Bed and Breakfast Break

OK, raise your hands. Who needs a time-out from the weariness of winter? Is it me or does it seem like the days are greyer than Jon Hamm’s suits on Mad Men? Vacation time in the Bahamas? Cruise to the Caribbean? Hotel in South Beach? If we have the time, there is usually no money. If we have the extra cash, we rarely have the time. Those two things never go hand in hand. But among the many definitions of escape, there is this: “To get away from work or responsibilities and take a trip or short vacation.” And in New Jersey there is no better short vacation in the dead of February than a night or, preferably, a weekend at one of the state’s cozy and inviting Bed and Breakfast hideaways.

Fortunately, we have many to choose from, in every region of New Jersey. Beaches, mountains, small towns and big cities are represented by any number of homes, lodges and retreats that are just waiting for you to arrive all tired and numb, and then to send you back into the world refreshed, renewed, and reinvigorated. So we here at took it upon ourselves to check out some establishments on our own. Tough job, huh?

Chimney Hill Estate Inn
You know you’re in for a pretty rural setting when the location is a street named Goat Hill Road. Think English country estate without Ricky Gervais. Wooden ceiling beams, warm oriental rugs and a grand piano. Innkeepers Terry and Richard Anderson will gladly engage you in conversations about the grounds where George Washington once surveyed the Delaware River. Thirteen rooms for the original thirteen colonies make for a nice historical statement.

Inn at Fernbrook Farm
Nestled within the 250 acres of farmland in Chesterfield, there is a beautifully restored Georgian estate, brought to life by the hands of its proprietors Lawrence and Susie Kuser. The property is exquisite; the décor is a stately colonial masterpiece and the food from their organically grown garden is a culinary delight. And between April and October, the mansion is available for weddings. Hear that Larry King?

The Wooden Duck
Yes, there are ducks everywhere. Porcelain ducks, decoy ducks, duck paintings, coasters, statues, and soap. No sign of Daffy or Donald but I’m sure they have been guests at one time or another (You know how those Hollywood waterfowl are – they like their privacy). The décor, however feathered, is distinctively modern with an abundance of light from oversized windows, skylights and gas fireplaces. Beth and Karl Krummel prepare spectacular breakfasts to energize you for all the Skylands region has to offer – lakes, parks and forests. But please, no duck hunting.

The Gables
Beach Haven LBI
It began as housing for lifeguards (Ah, yes, I can see David Hasselhoff now, lying on the floor eating a cheeseburger while his German-language recording of “Forget You” plays in the background). From that auspicious debut in 1892, it became a postal drop followed by an all-girls boarding house. Years removed from this housing mélange, it is now a beautifully restored haven by the sea that features a mix of old (Victorian period furnishings, antiques, needlepoint rugs) and new (flat-screen TV’s and Wi-Fi). That’s so you can view Baywatch reruns.

There are many more choices throughout the state. Look for the one that’s perfect for you, whether it’s a quiet book escape, an antique hunt, or a romantic rendezvous. In New Jersey, there is something for everybody.

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