From the rugged coast of Maine to Florida's tranquil, intracoastal waterway to the base of scenic Pike's Peak in Colorado, UD alumni can be found operating bed-and-breakfast establishments. In this sampling, the B&Bs are housed in a range of older homes-from a charming Victorian mansion to a stately 20-room castle to the former Buffalo Bill Wax Museum. All are open year round.
Some are sophisticated operations with their own web pages, e-mail addresses and fax numbers. Others prefer to do business the old-fashioned way-via telephone and word-of-mouth recommendations. However you plan to get in touch, this is a Messenger spread you may want to tuck away for that special weekend get-away you've been promising yourself.
Blue Skies Bed & Breakfast
402 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Telephone: (719) 685-3899 or (800) 398-7949
Fax: (719) 685-3099
Web site: http://www.blueskiesbb.com/
Rates: $120-$180/night/double occupancy w/breakfast
Innkeeper: Sally Thurston, AS '79
A fine arts (ceramics) major who studied with Victor Spinski, it's no wonder that Sally Thurston created the hand-painted tile work that is a trademark at Blue Skies, a B&B with a southwestern flair. Nestled in a small mountain town at the base of Pike's Peak, Blue Skies is part of the estate of the town's founder, William Bell. Bell established a health spa centered around the area's artesian mineral springs in 1873. The carriage house on the property was once the home of the Buffalo Bill Wax Museum.
A can-do person, Thurston designed and built four new outbuildings modeled after the 1873 Gothic revival carriage house that still stands. Each building has four suites with sitting rooms, entry ways and baths covered in Thurston's hand-painted ceramic tile and bedrooms walls decorated in her one-of-a-kind stencils.
Unique to Blue Skies are its Alien Invasion Weekends when guests can search for the truth by following clues left by reckless spaceship pilots.
The Night Swan Bed & Breakfast
512 South Riverside Drive and Anderson Street
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Telephone: (904) 423-4940
Fax: (904) 427-2814
Web site: http://www.nightswan.com/welcome.htm
Rates: $80-$150/night/double occupancy w/breakfast
Innkeeper: Martha H. Nighswonger, HP '79
The Night Swan is located on Florida's Intracoastal Waterway, nestled amid a canopy of oaks, magnolia trees and palms. Built in 1906, the turn-of-the century home features antiques-filled interiors and sunny porches ideal for relaxing. A dock extends into the Indian River, which is perfect for boating, birding and dolphin watching.
Nighswonger and her husband, Charles, were both employed at the Kennedy Space Center 10 years ago when the disaster of the space shuttle Challenger brought them together. Charles still works there, while Martha has "retired" to raise their 4-year-old son and attend to their guests.
The Night Swan has been so successful that the couple has expanded its business to include the house next door and several cottages.
The brick castle was built in 1896 and famous guests, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jimmy Carter, are part of the mansion's history.
At the turn of the century, the castle also was home to Loveleigh Novelties, patented dolls that enjoyed an international market. The walnut head character dolls were unusual for their time as they showed a dignified portrait of African-American people, not the caricatures normally seen. The Palmers have created Loveleigh Novelties 1997 to reproduce the dolls.
Oceanville Seaside B&B
RD 1, Box 890
Stonington, ME 04681-9713
Rates: $65-$80/night/double occupancy w/breakfast
Innkeeper: Kathleen Drew Emerson, MS '81M
Before opening up Oceanville Seaside, Emerson worked as an "inn sitter" for about 10 years, taking care of other people's inns and B&B's for short periods while the innkeepers were away. When she married and moved into an 1850s Cape Cod house by the sea, she decided it made more sense to stay at home and have a B&B of her own.
Located on six acres, surrounded on three sides by spruce woods, and a rocky meadow extending to the ocean in front of the house, the B&B is located on Deer Isle, Maine, in the town of Stonington and the village of Oceanville.
The property's 600-foot of deep-water frontage is a perfect launching point for people who want to explore the coastline and nearby islands by kayak or other small boat.
Both Emerson and her husband, Tim, love being on the water and are happy to offer guidance to both experienced boaters and beginners who want to rent boats nearby and do a little exploring by sea. They also are encouraging people who want to travel by kayak from "inn to inn," either individually or as part of a touring group similar to the one they will be hosting this summer.
Baird Tavern Bed & Breakfast
2 Old Chester Rd.
Telephone: (413) 848-2096
Rates: $70/night/double occupancy w/breakfast
Innkeeper: Carolyn C. Taylor, HP '67
With college costs for her children looming, Carolyn Taylor looked for work she could do from home and hit upon the idea of starting a catering business. Taylor Made Catering has been booming for years.
With her established expertise in the kitchen and children starting to leave the nest, it seemed only natural that Taylor turn her 200-year-old home into a B&B.
"It's a home that lends itself to sharing," she says, "and the breakfasts are extraordinary!"
The 1768 home, located within a half hour of the Berkshires, has only had six owners. Its wide plank floorboards, three fireplaces and perennial garden are favorite features for guests.
Those who stay at the Baird House frequent Tanglewood in the summer, enjoy cross-country and downhill skiing in the winter and make trips to see the foliage in the fall.
177 Riverview Rd.
Peach Bottom, PA 17563
Telephone: (717) 548-2141
Rates: $50/night/double occupancy/w/breakfast
Innkeepers: Miriam Dempsey, HP '60
Robert D. Dempsey, AS '59
The Dempseys spent most of their life farming near Peach Bottom. Eight years ago, when their son decided to join the family farming operation, the Dempseys decided to let his family use the farmhouse they had always called home. Three miles down the road, they bought an 1864 house with "lots of nooks and crannies, wavy panes of glass and all the features of an old farmhome." Deciding that the home was too special to keep to themselves, the Dempseys opened a B&B.
Travelers who stay at the Inn- Between are most often on their way north to tour Pennsylvania Amish country.
The unusual name comes from the fact that the Dempsey's daughter and her husband, also farmers, lived a few miles north of the inn. Living in-between their son's and daughter's homes was just where the Dempseys wanted to be.
Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast
300 Buttonwood Rd.
Landenberg, PA 19350
Telephone: (610) 274-2143
Fax: (610) 274-0734
Web site: http://www.obsus.com/obs/english/books/chesler/babima/bnb/pab031.htm
Rates: $100-$150/night/double occupancy w/breakfast
Innkeeper: Marty Mulligan, AS '73
A good place to stay when visiting UD, the Cornerstone Inn is located just minutes from the Delaware line in the rolling hills of southern Chester County.
Featured each year on Chester County Day, when hundreds line up to tour the spacious home, the inn is a showcase for collections from all over the world. Renovated guest cottages also are available.
Mulligan, a former Eastman Kodak technical representative, has helped to expand the perennial herb and rose gardens. There are exotic fish in the pond, and golden retrievers Ben and Jesse and a shelty named Jerry are also on hand to greet guests.
(Information provided by Bernice Chesler's Bed and Breakfast in the Mid-Atlantic States.)
October Country Inn
P.O. Box 66
Bridgewater Corners, VT 05035
Telephone:(802) 672-3412 or (800) 648-8421
Web site: http://www.vermontel.com/~oci/
Rates: $124-$165/double occupancy with dinner and breakfast
Innkeeper: Richard Sims, AS '69
Tucked away in a rural Vermont reminiscent of The Bob Newhart Show, the October Country Inn, a mid-1800s farmhouse, known for its warmth and hospitality, has a visitor return rate of 75 percent.
"Richard's character and chef Patrick Runkel's fabulous food literally flavor this very special inn with some of the most sincere hospitality and tasty dining you will find at any country inn," Gail Greco wrote in Great Cooking with Country Inn Chefs.
In addition to its gardens, swimming pool, deck and well-loved theatre excursions, the inn is known for its ethnic foods. Guests often request a repeat menu of Cajun, Mexican, Greek, Italian or French country food. Homemade granola is a breakfast favorite.
Located between Killington and Woodstock, the inn is a favorite stop on summer bicycle tours and the preferred accommodations of many winter skiers.
The back deck and gardens are favorite gathering spots for guests, as is the wraparound porch with its magnificent view. Other special features include a winding staircase, ornate multi-paned windows and an extensive collection of McCoy vases.
In addition to regular tourists, the inn hosts fly fishing weekends in the spring and caters to bicycle groups throughout the year.
Murray serves what she calls "vacation food" breakfasts, with dishes that are on the gourmet side served at flexible times on Depression glass dishes.