Think quaint inn and you envision a country setting, right? Think again. We've found a host of
inns with the charm of the countryside and the activity of the city - all in one sweet package.
The Newbury Guest House exudes quintessential New England soul in the heart of Boston's swanky Newbury Street. The one-time private residence, dating to 1882, has been expertly renovated in a manner that makes the most of its gracious 19th-century style while introducing all of the modern-day amenities you'd expect of an elegant guest house. One of the most romantic rooms: the Bay Window Fireplace room, featuring - you guessed it - a fireplace and a bay window that overlooks Newbury Street. Shared areas include the main parlor and Newbury Street patio, where guests are invited to enjoy a continental breakfast. Call 617-437-7666.
Portland, Maine is another popular urban New England destination. Located on the Maine coast about 90 minutes north of Boston, Portland is more like a big town than a small city. Like many inns, the six-guestroom West End Inn was once a private residence. The most popular and romantic guestroom is Great Chebeauge, featuring a ceiling skylight, whirlpool bath and king-size four-poster canopy bed. Bonus: The inn is within walking distance of Old Port and downtown Portland. Call 800-772-1377.
About a quarter of the way between Boston and Portland, Portsmouth, New Hampshire is home to the Martin Hill Inn. One of its charms is its location - within easy walking distance of downtown Portsmouth. You'll find a scenic waterfront and the renowned Strawberry Banke, a 10-acre outdoor museum that features spectacular seasonal gardens and more than 40 original buildings dating from 1695 through 1820. The inn consists of two historic buildings surrounded by an assortment of perennial and water gardens created by the owner and innkeepers. Breakfast is an event: Specialties include omelets, French toast and Belgian waffles with an assortment of toppings. Call 603-436-2287.
While New England's coastal city inns are a delightful discovery for honeymooners interested in combining cosmopolitan interests with the intimacy and romance of a stay at an inn, it's difficult to overlook the natural beauty of some of the area's more rural coastal destinations. These include inns and bed-and-breakfasts located on the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Nantucket's 1838 Pineapple Inn, a former whaling captain's home, is set on a quiet side street just steps from the bustle of the cobblestone streets, quaint shops and renowned restaurants that make up Nantucket's commercial center. One of the inn's most popular honeymoon retreats: the Uriah Russell Room, a second-floor guestroom that features a view of the gardens, an original fireplace and a king-size canopy bed. Call 508-228-9992.
The Hob Knob Inn, in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, is another island retreat conveniently located near the shops and restaurants of a picturesque commercial center. The 16-room inn features a mini-fitness center with sauna and massage room. The third-floor guestrooms with four-poster beds are especially popular among honeymooners. Call 800-696-2723.