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Alternative lodging 101: unique places to stay the night



The accommodations you choose for a getaway should be beautiful, peaceful and above all intimate.  A standard hotel may quell your basic needs, but may not allow for the ultimate experience you crave.  Be a brave traveler, be innovative, let your imagination fly.  Here are some of my picks for alternative lodging that are as unique as they are couple friendly. 

A Vineyard
Stay among the vines and wander through the harvest.  Many vineyards offer cottages, suites or even a small farmhouse right on property.  With the romantic backdrop of the grape, and acres of gorgeous landscape, your mind and your hands can wander.  Be sure to take a tour of the wine making process if offered and chat up the wine makers for some of their special reserve wines they may be holding back.  A nice way to embed into the culture of your surroundings.  For more information on vineyards that offer accommodation in Europe: For American vineyards, it’s best to search under the area you plan to visit. Also consult the San Francisco Wine Country Travel Examiner's new book:  Romantic Napa Valley for romantic options specific to the Napa region.

Bed and Breakfast 
When you stay at a bed and breakfast (B&B), you’re likely to enjoy something out of the ordinary, an atmosphere created specifically for the personal experience.  A homemade breakfast (often with "made from scratch" specialties) is always a treat.  You may discover you enjoy the company of your hosts and other guests as you chat over coffee.  You’ll find that most proprietors of B&B’s are local experts who can give you the best advice on what to see and do, places a hotel concierge may not guide you.  It’s best to read reviews on trip advisor to get a feel for the type of environment, and level of service you’re likely to expect.  B&B’s come in all styles and settings: in the city or in the country, on the ocean, or in the woods, in America and all over the world.  To find a bed and breakfast for your next vacation:   For reviews, check

A Tree house
“Explore your inner animal,” is the command on On this site you can find their top five most inspiring tree house hotels to swing into.  Above the rainforest floor in Australia, Fifty feet up a giant cedar tree in Mount Rainer, perched above the Amazon in South America, somewhere, your lush canopy in a tree awaits.

A Cabin in the woods
For the ultimate in privacy and communing with the outdoors, a cabin is an ideal rustic getaway.  Think Yosemite, Yellow Stone, Lake Tahoe or some little riverfront town you’d been meaning to check out in Michigan or Georgia.  Plan to while away your days on a canoe, with a fishing pole, taking a hike through towering trees or simply sit and listen to the natural world at work.  At night, sit by a fire, gaze up at oodles of stars, and snuggle under heavy blankets.  The right cabin can be the perfect cozy getaway.  To find a cabin in whatever neck of the woods you seek:

Their home is your home
Rent someone else’s well-appointed fully furnished abode where all creature comforts are included.  Typically in a residential area, but in close proximity to local attractions, these homes are prepped specifically for short stays.  Many times you can have a two or three bedroom home to yourselves for the cost of a hotel room.  These types of rentals can be ideal for a couple or a small group of friends to spend quality time together.  Amenities can include private backyards, a pool, fireplace, gourmet kitchens and rock showers (depending on the property).  Most properties have a two or three night minimum stay.  Check out VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) for an in-depth listing of over 125,000 home rentals across the globe.

Wherever you go and wherever you stay, enjoy your surroundings and by all means, enjoy one another.  



  • Shellie Leete - Innkeeper 5 years ago

    We have two couples from the Norfolk area right now enjoying breakfast at our B&B The Claiborne House in Rocky Mount VA. We are getting more and more from the tidewater area of Virginia to these Blue Ridge Mountains to cool down. One couple went on a dinner cruise at Smith Mountain Lake, another to a music event and the last to the new drive in Mayberry Drive-in, which has the old Cosmos Diner (from Chesapeake). You can do nothing but relax or take some time to hold hands and steal a kiss at the drive in. B&B's are great!

  • Marti Mayne 5 years ago

    Thanks for mentioning Listing nearly 8500 B&Bs worldwide, it's a great resource for finding good B&Bs.

  • Richard 5 years ago

    Just came back for a family reunion in Sonoma. We rented a fabulous home through Beautiful Places and they also set up a week of fun activities for all. Chedck sthem out at

  • Michelle 5 years ago

    We just spent a wonderful week in Healdsburg. The home we rented has it's own vineyard, huge heated pool and huge spa, walking trail,complimentary personalized two bottles of wine, free wine right from the barrel, gourmet kitchen, wifi, king size beds! We we within 4 miles of town yet felt we were away from it all on it's 9 acres...very private - guess that's why they named it Casa Privata. Anyone considering going to wine country should consider renting a home instead of a room. I think we'll be back to this place..check it out at

  • Anne Wert 5 years ago

    I've always thought that vacation rentals are a great alternative. Spacious, economic and ideal if you are traveling with the whole family. I would like to recommend you when looking for one. It worked really well for me. Fast service!