Admit it, when you think of a bed and breakfast, the imagery of some little hamlet nestled in the woods pops in your head. A pond maybe with some wee ducklings thrown in for show and a deer or two eating berries all Bambi like. You know, a bucolic hideaway shielded from the hustle and bustle of modern life, right? Well, if you are looking for that kind of living -- sans the preciousness of Mother Nature -- it might be time to check into the world of urban B&B's.

Big city B&B's give you the best of both worlds: country charm and big city excitement. Many are located on residential streets smack dab in the middle of things, giving you the luxury of feeling like a local without having to pay the sky-high urban rents. Beyond being in the mix of things, B&B's are great for any type of traveler that enjoys those "homey" touches which can include: individually designed rooms, mouthwatering breakfasts and cozy fireplaces. Most B&B's do not offer perks such as bars, restaurants or gyms but what they do give you is better: a great deal of personal attention.

Before you book your next metropolis-based vacation, take a peek at B&B's that can make the big, bad city feel like a home away from home.

New York

New York City might seem like the last place where were you would find a multitude of B&B's, but the city once again proves to be a place where you can find anything. One of the city's top B&B's is 1871 House (rooms starting $200; tel. 212/756-8823;, located just minutes away from the world's most famous grassy enclave, Central Park. With eight ornate rooms to choose from (some including full kitchens) you'll feel like you are in the midst of an older, long-gone New York.


If hanging at lakefront beaches and gallivanting around chic Michigan Avenue is what you are after, then check out the Flemish House of Chicago (tel. 312/664-9981; Located in the very desirable Gold Coast neighborhood, you'll be a hop, skip and jump away from all that is Chicago. The 7 guestrooms -- ranging in prices from $155-$225, depending on the season -- all have private bathrooms and provide cable TV and Wi-Fi (in case you don't want to get away from it all).


One of Seattle's many lovely B&Bs is the Greenlake Guest House (tel. 866/355-8700; located in a 1920s Craftsman-style home located right across from its namesake lake, which is also the perfect locale for an early morning jog. Each of the four rooms -- starting at $144 a night -- has a theme, and offers either lake views or a gas fireplace.


For sometime now Atlanta, Georgia has been considered the epitome of New South. But if you're looking for some old Southern hospitality, make a reservation at the Tea Cakes Bed & Breakfast (tel. 404/758-9879; Located mere minutes from downtown Atlanta, you are near most of the city's best attractions and restaurants. But you might not want to leave once you indulge in their plush robes, feather beds (high count sheets included), full breakfast, mid-day snack, and evening tea and desert. Oh, did I mention the champagne mimosas on the weekends? See if the Hyatt can top that.

Los Angeles

If you are looking for a beach-based vacation -- but not looking for those ocean view prices -- meander to the Venice Beach House (tel. 310/823-1966; Venice, California. Rooms start at just $145 a night -- most with private bathrooms--and you are just steps from the beach. Built in 1911, this home has a great deal of history and has landed itself on the National Register of Historic Places. Whether you want to surf or go stargazing, this is the place to rest your head at night.

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