Staying in lovingly-restored boutique hotels, historic inns and character-laced bed and breakfast properties has become a significant part of vacation planning for many mature travelers. There are plenty of feature articles in our collection that offer a peek through the front door of some distinctive accommodations whether your travels take you across Canada or the U.S., to the Caribbean, Mexico, Asia or Europe. You will even find historic treasures in some surprising places like Hawaii and Alaska!
A week exploring canals and lochs aboard the Scottish Highlander barge offers a memorable sleep with history. European Waterways
We have also highlighted some multi-day experiences “on the move” – historic canal barges and narrow boats, trains of an earlier era and small-ship coastal vessels whose original purpose was not tourism – all providing equal opportunity to do some sleeping with history.
This is one of a series of travel theme pages we have prepared to showcase popular articles by regional destination or topic of particular interest to our readers. Enjoy browsing the entire theme collection!
Please click on image buttons or titles below to enter each richly-illustrated feature story.
Have you ever stayed at an historic accommodation that was built as an emigrant center, or served as a refugee center or been a prison before it was transformed into an acclaimed international hotel and richly-artistic “embassy”? How about all of the above? Alison Gardner shares her stay at this unique, playful property.
In the Fall of 2014, a new 7,000-kilometer luxury train journey was unveiled between Budapest, Hungary and Tehran, Iran (think Persia!). Its first 15-day trip sold out in just 10 days. Ride along through five countries as Sophie Ibbotson and Max Lovell-Hoare share their adventures and insights, including appreciative glimpses of Persia’s archaeological treasures, and warm encounters with the Iranian people. More journeys are scheduled for 2015 and 2016.
It is rare that a government makes a good accommodation host. Spain is the exception. The country’s collection of paradors, or historic venues converted to one-of-a-kind properties dating back to medieval times, offer a thrilling opportunity to sleep with history. And, these paradores are found throughout the country!
La Belle Province de Québec offers Canada’s finest collection of opportunities to explore, eat and sleep with a deep-rooted culture and history dating back four centuries. This article spotlights an amazing variety of historic “sleeps” in Old Montréal, the Eastern Townships and Old Québec City.
Eastern & Orient’s restored rail car service whisks readers over 1,943 kilometers or 1,165 miles in the pure luxury of a bygone era from Singapore through Malaysia to Thailand while sampling the trappings and gastronomic delights previously accessible only to a galaxy of kings, queens, presidents, dictators, millionaires and theatrical stars.
Celebrating 432 years of history, stay at the original breeding and training estate for the dazzling white Lipizzan horses with dancing feet. Once the exclusive preserve of kings and nobles, it now welcomes international vacationers for shows, tours, horseback riding lessons, and carriage rides while staying on the estate.
Wrapped in 400 years of colonial history, Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island and the picturesque city of St. Augustine a little further south each offer a host of uniquely-furnished historic sleeps. A welcome bonus is the wide variety of signature breakfast cuisine that leave visitors begging for recipes.
Explore the Scottish Highlands from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea on a one-week barge cruise through the Caledonian Canal, Loch Ness and other lakes [lochs] of the deeply-chiseled Great Glen. There will be heather-clad hills and clan castles that reflect this ancient land’s colorful history, and the famous Scotch whiskey guaranteed!
Southwest Nova Scotia’s Evangeline Trail is perfect for the independent road tripper, inviting close-up encounters with nature (especially birds and marine life), 400 years of settler history, fresh cuisine at every turn, and one-of-a-kind historic sleeps that will erase any desire to return home.
A self-guided narrow boat exploration of the Trent & Mersey Canal in the North Midlands of England offers a taste of Britain’s network of historic canals for adventurous senior vacationers navigating an authentic 45-foot-long, 7-foot-wide narrow boat through tight spaces, many locks and beautiful English countryside.
Small-scale, owner-operated hotels, inns and guest houses are an essential part of Trinidad’s history and rural charm where you can expect attentive hospitality and the finest in fresh, local cuisine from lip-licking homemade coconut ice cream and mango cheesecake to Creole and Caribbean dishes with a Trinbagonian twist!
Visit Québec’s Iles de la Madeleine (Magdalen Islands) in the Gulf of St Lawrence while enjoying Acadian history, fabulous seafood cuisine and a chance to stay in an historic mansion or a finely-restored former convent school for girls, now offering memorable sleeps in these picturesque islands.
Marine mammal lovers will find vacation heaven in the historic sawmill village of Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island with days spent tracking and learning about local whales, dolphins, sea lions and porpoises, and nights spent either sleeping in the original workers’ accommodation or on an authentically-restored logging boat.
Originally built as a Scottish munitions carrier in 1917, our Burgundy barge offers a classic cruise adventure, barging the picturesque Canal du Nivernais from Clamecy to Auxerre, while sampling the region’s distinctive cuisine and enjoying daily excursions to historic chateaux, medieval towns and wine tastings en route.
Take a cruise through the lock system of Ontario’s Rideau Canal or drive the beautiful countryside along the canal route while staying at historic accommodations. Learn why this 179-year-old waterway is unique in North America, making it a worthy UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tucson, Arizona offers several historic hotels, manicured gardens and character accommodations, dating back to the 1870s. Whether rescued from the wrecker’s ball or lovingly nurtured through generations of proud ownership, Tucson’s treasures will add richness to any stay in this gracious, perfect-size desert city.
Long a popular day-stop on Alaska’s summer cruise ship circuit, Juneau, Alaska’s capital, is worth a longer visit, with a wide range of character accommodations and eclectic eateries, abundant accessible nature, colorful native culture and rich pioneer settler history.
What better way to appreciate Italy’s most popular vacation region than stay on an 18th century farm in Tuscany’s picturesque countryside, stepping back in time while visiting numerous medieval villages (on horseback!), and savors delicious cuisine specialties from Tuscany’s vineyards and kitchens?
While the palace-sized Empress Hotel has reigned for a century as a Victoria, British Columbia landmark, smaller-scale “crown jewel” accommodations have carved a creative niche in this capital city’s tourism market by offering guests a variety of signature experiences for sleeping and eating.
Discover the diversity of accommodations on several Hawaiian Islands, from historic mansions and sugar cane plantation houses to country cottages and wellness retreats that will suit every budget and taste.
Mexico’s Copper Canyon offers a chance to travel an historic train route through one of the most remarkable canyon systems in the world. Guests have the option of lengthening this one-day excursion by disembarking in traditional towns along the way to experience mansions and missions from the Spanish colonial era.
Canada’s national capital is a year round travel delight with many world-class festivals and museums, cultural events and a great natural setting that lures visitors in every season. The cuisine choices in this mid-size city are exceptional, and historic accommodations offer intriguing stories.
Check out our other theme pages, clustering richly-illustrated feature articles by travel theme or regional destination:
Travel Adventures in Africa
Bird and Nature
Multi-Generational Family Travel
South Pacific destinations
Cruise and Train Travel
Asia and India destinations
Wellness and Spiritual vacations.