Are you a bookworm? B&Bs and small inns across the country have fascinating literary connections, making them fun getaways for book lovers. Some of these properties are the former homes of writers, while others have themed rooms based on authors and genres. Others have their own book stores. Here is a sampling of some of our favorite literary B&Bs.
New York, NY: Jumel Terrace Books B&B
Built into a brownstone in Harlem Heights, this two-bedroom B&B shares a private entrance of Jumel Terrace Books, an antiquarian bookshop representing Harlem Heights local history (the only antiquarian bookshop in Uptown New York). One of the innkeepers, Kurt Thometz, has a history of curating libraries for schools and private book collectors, and he opened Jumel Terrace Books with African and African-American collections that he acquired from 36 years of dealing with books. The bookshop has been acknowledged by the likes of The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and is sometimes visited by celebrities. The second-floor bedroom has its own mini library.
Athens, Tennessee: Majestic Mansion
Traveling with kids? At the Majestic Mansion, parents can stay in the The King of the Mountain room while the kids will stay in the magical adjoining room, the Aslan Room, named for the friendly lion from the Chronicles of Narnia. The rooms are connected through a wardrobe entrance just like in the book, and the Aslan Room features a mural of Aslan, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, and the famous lamp post, and the books are available if the kids would like to read them during their stay.
Princess Anne, MD: Alexander House Booklovers B&B
Book worms will be in heaven at this B&B, which has themed rooms based on acclaimed authors. For example, there’s the jazzy Langston Hughes Room (pictured below) and the romantic Jane Austen Room. Read in the Mark Twain Reading Parlor & Library or have tea in the French Cafe Colette. The inn has their own Booklovers' Shop, complete with books and literary themed-mugs, night shirts, totebags, hats, more.
Bellows Falls, VT : Readmore Bed, Breakfast, & Books
As its name suggests, this Victorian B&B is wild about books. One of the property’s former parlors is now a library filled with books, and guests are welcome to read them during their stay (or purchase books if they want to take any home with them). The innkeepers collect and sell books, and the town's literary guild meets at this book-loving B&B each month. In the winter months, curl up and read by the fireplace.
Washington, DC: Akwaaba Bed and Breakfast
This literary-themed B&B in D.C.’s Dupont Circle features guest rooms that are dedicated to famous African American authors and classic genres. These include the Toni Morrison Room, the Langston Hughes Room, the Zora Neale Hurston Room, the Poetry Suite, and the Modern Classics room.
De Smet, SD: The Prairie House Manor
Love The Little House on the Prairie books? Come stay at this B&B in the hometown of author Laura Ingalls Wilder, which is where her stories took place. The manor once belonged to Banker Ruth, who was based on one of the characters in The Long Winter. You can visit one of the famous author’s original homes and even participate in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant.
Chautauqua, NY: The Spencer Hotel
Each guest room and suite here was hand-decorated by local artists to honor a famous author and the time period in which they lived. Each room also has its own library of carefully hand-selected books, and music is available that conveys the tone of each writer’s life and times. There are rooms dedicated to Agatha Christie, the Brontes room, Lewis Carroll, Jane Austen, Jules Verne, Lord Byron, E.B. White, Beatrix Potter, and much more.
Hyde Park, VT: Governor's House in Hyde Park
This regal B&B offers popular Jane Austen weekends. In this literary retreat, sip tea, listen to Mozart, and do needlework. You can take a carriage or sleigh ride and dress according to whichever century you please. You can attend a talk about Jane Austen’s time and win a prize by testing your Austen knowledge. Discuss Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility or Emma (different books are discussed on different weekends) and how the movies compare to the books.
Nantucket, MA: Cliff Lodge
This elegant B&B overlooking the Nantucket Harbor was originally built in 1771 by a sea captain for his family. It was later occupied for nearly 50 years by Caroline Parker Hills, Nantucket's leading female poet. The Romantic poetess wrote about Nantucket and its rich history while living here, and even wrote a poem about Cliff Lodge.
Have you ever stayed in a literary B&B? What did you think?