By Amy C. Rea
One of the great things about Minnesota's resiliency in winter is there's no lack of places to get away to when you need a break. Tired of the drudgery of winter and daily life? No problem. Book a retreat at one of these romantic bed and breakfasts (and this list is just a sampling of all the wonderful B&Bs around the state), and the annoyances of day-to-day life will be but a distant memory.
Rates: $160 - $235
Right on the Mississippi River is the Covington Inn, a bed and breakfast in a former river towboat. After it was retired from service, it was completely gutted and refitted, making the interior a warm and lovely escape. All rooms have working fireplaces and private baths; for the full experience, reserve the Pilot House Suite, a two-story suite with a sitting area in the glass-sided former wheelhouse. In-room massages can be arranged.
Rates: $159 - $175
Just north of the busy Stillwater area is the village of Marine on St. Croix, home of the Asa Parker House. More than 150 years old, the Greek Revival home offers four choices of rooms, all with private bath, two with fireplaces. The Sarah Louise Room has original hardwood flooring—and a Jacuzzi facing the fireplace.
Rates: $140 - $150
The Old Jail Bed and Breakfast is actually part saloon and part jail—an interesting combination—but all fully renovated into cozy retreats. This B&B in Taylors Falls is well suited for longer stays, as each unit has some form of kitchen, either full or with microwave/fridge. It's hard to choose which is the best to reserve: the Cave Suite, in the former saloon with a stone archway leading to a private bath in the cave, or the Jail Cottage with a wood-burning fireplace.
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Built in 1886 for a local judge, the Alexander Mansion is a gloriously sumptuous old-style Victorian mansion, full of countless architectural details. Many of the rooms have original pieces, including soaking tubs and fireplaces. All rooms have turn down service and luxury robes. The D.C. Alexander Suite also has a private four-season sunroom, and the option of having breakfast delivered to the room.
Rates vary by season. Please call for a quote.
Located just west of Lanesboro, the Berwood Hill Inn rests high on a hillside, with views reaching miles into the valleys below. It's close enough to Lanesboro to make visiting that charming town easy, but it also has the peacefulness of a more remote location. It doesn't hurt that all the rooms are lavishly, yet warmly, decorated for maximum comfort and pampering.
Rates: $109- $189
Built in the late 19th century, the Deutsche Strasse is in a gracious residential area not far from historic downtown New Ulm. All rooms have private bath, and all but one have a fireplace. It's worth splurging for the Black Forest Suite, with a hot tub room that has a fireplace and robes.
Rates: $189 - $299
This Dutch Colonial Revival home, designed by Edwin H. Hewitt, offers seven rooms, all with lake views, private baths, and fireplaces. The gem here is the Lake Superior Suite, with a large stone fireplace flanked by leather furniture, two-person whirlpool, and cherry cabinetry.
Amy C. Rea lives with her family in the Twin Cities. She's the author of Backroads & Byways of Minnesota and Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer's Guide. She can also be found chatting about Minnesota travel topics at www.flyover-land.com.
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