It’s the month of February and “Love is in the Air”. The Valentine’s holiday falls right smack dab in the middle of the month, bestowing upon it the reputation as the month of love.
When it comes to a planning a romantic travel adventure, very few accommodations can compare to the intimacy of an inn. Romance is definitely on the itinerary when checking into a remote, quaint and even historic inn to Relax, Reflect, Recharge and Reconnect. The term “inn” is usually associated with a rural setting, and many offer romantic settings – located in places enhanced by nature, such as seashores, orchards, vineyards, or remote mountain tops. Many others can be found in the centers of small, picturesque towns situated along rural highways.
These characteristics afford not only a serene setting, but also a chance for intimate dinners, adventures in nature, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, and walks in spectacular parks. And that brings me to one of my favorite inns, located in Madison, Georgia.
As you know by now, I prefer to travel the back roads and I find U.S. Route 441 is a good option to see the sights of small-town Georgia.
On this GPS route sits the beautiful and historic town of Madison, Georgia. This small Georgia hamlet is rich in history and architecture that includes many antebellum homes dotting the center of the town. And here, you can also find a charming inn – the lovely James Madison Inn.
As with most inns, there are only a few rooms and each one has its own individual flair. Evoking the atmosphere of days gone by, the comfortable rooms are decorated with antique four poster canopy beds, fluffed with rows of white pillows and many feature a set of vintage-inspired chairs in front of a roaring fireplace. In other rooms, you may find a small balcony overlooking the park, town square or the railroad.
As a writer and poet, my mind imagines the days of old as I walk the streets, photographing old homes and taking in the historic markers. One picture that comes to my mind shows these same train tracks dropping off couples coming to visit this once booming town many decades ago. Men in top hats and long black coats walking with arms entwined with women in fine flowing gowns strolling down these brick-lined streets and checking in to this historic inn as the sun set.
Romance was in the air…and still is in this captivating town.
And if you keep traveling up U.S. 441 you will encounter another one of my favorite inns – the Old Edward Inn in Highlands, North Carolina. Highlands is a popular destination for Atlanta folks who long for a quick weekend getaway. Mountains surround this scenic town and the streets are lined with small boutiques and high-profile cafés such as Wolfgang’s, serving an eclectic menu of German, American & Cajun cuisine. In the summer months, the city comes alive with wine gardens.
But in the winter months, the inn offers a lovely setting with plenty of glowing fireplaces in the rooms as well as the libraries and lounges. But don’t think you must be a couple to enjoy these inns. Last year, I took my mother with me to the Old Edwards Inn. She lives in an independent living home and enjoys quick vacays. My parents lived close by Highlands and my father is buried there…so we travel up that way many times to pay our love and respect. This time, my mother and I kept on driving up to Highlands.
We had a fine time as we strolled down the cobblestone streets, arms entwined, to shop the boutiques and snack on some sweets. After grabbing an early dinner at one of the local cafés, we then retreated to our beautiful suite. As we changed into our Resort Girl sweatshirts, we sat in front of the warm fireplace. As we chatted, I asked my mother to tell her love story about she and my father. Her face lit up just like the fire when she spoke of her early days with my beloved father. And the love stories kept coming with the warmth of the fireplace near. Nothing could take the place of that lovely night with my mother and her memories. Love was in the air.
If you prefer more of a romantic “stay-cation”, our lovely towns of Hilton Head and Bluffton offer some wonderful inns and impressive settings. One of my personal all-time favorites is the Inn and Club at Harbour Town. Even though the rooms do not have fireplaces, you can warm up at the cozy, burning hearth in the welcoming library. The location of the inn offers strolls to the seashore, delightful cafés and stunning balcony views of the famous green links.
So, consider an inn for your next romantic getaway. February is the month of “Love” – whether it’s a new love, a life-long love or a beloved friend or family member. Delight in the love in your life! Maybe this is the year cupid’s arrow hits you…remember…love is ageless.
Relax, Reflect, Recharge and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!