Elegant Bed and Breakfast with Turn-of-the-Century Antiques
Set amid rugged farmland in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, Hilltop House Bed & Breakfast epitomizes country charm. The Victorian-style home, built in 1909, quickly won over the current owners, Sandy and West Johnson, despite needing refurbishing in nearly every room. After purchasing the property, the couple scoured antique shops, yard sales, and online reserves for appropriate furnishings. Today, the home is filled with beautiful period pieces and vintage artwork and as well as eclectic flower vases and quilts.
The shingle-style B&B is perched on top of a hill at the end of a winding country road, looking out onto horse farms and vast cornfields. Inside, five individually decorated guest rooms feature period pieces and floral accents. A crystal chandelier hangs over the bed in the Sunshine room, a romantic nook painted in sunny yellow. The whitewashed Cottage bedroom has a casual country feel, and the George Washington room has an antique cannon bed and a Victorian oval-back chair.
Every morning, Sandy prepares a gourmet breakfast that might include fluffy omelet casseroles and blue-corn pancakes. You can enjoy warm baked goods on the screened-in porch or take a cup of hot cocoa out onto the wraparound veranda. Four bikes are available on a complimentary first-come, first-served basis; the Harlem Valley Rail Trail—a scenic 5-mile ride—picks up 200 yards from the hotel.
Amenia, New York: Scenic Biking Trails and Hilltop Wineries
Amenia is located in the middle of the Hudson Valley, a hilly stretch just north of Manhattan dotted with antique shops and beautiful horse farms. The colonial-era town—whose name means “pleasant to the eye”—harbors a network of scenic biking trails, including the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, which winds through nearly 5 miles of wetland and cow-dotted hills. Boutique wineries are sprinkled throughout this pastoral landscape, offering tastings of pinot noir and fruity dessert wine, and you’ll find a trove of antique and vintage wares in the neighboring town of Millerton.
This scenic river region is also home to several lavish estates built by wealthy families at the height of the Gilded Age. At the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park, you can tour the nation’s first presidential library and stroll through 300 acres of manicured gardens. Bedrooms inspired by Versailles and ornate halls fill the Vanderbilt Mansion, a 55,000-square-foot palace that stands against a backdrop of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains.