Travel and Leisure News
Travel and Leisure News
As Americans are managing life with the Coronavirus and now with the vaccine finally rolling out, the travel industry is continuing to come back. Hotels and travel destinations in many parts of the country are open in anticipation of travelers ready to throw off their cabin fever and venture out. Your plans may be for a weekend get away to a cozy bed and breakfast, or perhaps a fishing trip to catch that “big one” that won’t get away this time. Maybe it’s a camping trip full of hiking adventures with stunning vistas, or possibly you would rather walk through America’s glorious past by taking in all the amenities offered in any of hundreds of museums. How about a week’s stay at a ranch out west? Whatever your travel desires are, your options are plentiful and, more importantly, clean, safe and following all CDC guidelines for Coronavirus. Each week we will list state by state travel options we recommend to help make your vacation choices easy. ALABAMA: Chad’s Fishing Guide Service – Eclectic. Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service – Scottsboro. ALASKA: Big Sky Charters & Fish Camp – Sterling. Dierick’s Tsiu River Lodge – Yakutat. ARKANSAS: Stetsons on the White Trout Guides – Flippin. CALIFORNIA: USS Hornett Museum – Alameda. Castle Air Museum – Atwater. COLORADO: Veterans Museum of Broomfield – Broomfield. INDIANA: Lake Monroe Jellystone Park – Bloomington. CANDLES Holocaust Museum & Education Center – Terre Haute. IOWA: Hotel Greenfield – Greenfield. KENTUCKY: Serenity Hill Bed & Breakfast – Brownsville. Westgate RV Campground – London. LOUISIANA: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park – Robert. MAINE: OMM Outfitters – Eagle Lake. Old Mill Marina – Eagle Lake. Eagle Lake Sporting Camps – Eagle Lake. MICHIGAN: Garlyn Zoological Park – Naubinway. MINNESOTA: Minnesota Fishing Guide Service – St. Cloud. MISSOURI: Eminence Cottages and Camp – Eminence. Veterans Memorial Museum – Branson. Mark Twain Boyhood Home – Hannibal. Ye Olde English Inn – Hollister. Hall of Fame Motel – Branson. MONTANA: Mountain Lake Lodge – Bigfork. NEW JERSEY: NY Harbor Fishing – Jersey City. NEW MEXICO: Seeping Springs Trout Lake & RV Park – Ruidoso Downs. NEW YORK: Holland Land Office Museum – Batavia. OREGON: Deschutes County Historical Society – Bend. SOUTH DAKOTA: Olsen’s Pheasant Phun – Hitchcock. TENNESSEE: Pine Mountain RV Park – Pigeon Forge. Floyd Garrett’s Muscle Car Museum – Sevierville. TEXAS: Holiday Trav-L-Park for Campers – Del Rio. Centennial Museum & Chihuahua Desert Gardens – El Paso. UTAH: Wonderland RV Park – Torrey. WISCONSIN: Edgewater Resort and Condominium – Ephraim. WYOMING: Bearlodge Mountain Resort – Sundance. When you are ready to travel, we are here to help! Keep checking back every week for more featured locations. Our travel hosts are eager to see you and work with you to provide safe and clean facilities.
Serenity Hill Bed and Breakfast is a perfect getaway for sure to unwind and regroup your thoughts. Open year round, guests will find there are plenty of things to do including over 99 miles of trails to hike on. Under normal conditions there are 450+ miles of caves, plus diamond caverns which need no reservation. Guided tours are offered every 30 minutes. Enjoy kayaking, horseback riding, or simply relax on the porch or around firepit on our property. A bed & breakfast since 2005, Bill and Tina Burr have owned Serenity Hill since 2018. They actually fell into running this bed and breakfast when they were searching for a home. They had a checklist of what they desired in a home and found this place. Interestingly, they did not know it was a bed & breakfast until they visited the property and spoke with the owner Tina says "I just know I fell in love with the place as soon as I was driving up the driveway, and even more so when I entered the home. I absolutely loved everything about this place. It was so beautiful that it took my breath away." She decided then that she wanted to take over the business, even though she had no previous experience. She soon started doing things the way she wanted and found she loved it. "I loved meeting new friends and family that have stayed with us." Apparently, Tina has a found her gift for running a bed & breakfast, because they have a lot of repeat guests. "I treat everyone like family and the way I want to be treated. I wish that I would have done this sooner because I love it so much." Ideally located close to a national park, guests can enjoy hiking, biking, picnics, and lots of wildlife. The caves attracts people from all over the world and the Burrs love getting to speak with them and sharing each other's cultures. Be sure to make your reservation at Serenity Hill Bed & Breakfast. Do plan ahead to ensure there is vacancy.
By Marjorie Schmaehl The Hearthstone Elegant Lodge main building “The Villa’’ is an unique elegant work of art which sometimes makes visitors gasp with amazement and at the beauty of the exterior and interior. A 2000 lb iron sculpted fountain from a village in France sits on the east side of the building visible to all arriving guests coming up our drive way. The patio by the fountain is furnished with old fashioned ornate iron garden tables and chairs is just out side the Tea Room for fair weather eating or visiting. This patio is just off the building kitchen and group event dining area. Coming up the drive way on the arrival side of the building people are amazed at the rich deep royal purple color of the building with subtle gold paint speckles shimmering in the black antique iron balcony railings. The antique exterior iron and ceramic art are embedded in the walls all around the Villa exterior as a quiet outdoor art gallery. The width of the building faces the Clearwater River on one side. The lobby entrance faces the mountain view side so guests and cars do not interrupt the views of the river and opposing mountains. Our terraced hillside will be planted with flowering Russian Sage in the spring. We are in process of creating a lovely hillside view for additional visitor enjoyment. There are 65 acres of hiking trails and intermittent wild life viewing. On the arrival side of the Villa building a porte cochère entrance covers the cars of arriving guests who are registering in the lobby. The porte cochère has a tiled decorative deck on level with the building second floor. The roof of the deck is round copper-shingled with a tower open to the deck. The tower has windows inside the tower. A chandelier also hangs inside the copper-shingled tower and an angel weather vane that swings in the wind above the tower. Guests enjoy the comfortable deck chairs while breathing in country air. This deck retreat has a second floor entrance and is connected to the upstairs balcony halls. Deck railings are enhanced with ornate antique French cast iron detail. The deck continues around the 2nd floor of the building on three sides. Between these striking railings are beautiful columns and wood arches. Lodge is located on 65 wooded acres along the Clearwater River just off US Federal Highway 12 and a five minute drive along the Clearwater River to the historic small town of Kamiah, Idaho which has been artfully restored. This town and trading center was occupied by Native Americans for over a thousand years by Nez Perce history lore and reportedly supported by archaeological digs. Other races have visited and lived among the natives since the early 1800s when Caucasians and other races of fur trappers arrived here. We have found the Nez Perce people to be friendly hosts to all people moving because of the geographical beauty of this area’s mountains, valleys, rock outcroppings and handsome forests. Kamiah is near the gateway of the largest remaining wilderness in the lower 48 states with millions of forested acres. Only Alaska has more forest wilderness than Idaho. Within a close drive from our Villa Lodge one can also experience the beauty of three different rivers ie the Clearwater River which is right in front of our Villa Lodge, and the Lochsa and Selway rivers. There are also many surrounding area mountainside creeks, ponds, lakes, hot springs, sandy riverside beaches, hiking trails and more. The nearby US Forest Service office headquarters provides free guides and maps to most of these beautiful spots. Hikers, fishermen, hunters, lovers of nature, rock hounders, explorers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and more are all enthralled not only with our unique Hearthstone Villa Lodge but also with the profusely lovely surrounding engaging nature and other activities. The towns of Lewiston Idaho, Whitebird Idaho and Riggins Idaho are all about a one hour scenic drive away from our Lodge. Each of these towns has advance-reservation boat tours that carry guests down the Snake River at the bottom of Hells Gate Canyon which is the deepest gorge in North America. Hells Gate Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon and very beautiful. In Kamiah the local U.S. Forest Service Headquarters provide maps at no cost to guide visitors to local forest area hot springs, a spring time whitewater rafting, some very special sandy summer river beaches and hiking trails. There are old abandoned towns in the surrounding hills with tales of gold mining, antique forest service towers and Native American religious land forms and other historic Native American sites. Our small downtown museum is operated by the Chamber of Commerce and has both early pioneer artifacts and displays of some native American artifacts. There are other museums in surrounding towns. Some visitors love to see historic one room school houses. Hearthstone Lodge Villa guests are a few short steps from the Clearwater River. Our guests enjoy mountain and forest views, hikes and rock-form discoveries. In the surrounding areas lodge guests can see a variety of mountainside beauty and the lovely Camas Prairie farms, ranches, cowboys, Native American settlements, annual rodeos and various County and a local summer fairs including at a local monastery which has been here in Idaho since the early 1800s. Wildlife flora, fauna, large game are seen here or around the area. The Nez Perce have a museum and a preserved western historic town in Lapwai Idaho that were built by early missionaries to the Nez Perce. There are also some historic Nez Perce buildings here in Kamiah. The oldest church in Idaho is here. It is a Native American Presbyterian church still being used by the Nez Perce and has a cemetery of famous past Nez Perce leaders and pastors and other notable tribe members. Our private forested grounds above Hearthstone Villa lodge buildings have rough and interesting trails through woods, meadows and old logging roads. Guest are able to experience the wilderness in just a few yards from our Villa Lodge. Often there are sightings of wild animals that travel through the area. We see humming birds, wild turkeys, pheasants, wild ducks and wild geese, quail, woodpeckers, magpies, eagles, osprey, hawks other exotic birds. Also, in various seasons we see deer, elk moose and other large game occasionally. We are close to several National historical monuments and millions of acres of National, Idaho State, County and Private forests. The largest remaining wilderness is here near Kamiah. We have cowboys, cowgirls and Nez Perce Native Americans. Deer, elk, and other forest creatures walk by on our grounds at intermittent times. A short drive away, there is a buffalo (bison) ranch for people to visit. Idaho is called the Gem State and rock collectors enjoy scouting the area for semi-precious stones. In 1806 on their their return journey Lewis and Clark rested in Kamiah for the longest camp of their famous expedition to the west. They called Kamiah “Paradise Valley” in their journals. The Nez Perce tribe saved the lives of the expedition group who had floundered in deep snow unable to hunt or to move on. The Nez Perce found them, fed them and housed them here in Kamiah. The flora and fauna and wildlife of this area are extraordinarily diverse. During the expedition’s stay in Kamiah, more flora and fauna specimens were collected here by Lewis and Clark for the Smithsonian Institute than from any of their other expedition locations. Our Hearthstone Villa Lodge is only a five minute drive from our charming, historic town of Kamiah which has shops, restaurants, clinics, a rock store, and service businesses. The town has a western Victorian style. We provide guests information about interesting sites and drives throughout our area’s beautiful landscapes. Other visitor interest sites include sandy river beaches (in season), personal river rafting, whitewater rafting, local hot springs, Native American National land form monuments, a meteor site, fishing guide and equipment shops, historic sites, the Nez Perce Museum, the Orofino Dworshak Dam and lake, scenic mountain-top ranches and farms. A U.S. Forest Service office is just a mile from our Hearthstone Elegant Lodge, with maps and visitor guides. Orofino is a town not far to the west of us that has the largest straight axis dam in North America with a visitor movie exhibit views of the old dangerous log runs down the river before the dam was built. There is a notable display of various wild animal furs which people love to feel because of the variety of textures among those furs. An occupied historic monastery built by Europeans in the 1800s in nearby Cottonwood no longer has monks but now has retired nuns. It looks like European monasteries and it can be toured. The monastery also has an interesting museum and gift shop. Federal highway12 runs along the Clearwater River in front of the Hearthstone Villa Lodge. We have a very large culvert under the highway built to disperse heavy rain and melting snow but our guests like to walk through it to the river. The current Federal Highway 12 was originally a Nez Perce trail along the Clearwater River and later was called the Northwest Passage to the Sea for pioneers in Conestoga wagons traveling west. The Hearthstone Lodge consists of 4 unique buildings located within walking distance to each other on a land bench along the Clearwater River on 65 acres of surrounding woods and meadows to walk and enjoy. Although this is a country setting our Lodge is only a five minute drive from our historic Kamiah town center shops and services including restaurants, a gym, a medical clinic, bars, town pool, and a U S Forest Service Headquarters that provides maps and guides to visitors about area natural office on the Nez Perce Reservation. The Villa is the newest and the main building of our Hearthstone Elegant Lodge complex. It is brand new and has 11,000 square feet which includes guest rooms, a ground level handicap room, a meeting room, an elevator, snack machines, a spacious fireplace lobby, the main reception desk, offices, meeting rooms and guest service spaces. We provide all standard service amenities of a fine hotel including concierge services. We have three other smaller but lovely original Hotel buildings on site. Next to the Villa front entrance is a large wall embedded antique iron plaque dated 1784. An English countryside mansion in the English Cotswold of that era was demolished about thirty years ago and we found and bought the fire back from that building with its Latin inscriptions. We later realized that 1784 was the year of the Treaty of Paris. That was the year that all the major European countries signed a Treaty with the USA that acknowledged that we were now an independent nation. Our US government officials went to Paris to sign the Treaty of Paris and the major European countries also signed and acknowledged that we were now an independent nation. That is why this historic plaque is honored by us by the front door and is cabled through the walls to the building structure. It is an historical piece with double meanings. After the entrance to Villa through the glass door foyer there is a grand 20 foot high paneled lobby ceiling in warm hues offsetting the stunning antique alabaster chandeliers, wall art, antique office doors, and castle floor similitude tiles under oriental carpets with a cozy fireplace lounge at back half of the lobby where ceilings are lowered to 10 feet high. At the end wall in the lobby are two sets of French doors on each side of the fireplace which give views of the Clearwater River, opposing mountains and woods across the Clearwater River. The reception desk is made of a beautiful oak antique church altar with columns that hold up arched antique fretwork. The Villa lobby has handsome comfortable furnishings, lamps, a computer desk for guests use and a central fireplace. All our registered guests are welcome to use and enjoy the Villa lobby. Next to the Villa lobby is a spacious meeting room with a large stately imported antique English conference table. Outdoor views are seen through French doors on the side of the meeting room. There is a large wall mounted TV for group meeting uses and also elegant framed art and furnishings. Weddings, reunions and meetings are scheduled in advance by the lodge office. In the lobby a carpeted staircase to the 2nd floor has beautiful French antique iron railings that have a subtle shimmer of tiny gold flecks on the black iron finish. This handsome artful railing continues to the second floor balcony railings overhanging a portion of the 20 foot high entrance. The second half of the lobby ceiling drops to 10 foot high giving a cozy ambiance in the fireplace seating area. The lobby has views of the Clearwater River and opposing mountains at the fireplace room end. All our buildings and lodging rooms are beautiful and unique from other all other lodging rooms. There are king bed suites and double queen suites with standard amenities plus a Jacuzzi in every guest bathroom. We do also have a kitchen next to our large conference room in the Villa portion of the lodge. That kitchen is typically used for family reunions, meetings or conferences in the meeting room next to the kitchen. The Lodge Cottage is a handsome stand alone single suite building with a wrap around covered porch. Guests can sit outdoors on comfortable deck chairs to view the river, forest and land on opposing mountains in the various seasons. Sometimes deer and other large mammals can be seen crossing the hill on the other side of the river. The Lodge Chateau is a spacious two story building near the Cottage with four elegant king bedroom suites upstairs. Each suite is unique from the others in color and artful fine furnishings. Each room has a deck in front and in back for viewing the river, mountains in front and the woods in back. We occasionally see wild animals from the back quietly passing by. Each suite has a private Jacuzzi bathtub and a fireplace with all the other amenities of a fine hotel. In the Chateau there is an office downstairs and a Guest Library for guest lounging/dining or meeting room uses. An equipped kitchen nook is just off the Library, available for guests use. There is a visitor public bathroom right off the Library. There are two large tables for meeting or dining uses. Books, games, playing cards, a piano and an enclosed fireplace for guest enjoyment. The Chalet is a custom built hand hewn log building with two separate suites and a two story high cathedral ceiling in each. Each suite has a king bed in the spacious loft and downstairs a twin bedroom and bathroom. Hunters, fishermen, Europeans seeking old western style lodging and families needing more beds love this type of lodging. We built the Chalet near the river in a special nook of trees and berry bushes. The Chalet interiors have a fireplace, a large screen television, a high ceiling with fan and light embellishing the room. It is furnished with a sofa, chairs, an eating counter with stools. Outside we have a community barbecue available for use. The loft is reached by a unique ornate wooden staircase with a smooth top rail and twisted branch railings. People have gasped with delight when they see the staircase. Each chalet has its own propane heater and a wood burning fireplace. In the summer we provide window air conditioners. There is a central ceiling fan. The chalet small kitchen has a microwave, a kitchen sink, dishes, a small refrigerator and food storage cabinets. In addition to our beautiful lodge we also own the large Hearthstone Restaurant Bakery a three contiguous attached buildings on Kamiah's Main Street. That historic Restaurant Bakery building is only a quick five minute drive from our Villa Lodge. Guests enjoy their breakfast at the Hearthstone Bakery in one of the decorative but warm and friendly booth or table areas just a five minute drive from the Villa Lodge grounds. We also make and sell cookies, pastries and artisan breads at that bakery. Our Hearthstone Lodge just outside the town of Kamiah in North Central Idaho consists artfully and uniquely designed lodging buildings within walking distance of each to the other. Our Hearthstone Restaurant Bakery building was founded in the late 1800s and is just a five minute drive to 502 Main Street where it sits. The founder/builder, Dr. Bridwell was here in the 1800s and first built the building in wood but after a serious fire he rebuilt it 1912 in brick. It is eligible for the national historic registry. We bought the conjoined Bakery Restaurant buildings in 2001 and turned it into a beautiful Bakery Restaurant by picturing the town preferred style and history with our furnishings and decor. Our lodge guests enjoy their complimentary breakfasts at this beautiful Hearthstone Bakery. We purpose to honor the Nez Perce who saved the lives of the Lewis and Clark expedition arriving here in 1804. Thus we planned to give back by doing things that create prosperity in this reservation town by creating jobs for locals. The Nez Perce are friendly to all races living here. Quite a few business people live here in lovely homes among the surrounding hills and valleys. They manage their businesses by internet. This provides us with well traveled people as guests. Hearthstone Villa Lodge consists of five buildings on our 65 forested acres. The 11,000 square foot Villa is the main building has an elegant, artistic beautiful one of a kind exterior. Antique iron art is embedded in the walls around the outside of the building. A gallery of art is along interior hall walls. The lobby entrance to the Villa gives a quietly dramatic unique and beautiful but cozy, artistic old world style ambiance with 20 foot high ceilings in the front of the lobby where the reception desk is. The back portion of the lobby is at 10 feet in height because of upstairs rooms. We have comfortable furnishings which surround the stonewalled fireplace in the lobby. A spacious meeting room and antique conference table with padded chairs is next to the lobby as is the “Tea Room” available for small gatherings of guests. We have an elevator in the hall but also a handsome ornate stair case which boasts antique wrought iron railings that embellish the carpeted stairs to the second floor. These ornate stair railings also run along the lobby side of the upstairs hall on two sides of the lobby giving an artistic experience as one enters the building. Two large ornate iron chandeliers with bowls drop into the lobby from the 20 foot high ceiling entrance. The reception desk is an antique oak ornate church altar from Chicago with a charming artistic overhead of an antique fretwork art piece on columns across the top of the desk space. The lovely quiet lobby wall colors, furnishings and amenities give people the experience of steeping into the elegant world of an historic era. However we do have all the world class lodging guest amenities. The Villa is peaceful with Clearwater River and woods views but feels cozy like an historic Bed and Breakfast Inn although it is an 11,000 square foot building with world class amenities. Out doors on this main building we have a fastened to the wall 2000 lb iron ornate fountain from a village in France. The there is a lovely elegant stand alone additional building called Canterbury Cottage a sizable suite with a living room a private bedroom large Jacuzzi tub and shower and an exercise treadmill. The Chalet is a stylish handhewn western style handhewn log building with 2 identical two story suites in the building. It was built in a quaint woodsy nook of our land just yard from the river water but sitting up on a knoll of bushes and berries. We call that building the Chalet. Europeans, western history lovers, families, hunters and fishermen all love to use this building and its out front barbecue. We moved from Orange County California to Kamiah in 1998 but are still enthralled with Idaho some 22 years later. My husband Harty separated from the Army after the Vietnam War. He became a real estate Broker in California for many years and is now a Real Estate broker in Idaho while working with me to run all six small businesses here with a great crew of local people. I am a retired Registered Nurse. We are now on a mission to provide jobs, community service businesses that bring artful enhancements to the historic buildings here on this Native American reservation. We love serving this unique and charming community of Nez Perce Native Americans and the many other races living here. We are giving back to other by providing services, creating jobs and by restoring buildings on this reservation. We build businesses with warm friendly atmosphere artfully designed business environments which appeal to the public. These works builds jobs and benefit both local residents with services and product. We also enjoy town visitors coming to us. We have all the world class amenities and conveniences including WiFi. Citizens in this area include ranchers, cowboys, Native Americans (this town is on the topographically beautiful Nez Perce Reservation). Highly educated folks doing business by computer from home but down home folks thrill locals and visitors to our town. This area has stunning natural, historic, scientific, visitor serving sites and service. First of all people love the drives up and down the rivers, the wild animal sightings, fishing, river sports (have to bring own boast or raft except for the spring whitewater Rafting down the Lochsa River and other visits and activities in or at our surrounding valleys, trails, rivers vast forests, huge colorful rock outcroppings along the rivers, in the fields and forests even on farms. This is called the gem state for a good reason. We have a rock shop with a college trained host who shows and tells about rocks. There are places rockhounders, bird watchers, historians, fishermen, hunters, Easterners, Europeans, Chinese and beyond love our stunning topography our friendly western mix of Cowboys and ranchers, Native Americans, Caucasians, Asians, Black citizens and endless creative hardworking caring citizens live and work in our Western smallville USA where real people, and shopkeeper entrepreneurs care about each other with grace and style. Down in the valley we have changes of topography every few minutes as a person drives down the highway or up mountain side roads, or past incredible movie set like enormous picturesque rock outcroppings, streams, rivers, forests and more. People here manufacture and sell goods, care for vast farms and ranches including a buffalo ranch, raise cattle horses, exotic birds and animals, and famous Native American Appaloosa horses.
When it comes to winter getaways, it's all about destination! Florida, the snowbird state, doesn’t have to be expensive or trendy. Try visiting natural Florida on the Big Bend Coast. Steinhatchee, located on the West Coast, has a very active winter fishing and hunting season, gorgeous hiking and kayaking/canoeing trails, all loaded with old Florida history and plenty of sunshine. The Steinhatchee Landing Resort offers a warm escape from snow and ice, whether for a quick getaway or for an extended stay. Situated on 35 lush, scenic acres, just 5 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, Steinhatchee Landing Resort is an idyllic escape for nature lovers, enthusiastic anglers and anyone looking for an unexpectedly upscale yet laidback vacation from the ordinary. For a one-of-a-kind Old Florida experience at its best, Steinhatchee Landing Resort is the ideal choice. We invite you to come enjoy our magical sunsets, warm sunshine, and cozy cabins. https://steinhatcheelanding.com/
By Debra Zeigler The unique location of Blueberry Fields B&B offers our guests a feeling of peace and tranquility that is unmatched. All of our guests are special, and we welcome you into our family! Just off of the central coast of Maine, our B&B is nestled within the town of Washington, only minutes from Camden, Rockland and the state capital, Augusta! Hand-built, by the owners (Deb and Cyd Zeigler), the property stands firm and proud amidst rolling hills, and an 8-acre blueberry field. Within the grounds are trails that wind through the woods, across brooks, groves of sugar maples, and are well-traveled by our furry friends. The views and the experiences will create a bond between nature and you that will never be forgotten. This Bed and Breakfast, with its five guest rooms, has been proudly operating since its completion in May of the year 2010. Using the post and beam construction technique, many have described the Inn to be warm and welcoming. Wood from the local Knotty Pines, frames the inside of the house and gracefully catches the eye of guests entering through the front door. Within each of the rooms you can find a TV, wireless internet and air-conditioning with a private access point to the outdoors. In addition to the 5 rooms in the main inn, there is a separate cottage on the property (also available for rent), just a short walk down the driveway from the main facility. Built in 1983, this rustic cottage can sleep up to 5 adults comfortably with amenities including satellite TV, air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen and a screened-in porch. Every morning, breakfast for guests is prepared and served between 8:00-9:00am and for the general public, Thursday-Sunday from 8:00-11:00am. As well as breakfast, guests may make reservations for dinner throughout their stay, and we offer a selection of beer, wine and spirits to pair with your meal. This one-of-a-kind inn and its surrounding features provide a perfect venue for special events such as weddings or fundraisers. A stunning gazebo with porch swing is fit for a wedding alter and the vast grounds allow for quite the crowd to attend. Also, a sugar house where we produce our own Maine Maple Syrup (available for purchase) provides for an exciting new adventure. Spanning over the 120 acres there are many areas perfect for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. In 2018 we received the Customer Service Award from the Institute of Family-Owned Business and more recently we were featured on the new Tru TV reality show, “Tirdy Works.”
By Richard Moss RiverBank Lodge is a 24-unit Boutique Hotel located in Historic Petersburg, IL. Visit our website at: www.riverbanklodge.com and/or Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/riverbanklodgepetersburg. Situated in a former bank building is unlike any typical repurposed bank. The architect that designed the building did not conform to the design norms of the day, which makes for a more interesting conversion from bank to hotel. Our main area attraction is New Salem State Historic Park, where Abraham Lincoln spent seven formative years as a young adult. (He also did the original survey for Petersburg when it was founded.) We are 10 miles from the 14,000 acre Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Park. JEPC features 3 well stocked lakes, miles of hiking trails, and plenty of beautiful nature scenes. Hunters come from many States to harvest the larger deer common to the area. We are only 20 minutes from Downtown Springfield, where several other Lincoln attractions can be found. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Illinois State Museum, Lincoln’s Home (which he lived in directly prior to becoming President), Lincoln’s Tomb, several War Memorials, and our State Capital are just a few of the attractions there. Col. Benjamin F. Stephenson who founded the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Civil War, is buried in a Petersburg cemetery. The GAR eventually became what we now refer to as the Veterans Administration. Dr. Stephenson was a Civil War surgeon, who had compassion for deceased and wounded Union Soldiers, the effects and misfortune of them and their families. Every April, Union Army Soldier descendants gather in full uniform paying tribute to Dr. Stephenson. They fire a cannon and give a 21-gun salute in his honor. The annual event lasts a few hours but we feel that it is an uplifting event worth the experience. The monument is funded and maintained by the Illinois Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War. There are several wedding venues including wineries in Menard County hosting ceremonies and receptions. We often have the honor of housing out-of-town guests at our hotel. Since we have both lodging and a lounge with fantastic pizza, wedding guests usually like to top off the evening before drifting off to bed without needing to get behind the wheel. Everyone is impacted by concerns over COVID-19. We practice all precautions recommended by the CDC, County Health Department and Governor Pritzker. This applies to our rooms, common areas, restaurant-lounge, and our video gaming area. Petersburg has a quaint, attractive, and vibrant downtown surrounding the Menard County Courthouse. The city has approximately 2,200 residents. A similar number of residents reside just outside the city limits. We think you will enjoy visiting our local shops and restaurants. We also sponsor a few tours to nearby unique attractions, such as Starhill Arboretum which is the largest oak arboretum in North American. Emiquon Preserve is a large natural area nearby, recently restored by the Nature Conservancy. The Tour guides of these places are renowned professionals who can give you intimate details of these places. These are located within minutes of RiverBank Lodge. Both tours start from Riverbank Lodge.
Bridger Visa Lodge is a 4 bed, 3 bath, luxury log cabin vacation home rental outside Bozeman, Montana, with a gorgeous view of the ski slopes at Bridger Bowl Ski Area. Far enough out to be quiet and private, but still a quick drive to Bozeman, the airport and all southwest Montana has to offer (including a day trip to Yellowstone Park). Bridger Vista Lodge offers numerous amenities like a gourmet kitchen, WiFi, hot tub, satellite TV, cozy fireplace, nice linens and much more. This log cabin home is also a great place to social distance in comfort with online shopping and curbside pickup available for most retail stores including groceries and numerous great restaurants in Bozeman. The great outdoors is always open with endless places to hike, bike, fish or scenic drive nearby. Whether you are planning a ski vacation, romantic getaway or a holiday with family and friends, this custom designed log cabin vacation home is a great place to enjoy the Montana mountains in comfort.
Our ancestors arrived in Texas during the Texas Revolution in 1835, and some participated in the fight for freedom and the quest for making Texas larger than life. In 1901, William Wallace Whitley and his wife, Zoe Dixon Whitley, bought 1440 acres of raw ranch land in the Middle Verde Valley in Bandera County, just nine miles west of the small town of Bandera, Texas. The Whitleys, who had eight children, raised horses and Angora goats. During the wake of the Depression, Whitley's daughter and son-in-law, Billieand Dee Crowell, approached Whitley with the idea of starting a dude ranch business. He agreed to give it a try, so the Crowells left their careers in California, where Billie was an actress and Dee was a stunt man and traveled with their daughter, Darlene, back to Texas. The name Dixie Dude Ranch refers to their trek from California to “Dixieland.” Once the Crowells arrived, they worked with Whitley to make the ranch suitable for guests. They converted an old bunkhouse to living quarters, fired up a wood-burning stove for cooking and opened for business on July 3, 1937. Student pilots stationed in San Antonio during World War II for training were among the first guests and contributed greatly to the success of the business during the early years. The young servicemen were in search of a home away from home, and they found it in the serenity of the Texas Hill Country ranch. For a dollar or two they could get a comfortable place to sleep, enjoy plenty of home-cooked food, ride horses during the day and dance to country music at night. Word spread of the ranch owners' warmth and hospitality, and the business was passed on from one generation to the next. Today, seventh generation Texan, Clay Conoly—Billie and Dee Crowell's grandson—manages the ranch with his wife Diane and their two sons. Guests congregate in the community dining room for family-style meals, or gather in the spacious living room—called the Roundup Room—to read, watch television, dance to songs on the jukebox, chat or stretch out on one of the sofas. An antique piano parked against a side wall is available to any visitors inclined to tickle the ivories, and antique saddles from the Conoly family's collection are proudly displayed for those interested in touching a piece of Texas history. Dixie Dude Ranch is still a working ranch, raising horses, longhorn cattle, Spanish/Boer goats, and cultivating its own hay for the stock. Experienced ranch hands work and maintain the horses. The ranch's staff includes cooks, front desk clerks, wranglers and housekeepers – all here to extend you and yours our famous Texas hospitality.
By Dawn Faught Near Hitchcock, SD, thirteen miles from the original Ringnecked Pheasant release location in South Dakota, a country road edged by fields of standing corn leads to Pheasant Phun Lodge. The impressive 15,000 sq. ft. lodge overlooks hillsides waving with tall grass and a cerulean blue pond rimmed with cattails. Some of owner Dave Olsen’s preserve is farmland where corn and soybeans provide ample food and shelter for birds and excellent hunting opportunities. Thick tangled sorghum is left standing for food and cover from often brutal South Dakota winters. These practices provide perfect pheasant habitat proven by the ample numbers of iridescent birds strutting about doing their rooster squawk in the glow of the rising sun. A catastrophic summer storm in 2013 caused extensive damage to their ranch. Grapefruit-sized hail pulverized everything in its path; shredding buildings and crops and killing pheasants and deer. Rather than admit defeat, Olsen built a grand new lodge with spacious suites and cozy rooms. Desiring an authentic South Dakota flavor, he incorporated wood from blue stained Black Hills pine throughout the interior. Relics of the historic 1903 Olsen Ranch add to the ambiance of the rustic interior. The bar, hewn out of reclaimed wood from the Olsen’s 100-year old hip roof barn, is stocked with top shelf liquor and is the perfect place to relax after a long day of pheasant hunting. Pheasant hunting has been an Olsen family tradition at the Olsen’s OJ Bar Ranch for over 50 years. Dave’s earliest memories are of watching his father Art guide hunters, “Hunting is a celebration of life – it’s about the relationships, the land and the memories of time with my father.” Art passed away in 2017; but Anne, Dave’s mother, enjoys sharing the history of the ranch with guests along with overseeing the intricacies of lodge operations. Amy Crane is Olsen’s fiancé and Olsen asserts, “The person behind the magic - making the lodge and all that it is special for every guest.” Olsen and his expert guides with well trained hunting dogs are there to make every excursion a pleasure. Catering to small groups, Pheasant Phun offers world class wild ringneck pheasant hunting. “Our attention to detail and commitment to creating a very personal experience puts us in the elite class of global wingshooting opportunities. We look forward to helping you plan your time in the field and customizing a perfect - and perfectly affordable - hunting package for your group.” After a day of hunting in the fresh air, hungry and thirsty guests gather at the rustic bar to enjoy scrumptious appetizers and drinks. The air reverberates with laughter as stories are swapped, reliving everyone’s favorite moments and shots of the fine day. Soon all gather around the supper table and enjoy a wonderful feast of ribeye steaks grilled to perfection, fine wines with apple pie ala mode as desert.
A 170 year old farmhouse set between rock walls, woods, and lake. The B &B is a highly informal and unhurried place ruled by the restorative rhythms of nature. Nearby Clary Lake offers opportunities for swimming, fishing, and bird watching. The setting is a journey into quiet countryside simplicity, away from tourist crowds, but convenient to coastal adventures. Children are welcome as well as dogs. Pets on leash at all times. Charge of $15.00 for pets per reservation. Antiques, galleries, and unique shops are located close by, and the innkeeper/custom woodworker will share his craft at onsite woodworking school. Guest Rooms: Guest rooms are individually furnished with antiques. Local artists and craftsmen have gallery space near the guest rooms. A shared bath is available with upstairs rooms. There is an additional half bath as well. Handicap accessible room and private bath are available on the first floor. Pets accepted on lease only. Morning Cuisine: Wake up to a Continental Breakfast at your leisure of fresh baked blueberry muffins, breads, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, and juice. Or choose a full Country Breakfast which includes options of omelets, wild Maine blueberry pancakes or waffles, eggs benedicts, crepes, or French toast along with fresh fruit, coffee, tea, and juice. Served between 8:00 Am and 9:00 AM Wedding & Special Events: We will help you plan your wedding or special event on our grounds. We're OPEN for Business! Clary Lake Bed and Breakfast is having brisk business, so if you are planning to travel you might consider making reservations now. We are able to accept visitors from Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut without 14 day quarantine in Maine. Guests from other states will need to have 14 day quarantine or a negative COVID19 result within the 72 hours before travel. There are more and more testing sites in Maine but that still requires quarantine until you have your test results. Guests are asked to wear masks as they arrive and in the house except for eating. Please are able to social distance by eating on our courtyard or inside for breakfast. We want to let you know MAINE IS OPEN FOR TRAVEL. We still have over six weeks of summer and September and October are beautiful in Maine.