wood-frame Stanton House, which has four rooms; the River House, with three rooms; and two small cottages. All accommodations have 400-thread-count linens and romantic Victorian touches, such as four-poster beds.

Stonebow is about 19 miles from Deep Creek Lake and Wisp Resort, so although you're far from the resort crowds, those destinations are still an easy drive. Take advantage of outdoor winter activities at Wisp (301-387-4911, http://www.wispresort.com), which include downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing (there's plenty of white stuff this year). Go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride with Pleasant Valley Dream Rides (301-334-1688, http://www.pleasantvalleydreamrides.com). Take a ride with Husky Power Dogsledding (301-746-7200, http://www.huskypowerdogsledding.com).

Chocolate Lovers

1825 Inn (4009 S. Lingle Ave., Palmyra, Pa., 717-838-8282, http://www.1825inn.com), about a 2 1/2 -hour drive from Washington; rooms from $114.

If the wind is right, you can smell the Hershey chocolate at 1825 Inn, a wood-frame 19th-century home furnished with early American antiques. The inn has six bedrooms on three stories in the main house, plus two cottages in a private two-acre garden surrounded by trees and tall shrubs.

Innkeeper William McQueen offers a Love & Romance Package: a box of chocolates and a dozen roses, plus whatever else you want to give your sweetie (starting at $45). Nearby, you can take a tour of Hershey's Chocolate World (717-534-4900, http://www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld); get chocolaty spa treatments at the Spa at the Hershey Hotel (877-772-9988, http://www.hersheypa.com/accommodations/the_spa_at_hotel_hershey); and indulge in death-by-chocolate cake at Fenicci's of Hershey (717-533-7159, http://www.feniccis.com).

Wine Lovers

Woolverton Inn (6 Woolverton Rd., Stockton, N.J., 609-397-0802, http://www.woolvertoninn.com), about 3 1/2 hours by car from Washington; rooms from $145.

Close to vineyards and staffed by oenophiles, Woolverton Inn is a lovely place to enjoy fine wine. The inn's fieldstone main house was built in 1792; it was expanded and given a mansard roof in 1850. The house's eight guest rooms are complemented by five cottages, all styled as farm outbuildings and arranged around a two-acre pasture attended by four sheep. Woolverton's 10-acre parcel has views of the Delaware River and the rolling hills of Bucks County and is about three miles from the riverside towns of Lambertville, N.J., and New Hope, Pa.


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