Traveling with the Family

FAMILY: More and more inns are catering to the needs of parents and children.

Many bed & breakfasts, which are often thought of as exclusive honeymoon retreats and romantic hideaways, now accommodate the growing number of American families who hit the road together.

A survey of 1,200 innkeepers revealed that 66 percent of B&Bs and country inns nationwide consider themselves family-oriented. B&Bs on farms and dude ranches often have special programs and activities designed for children of various ages.

For a vacation right on the beach, stay at the Seaside Inn & Cottages in Kennebunk Beach, Maine. Land activities include a lighted shuffleboard, children's sandbox facilities, playground and manicured croquet court.

At the Hugging Bear Inn & Shoppe in Chester, Vermont, guests of all ages can borrow a bear from the teddy bear shop to take to bed with them. "Children sometimes take several," said innkeeper Georgette Thomas. "We tell them, 'Just as long as they're back to work by 9 a.m.'"

More than 6,000 teddy bears reside at this white Victorian inn. A puppet bear named "Monty" often performs at breakfast. The inn also features a den with toys, books and games for all ages.

Thomas said that a big thrill for her was having couples who have honeymooned at the inn come back later with their children.

There is fun for the whole family at the Roddy Tree Ranch in Hunt, Texas. Children's beds and high chairs are available in the cedar and rock cottages. This resort campground atmosphere on the Guadalupe River offers horseshoes, basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, a playscape and playground area, paddleboat and canoe. Swim in the pool, fish in the river or practice catch and release in the pond. Enjoy the barnyard animals at Pecan Springs Farm.

We try to highlight whether a bed & breakfast is ideal for children or families in each inn's description, but always inquire with the innkeeper.



Mendocino Bed and Breakfasts

Seattle Bed and Breakfasts