One of the best things about staying at an inn or B&B is the innkeeper(s). The innkeepers of the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) are such a wealth of information about the local community. Travelers love to live like the locals and visit off-the-beaten places that only innkeepers know. DINE innkeepers love to share their top choices for great off-the-beaten path locales – perfect for picnics, photos and exploring. The innkeeper is an important distinction between an inn or B&B and a New England vacation rental or Airbnb. You’ll find a knowledgeable and friendly innkeeper on site at every DINE inn. That’s not necessarily the case at your vacation rental. Just sayin’ – it’s an important distinction.
We asked DINE innkeepers to share some of their favorite secret spots where they send guests for a fabulous experience. While you’ll have to stay at your favorite DINE inn to hear them all, here’s a sampling of great spots to consider when you visit a DINE country this summer. We’ve got so many great ideas, this is Part I. Tune in to the DINE blog next week for additional secret spots to explore from DINE innkeepers.
From Jill at Captain’s House Inn:
It’s not new – in fact – it has been in existence since 1994, but it is still not widely known. The Atlantic Spice Company in Truro, about 45 minutes from the Captain’s House Inn, is open year-round and is a go-to destination, especially for guests who love to cook and bake. Shelves are stocked with herbs, essential oils, spices, teas, nuts, extracts, and even bulk potpourri ingredients and fragrance oils to either the home or professional crafter. Everything is sold at wholesale prices and guests can even order online if they have withdrawal when they return home. We hear rave reviews from guests about their visits here.
From Judy at Chesterfield Inn:
Our best kept secret is the Madame Sherri ruins. Located right in Chesterfield, just a short drive from the inn, the ruins of Madame Sherri’s castle draw visitors to the Madame Sherri Forest, named after this well-known former costume designer. What’s left of Madame Sherri’s castle today are the foundation, chimneys, and grand stone staircase of the former Madame Sherri “castle” easy to access just 100 feet up a short side trail from the parking area. Be sure to ask Judy for directions and tales of this intriguing site in the middle of the forest.
From Michele at Gateways Inn & Restaurant:
Ventfort Hall is a Gilded Age Mansion built by J.P. Morgan’s sister and her husband in 1893. It was rescued from demolition in 1994 and by private donation has been about 85% restored. It was used as the orphanage set in the movie “The Cider House Rules” with Michael Caine & Toby Maguire. It’s just up the street from the Gateways Inn, and they offer wonderful programs year round. We love sending guests there, and love hearing their rave reviews when they return.
We’ll have more great secrets to share and for you to explore on your next DINE getaway. Simply tune in to the DINE blog next week for additional ideas from innkeepers. Don’t forget, when you make your reservations for your next DINE getaway, book direct for the best rates.
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic