Get Out of Town
by Kathryn Krawczyk
...and stay at these places that offer the comforts of home
Oscar’s Bed & Breakfast
288 Linwood Ave., Buffalo
For a vacation experience minus the road trip, Oscar’s Bed and Breakfast is located right in Buffalo. Though it’s only been open since March, Oscar’s is rich with history. Built as a house in 1875, it has since been home to a variety of businesses and doctors’ offices.
Now, Oscar’s current owners are bringing the building back to its original intent as a home. But this doesn’t mean Oscar’s looks dated.
“There aren’t any doilies,” owner Lisa Parks said with a laugh.
Instead, Parks said Oscar’s maintains the building’s original character while still blending in a modern feel. Its two common areas feature mid-century modern furniture, and hardwood floors are found throughout the home. Art from local contemporary artists can be found in each of the three suites, one of which is handicap accessible.
When they aren’t spending time in Oscar’s library or relaxing on its porch, Parks said she encourages guests to stay in the area. And there’s plenty to do nearby; the home is located right in the heart of the Linwood Historic Preservation District, and it’s within easy walking distance from Allentown and the Elmwood Village. It’s also close to a bus stop and the subway, so it’s easy to leave the car behind when heading downtown.
Glen Iris Inn
Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY
With the breathtaking Niagara Falls right in our backyard, we sometimes forget another natural wonder just an hour away: Letchworth State Park. Often called the “Grand Canyon of the East,” the park features beautiful gorges, waterfalls, hiking trails and much more. So much, it might take more than a day to do everything.
Luckily, you can enjoy a second day of Letchworth without even leaving the park. But if camping isn’t quite your style, Letchworth offers the historic Glen Iris Inn right on its grounds.
Once owned by William P. Letchworth himself, the early 19th-century building has been an inn for nearly as long as Letchworth has been a park. The Glen Iris features 12 guest rooms as well as four luxury suites with living rooms. The inn also operates the Pinewood Lodge, with seven more luxury suites.
If you’re traveling with a bigger crowd, there are also three cottages in the park that hold up to six or eight people.
Even with all these rooms, the Glen Iris still books up quickly. But there are still some openings for 2015—especially since peak season isn’t in summer, but in October for the autumn leaves. And even if you aren’t able to grab a room this summer, you can still stop by the Glen Iris for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
871 Main St., East Aurora, NY
The Palmer House provides a taste of the Victorian era with all the comforts of the 21st century.
Though the Pisle family fully restored the home when they bought it in 2004, they kept as many of the mansion’s traditional features as possible.
“We have kept it all original, but added all the modern amenities,” said owner Sharon Pisle.
The parlor features original Roycroft printed wallpaper. The Great Hall still has hand-carved woodwork, and there are stained glass windows along the staircase. There’s even a ballroom on the third floor.
These touches haven’t gone unrecognized. Pisle pointed out that the Palmer House was the setting for two movies and has been on three TV shows, including HGTV’s If Walls Could Talk.
The Palmer House blends well with the rest of the village of East Aurora. Each of the four guest rooms are named for and decorated to reflect local historical attractions. The Fisher-Price room is named for the toy company founded right in East Aurora, and the Fillmore room is dedicated to President Millard Fillmore who lived just down the road.
And East Aurora provides plenty of activities for Palmer House guests. It’s just a short walk to Vidler’s 5 & 10 and the Fisher-Price toystore, and the Made in America store isn’t too far either.
Historic Village Bed and Breakfast
233 West Center St., Medina, NY
Here in Western New York, we’re lucky enough to have some of the best lakes and rivers the country has to offer. So this summer, leave Lake Erie behind (if only for a weekend) and check out our other Great Lake: Ontario.
The Lake Ontario shoreline is home to several small beach towns, each with their own unique charm. Try Bye’s Popcorn or tour the supposedly haunted Van Horn mansion, both on route 78 near Olcott, tour the dozens of shops and wineries in the area, or simply spend a day at the beach.
There’s enough to do to pack a weekend, so why not stay overnight? It’s worth it for sunrises and sunsets on the lake alone.
Though it’s a bit farther from the lake, the Historic Village Bed and Breakfast in Medina is a great place to stay. Medina itself has plenty of small shops, museums restaurants to keep you busy for a day, and it’s also along the Niagara Wine Trail.
But the restored Victorian home is an attraction itself. The Historic Village Bed and Breakfast features three rooms, each subtly themed with one of Medina’s local attractions: the canal, sandstone, and railroads. And with several sitting rooms, a library and a beautiful backyard, the bed and breakfast is a great way to have a relaxing weekend.
Park Place Bed and Breakfast
740 Park Place, Niagara Falls, NY
Niagara Falls is filled with classic attractions that we all know and love. There’s the falls themselves, best viewed from Goat Island or the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds. Nearby in Youngstown, there’s Old Fort Niagara. And if you somehow finish everything, the bridge to Canada is just steps away.
With all these things to do, it’s no wonder Niagara Falls is home to plenty of bed and breakfasts. But out of all of them, the Park Place Bed and Breakfast is something special. For starters, it’s not the typical Victorian home in the woods.
“It’s a beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home,” said owner Mark Savoy.
The home, built in 1913, is a nationally registered historic building. It features unique woodwork throughout the home’s dining room, stairway and five bedrooms. And there’s even an elevator to add accessibility to the home, which has been rated one of TripAdvisor’s top bed and breakfasts in the city.
Even though it’s right in the city of Niagara Falls, Park Place is still on a quiet, secluded street. That means it’s easy to get to all of the traditional Niagara Falls attractions—the falls are just a ten minute walk away—but you can still return to a relaxing home at the end of the day.
Brick House Bed and Breakfast
143 East Main St., Westfield, NY
When guests come to stay at the Brick House Bed and Breakfast in Westfield, they’ve usually come to visit the Chautauqua Institution. And with plenty of theater and musical performances happening all summer, as well as lectures and classes, the Institution is a great place to spend a weekend.
But even with all this excitement just 10 minutes away from Westfield, the Brick House’s owner Randy DeVaul said there’s still plenty to do without leaving town.
Westfield is located along the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail, right in the heart of the largest concord grape growing region in the world. It’s also the birthplace of Welch’s and is still home to its first factory.
Each summer, Westfield also hosts an antique show and arts and crafts show. This year, they’ll be held July 18 and 19, and 24 and 25, respectively.
The Brick House seems to be an attraction of its own. DeVaul and his wife Lori have had guests from 17 countries and 48 states. The Brick House has also been continually ranked in TripAdvisor’s top 10 percent of bed and breakfasts nationwide.
“We’ve had very gracious guests,” DeVaul said.
And to thanks them, the DeVauls have installed two dry saunas, which guests staying in any one of the Brick House’s four rooms are free to use.
Elmwood Village Inn
Oscar’s Bed & Breakfast
The Parkside House
Glen Iris Inn
Cherry Creek Inn
Asa Ransom House
Whispering Woods Bed & Breakfast
The Ilex Inn
The Jefferson Inn
Sugar Pine Lodge
Brookside Manor Bed & Breakfast
Ariel’s Bed and Breakfast
Historic Village Bed and Breakfast
Brookins Inn & Suites
The Butler House
The Red Coach Inn
Brick House Bed & Breakfast
Wilson House Restaurant & Inn
Oma’s Guest Haus
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