Our Favorite Bed and Breakfast in EVERY state!

Photo: Linden Manor Bed and Breakfast

Although the concept of the "bed and breakfast" (or "B&B" ) seems relatively new to America, it actually reaches back to colonial times. People travelling in those early days frequently knocked on a door, requesting a bed for the night. Traditional inns were few and far between, so it was the custom to welcome those strangers and provide hospitality.

During the Depression, offering a spare room for a night or two was a way to make some extra money. And until hotels and motels sprung up around the new highway system, staying in a "lodging house" was a favored option for travellers.

The modern "B&B" evolved as more Americans visited Europe after WWII, where staying in a private home was common. That concept was imported back to the U.S., and has become a popular choice for those who want a comfortable, friendlier alternative to a sterile (and more expensive) hotel room.

There are thousands of B&Bs across America, ranging from a simple room in a private home to more luxurious accommodations in renovated historic mansions. Here are some interesting choices, from state to state.

1. ALABAMA Point Clear Cottages, Fairhope

Instead of rooms in a single house, guests stay in charmingly-furnished cottages. Breakfast is served in the main house - and because it's on Mobile Bay, you can expect catfish nuggets to go with your buttermilk biscuits, pork chops or pecan waffles.

2. ALASKA Bell In the Woods, Seward

Even well-travelled folks point to this place as one of the best B&B's anywhere. Rooms are cozy, and the breakfast-goers regularly request the recipes (and get them). There's a lovely patio area to enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day, and the hosts offer "insider" tips on where to go and what to see during your stay.

3. ARIZONA The Bear's Den, Page

Homemade cookies, available 24/7 is just one reason to stay. Sleep-number beds and hosts who go out of their way to provide recommendations for sightseeing, attractions and restaurants are some others. Visitors rave that every detail is covered.

4. ARKANSAS Heartstone Inn and Cottages, Eureka Springs

Besides the excellent breakfast each morning, visitors love watching all the nearby wildlife from the porch. There are numerous bird-feeders to observe as you sip your coffee. Rooms are charming and clean, maintaining their vintage feel, yet meticulously looked after.

5. CALIFORNIA The Cottage of Napa Valley, Napa

Located in California "wine country," it's no surprise that you're greeted with a glass upon arrival. Each cottage has a small porch and a wood-burning pipe stove. The bed linens are so amazing that, upon leaving, many a guest has ordered a set for their own bed at home.

6. COLORADO Country Sunshine Bed & Breakfast, Durango

Yes, the rooms are super-comfy and the hosts incredibly attentive. But one of the key attractions is being able to savor your breakfast from a second-floor balcony that runs the length of the house. The mountain view is outstanding - but the fresh-baked cookies left out later in the day are pretty great, too.

7. CONNECTICUTT Inn At Harbor Hill Marina, Niantic

The harbor views instantly relax you - and the fresh-baked cookies provide an afternoon sugar rush. In addition to the wonderful breakfast and comfortable rooms (some with Jacuzzi and fireplace), the location can't be beat: it has great access to town.

8. DELAWARE Bewitched & BEDazzled Bed & Breakfast, Rehoboth Beach

Take your pick from either a quirky guesthouse with rooms that honor the '60s sitcom, or one with memorabilia from Hollywood's "golden age." It's close to the beach, pet-friendly (there's even a grooming station) -- and to add to the charm, reportedly haunted!

9. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Malolo Bed & Breakfast

In true "island style," the hosts go the extra mile for their guests, providing airport pickup and Metro drop-offs. Guests from around the world are attracted to the immaculate rooms and amazing gourmet breakfasts (the chef is Cordon Bleu trained).

10. FLORIDA The Cedar House Inn, Saint Augustine

Each room in this historic home has a charming Florida "theme." Some have private entrances. And the Stuffed French Toast will provide you all the fuel you need for a morning's worth of sightseeing in one of America's oldest cities.

11. GEORGIA Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast

You'll get a real taste of the Antebellum South at this historic home with its gorgeous gardens. The breakfasts are superb, presented with lots of charm and info for setting out on your day's adventures. Oh, and the coffee is made specially for them!

12. HAWAII Maui Tradewinds, Maui

It's your own tropical paradise, where you can sip your morning coffee in a private hot tub, gazing over the mountains. They also provide all the beach essentials, from boogie boards to beach towels. At night, there's awesome stargazing from the expansive deck.

13. IDAHO American Country Bed & Breakfast, Coeur d'Alene

In case you're in a hurry, this award-winning B&B lays out coffee and muffins ahead of their fantastic breakfast. But you may want to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful quiet meadows and forest that surrounds it. With that kind of atmosphere, a great night's sleep later on is pretty much a given.

14. ILLINOIS Vrooman Mansion, Bloomington

This historic home (1869) once hosted visits from Eleanor Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan and other prominent folks. Breakfast is served at the original guest table, or you can enjoy it out on the side porch.

15. INDIANA Beiger Mansion, Mishawaka

This elegant mansion offers some seriously nice rooms to stay in, all with private bath, custom bathrobes and dozens of pillows. You also have access to the solarium and pool - so you may never want to check out.

16. IOWA Butler House on Grand, Des Moines

It's consistently been voted amongst the best B&B's in the Midwest. Besides elegant décor (it's been featured in a number of design magazines), expect turndown service and soaps wrapped in cute gingham squares!

17. KANSAS Lyon's Twin Mansions, Fort Scott

As the name says, there are two historic mansions situated next to each other. Guests regularly return for the spacious rooms and excellent breakfast, but the spa and fitness center is a plus, too.

18. KENTUCKY Central Park Bed & Breakfast, Louisville

The amazing Victorian décor is enchanting; some rooms even have a fireplace. There's also a separate carriage house that can be booked, and many guests appreciate that it's pet-friendly.

19. LOUISIANA Maison de Macarty, New Orleans

Guests routinely describe the breakfasts as "five-star" (legendary shrimp and grits) and the accommodations as an oasis from the craziness of the nearby French Quarter. There's a pool, courtyard and a private bar if you prefer a quiet drink at the end of the day.

20. MAINE Bufflehead Cove Inn, Kennebunk

In the late afternoon, settle in to one of the deep-cushioned windowseats and spend some time with any of the dozens of books or magazines nearby. It's quiet, yet close to town. For an extra-romantic treat, book the detached private cabin.

21. MARYLAND Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton

It has a bit of a different set-up than typical B&Bs: guests stay in the 1790-era building (which has been modernized with private baths, wi-fi and contemporary décor). For breakfast, they cross the street to the affiliated bakery. Guests enjoy the easy access around this popular town, and "people watching" from the balcony.

22. MASSACHUSETTS A Little Inn On Pleasant Bay, Orleans

It possesses quintessential Cape Cod charm by the bucketful. Gaze out on the ocean as you savor the fresh juices and homemade peach clafoutis at breakfast. Later in the day, the hosts offer a sherry "happy hour" that allows you to mingle with other guests.

23. MICHIGAN Wickwood Inn, Saugatuck

The owner, Julee Rosso, co-authored The Silver Palate Cookbook. So your tastebuds are in for a treat, from the Farm to Table Breakfast to the evening "small plates" hour. It's also been cited as one of the most romantic B&Bs anywhere.

24. MINNESOTA A G Thomson House Bed & Breakfast, Duluth

"Cozy" is what you want in northern Minnesota - and that's what you get here. Visitors rave about the elegant rooms, beautiful grounds and a breakfast that will make you swoon. Homemade scone, anyone?

25. MISSISSIPPI Historic Oak Hill Inn, Natchez

Natchez is loaded with history - so before you head out to sightsee, you'll need the gourmet breakfast that's cooked up every morning. At the end of the day, relax on the front porch with a complimentary mint julep and savor the Southern hospitality.

26. MISSOURI The Fleur-de-Lys Mansion, St. Louis

Built in 1913, this Tudor Revival mansion treats guests like royalty. There are private hot tubs, incredibly plush robes, giant wooden beds and a breakfast fit for a king. Or queen.

27. MONTANA Howler's Inn, Bozeman

Talk about the "call of the wild": this unique log-home style B&B is set within a 42-acre wolf sanctuary -- you can hear them howl at night. Guests enjoy the spa, the hearty breakfasts, and sitting on the veranda in the evening, watching the passing wildlife.

28. NEBRASKA Barn Anew Bed & Breakfast, Scottsbluff

This beautiful converted barn offers a real taste of the Old West, with Native American artwork and Remington bronze statues depicting cowboy life. You can even sleep in the authentic "sheep wagon" (which has been done over for guests). The hosts are experts on the history of the nearby Oregon Trail.

29. NEVADA A Cowboy's Dream, Alamo

It's out in the middle of nowhere, with magnificent views of the Sierra Mountains. Each large room is done up in a Western theme (of course). They each have a patio (with rocking chairs) to better take in the scenery. Besides breakfast, you can order ahead to have dinner waiting for you if you don't care to go looking for a restaurant in this remote part of the state.

30. NEW HAMPSHIRE Ballard House Inn, Meredith

Those sampling the Lakes Region or White Mountains will want to stay at this spotless B&B. There are views all around, cozy rooms, fantastic food - and a friendly Golden Retriever to greet you at the end of your sightseeing day.

31. NEW JERSEY The Mission Inn, Cape May

There are dozens of B&Bs in this popular New Jersey town, but this one regularly takes top honors. It's close to the beach, with luxurious amenities like spa tubs in the rooms. If you're in need of a midnight snack, you're welcome to raid the fully-stocked kitchen.

32. NEW MEXICO Mauger Estate Bed & Breakfast, Albuquerque

Built in 1897, it's on the National Register of Historic Places - yet features modern amenities like wi-fi. Guests love how nicely the building and rooms have been maintained, losing none of their historic flavor. It's also a short walk to downtown.

33. NEW YORK Ivy Terrace, Manhattan

In the urban jungle that is New York City, this cozy hideaway on the East Side offers a respite. Guests choose from beautifully-decorated "studio apartments" that feature a private terrace and small kitchenette (for heating up the dinner leftovers from any of the dozens of restaurants in the area).

34. NORTH CAROLINA The Reynolds Mansion, Asheville

It was built in 1845, and each owner has lovingly maintained it. Visitors rave over the charm of each room and the many historic "tales" you can expect to hear from the proprietors over breakfast. In the evening, the sunset over the mountains is breathtaking.

35. NORTH DAKOTA Dakotah Rose Bed & Breakfast, Minot

After the 2011 floods, the owners painstakingly restored this historic home, maintaining the leaded glass windows and inlaid floors from its 1906 glory days. They also take extra care of their guests, delivering a homemade dessert to the room upon check in - and even removing snow from your car!

36. OHIO The Welsh Hills Inn, Granville

You'll be greeted by the resident dogs before settling in to your beautifully-appointed room. People rave about the food, the unbelievably soft sheets and the incredible art collection on display.

37. OKLAHOMA Cedar Rock Inn, Tulsa

Seven years were spent turning this 1890 home into a unique B&B. Some of the rooms have fireplaces, there are lovely grounds and a hiking trail to work off some of the delicious food that's served at breakfast.

38. OREGON Portland Mayor's Mansion, Portland

This breathtaking building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and overlooks a lush 30-acre park. Guests appreciate its proximity to the city, minus the noise (you'll awaken to the sound of birds rather than car horns).

39. PENNSYLVANIA Mansion District Inn Bed & Breakfast, Smethport

While you're enjoying a three-course gourmet breakfast, the owner regales you with a different tale about this historic home and the area surrounding it (the Allegheny Forest is nearby). Rooms are nicely appointed with flat-screen TVs and free wi-fi.

40. RHODE ISLAND Francis Malbone House Inn, Newport

This award-winning B&B is right by the harborfront, offering great access to sightseeing. Many of the rooms feature fireplaces and Jacuzzi bathtubs; the private garden is a nice place to relax after the afternoon "high tea."

41. SOUTH CAROLINA Two Meeting Street Inn, Charleston

The home is one of the best examples of antebellum architecture in the city - and the graceful Southern hospitality flows from there. The hosts gladly accommodate any dietary needs. Besides a delicious breakfast, afternoon tea is also available and guests sleep like babies in the cozy, well-appointed rooms.

42. SOUTH DAKOTA Buffalo Rock Lodge, Keystone

It's built like a log cabin, and offers amazing views of Mount Rushmore. Imagine, having your breakfast while gazing upon those giant stone presidents? In the evening, the deck offers a great chance to watch the wildlife that are grazing nearby.

43. TENNESSEE Linden Manor Bed & Breakfast, Nashville

No sad country songs about this place: guests love the great location, exemplary food and wonderful hospitality. Those wanting extra privacy for a romantic weekend can book the separate Carriage House.

44. TEXAS Magnolia House Bed & Breakfast, Fredericksburg

This historic home has tons of interesting details - but guests especially love the super-soft sheets, plush towels and incredible amenities: an old-fashioned medicine chest in the hall holds things like aspirin and spare toothbrushes. Reading glasses can be borrowed from a tray.

45. UTAH Torchlight Inn Bed & Breakfast, Park City

The cozy rooms take the chill off after any outdoor winter activities. If not, the rooftop hot tub should do the trick. The gourmet breakfast will give you all the fuel you need for the short walk into town.

46. VERMONT Jackson House Inn, Woodstock

Set on some gorgeous acreage, stroll down to the pond for some quiet time. Visitors also appreciate the comfy beds, the "jets" in the bathtub and the fact that they use organic, locally-made toiletries.

47. VIRGINIA The Inn At Mount Vernon Farm, Sperryville

One of the treats of staying here are the breakfasts, which utilize the products of this working farmstead. Expect eggs from the resident hens and jams made from on-site berry patches. The home has been passed down through eight generations, with rooms designed for luxurious country comfort.

48. WASHINGTON Sleeping Bulldog Bed & Breakfast, Seattle

The "dog" in the name attests to the fact that yes, the owner's friendly dogs do live here. Visitors love the easy access to downtown Seattle, plus thoughtful amenities like bathrobes, memory foam mattresses and umbrellas to borrow on a rainy day.

49. WEST VIRGINIA Hillbrook Inn, Charles Town

It's situated on over 30 acres once owned by George Washington, and takes the "B&B" concept up a notch or three. Along with plush robes and luxe rooms, you also have access to things like iPads and the spa on another part of the property.

50. WISCONSIN Honeybee Inn Bed & Breakfast, Horicon

The nearby nature preserve attracts birdwatchers who make this their "nest." Victorian four-poster feather beds and Jacuzzi tubs are one reason; the other is the baker, who's won several blue ribbons at the Wisconsin State Fair.

51. WYOMING Bentwood Inn, Jackson Hole

It's right by Grand Teton National Park, with each room designed to offer amazing views from the window seat. You're likely to spot more than a moose or two wandering nearby, as you enjoy a hearty Western-style breakfast.

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