When traveling, there’s nothing like staying at a historic bed and breakfast to get a sense of an area’s culture. Most establishments soak up the flavor of their surroundings, not to mention the personalities of their owners or innkeepers. Those who want more than a vanilla hotel experience should look into bed and breakfasts for a more interesting, quaint, cozy, and cultural experience to round out their travels.
A Brief History of Bed and Breakfasts in the U.S.
Bed and breakfast inns have been around since the earliest days of the United States. Settlers on their way west would look for hospitable homes, taverns, or inns to stay at for some rest and respite from their long journeys. These were usually just establishments that served as both businesses and residences for their owners.
Boarding houses became more common during the Great Depression, as people would open their homes to travelers to earn some extra money. These eventually fell out of fashion as the economy revived and large hotels sprang up in every city.
In recent decades, bed and breakfasts have been much more commonplace in Europe, especially places like Scotland and England. An increasing number of Americans who travel abroad may have been the reason why interest for bed and breakfast inns has piqued here in the states. It’s no wonder, either: these establishments offer amenities that are often on par with the finest luxury hotels but offer more personalized service at a better value.
Benefits of Staying at a Historic Bed and Breakfast in Charleston
The Character of the Inn is the Character of the City
A historic bed and breakfast will have all the charm and character that is embedded into the city it calls home. Guests will enjoy the atmosphere of period-specific architecture and surroundings that give them an idea of how people lived, worked, and played in the Charleston of long-ago.
Not to mention, the building itself will have the quirks and charm related to the people who originally designed the home. For 19th and early 20th century buildings, this means strange cubbies, secret doors, intricate woodwork and details, hand-laid hardwood floors, and other features that are missing from most cookie-cutter homes of modern design.
Bed and Breakfasts Offer Authentic, Unique Lodgings
No two bed and breakfasts are the same. Each establishment has its own flavor and atmosphere thanks to the combination of history, architecture, people, and services.
In fact, most bed and breakfasts are located in buildings that were originally constructed to serve a totally different purpose – some were the grand residences of important people, some were humble but comfortable homes, and some were even once the home of animals, as in the case of converted barns.
The Surroundings are Part of a Larger History
Staying in historic lodgings means that guests are seeing one piece of a bigger puzzle. These historic places form the fabric of the larger history of the city. Bed and breakfasts that were originally residences or businesses are full of stories of the people who originally walked throughout their halls. For all these reasons and more, staying at a historic bed and breakfast in Charleston is a singular and splendid experience.