Restored Craftsman-Style B & B in Heart of California Wine Country
When Nick and Gillian Kite decided to convert an old Craftsman-style home into an inn, they tried to create the kind of bed and breakfast they'd like to visit. Among their primary specifications: spacious guest rooms and, more importantly, spacious bathrooms. The Kites also updated the hundred-year-old building's interior, giving it a clean, modern look. Despite the renovations, however, the Craftsman Inn retains many of its distinctive features, including the original wainscoting and pocket doors.
Breakfast is Gillian's department. "I have been passionate about food and cooking for as long as I can remember," she says. In addition to selling her homemade granola at local farmers' markets, she recently published her own cookbook, Inn Food: Seasonal Breakfasts in the Wine Country. The breakfast menu changes regularly, but might include bacon and onion scones, spinach frittatas, and homemade yogurt. Early risers are welcome to join Gillian in the kitchen for a chat and a cup of coffee as she readies the morning meal.
Calistoga, California: Laid-Back Napa Valley Community Near Numerous Vineyards
Set at the north end of Napa Valley, Calistoga is a laid-back, down-to-earth community in an area abounding with more than 400 vineyards. The small downtown district—located just a few blocks from the inn— is filled with flat-front, Old West–style shops and restaurants. You can reap the benefits of the region's hot springs and mud baths, but nearly everyone comes for the wine. Most wineries offer tours, with only the more popular ones requiring you to book in advance. In nicer weather, you can bike from winery to winery, pausing for a leisurely lunch at picnic tables overlooking the vineyards.