Great Midwest Inns for the Holidays
Kansas City: Southmoreland on the Plaza
How better to celebrate the holidays in Kansas City, Missouri, than to stay close to Country Club Plaza, decked out with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights? Every detail at this historic urban mansion is superb—especially the food. The inn hosts a delightful Pie Fest for family, friends and inn guests on Thanksgiving night, and on Christmas Day, breakfast is cooked outdoors on the grill. Book early! (816) 531-7979; southmoreland.com
- Photo Courtesy of Inn at Irish Hollow.
Galena, Illinois: Inn at Irish Hollow
The world slips away when you pull into this 500-acre property outside Galena, Illinois. Choose among luxuriously appointed cottages and guest rooms—each with its own Christmas tree during the holiday season. Many guests enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides or use the snowshoes equipped from their cottages for a snowy hike on the estate's grounds. The menu, which the owners describe as “country gourmet,” is full of holiday spirit, too: sweet potato bread pudding, brandy-soaked cake and Christmas Eve corn crab cakes. (815) 777-6000; irishhollow.com
- Photo Courtesy of Round Barn Farm.
Red Wing, Minnesota: Round Barn Farm Bed and Breakfast and Bread
Even the English muffins in the seafood eggs Benedict are homemade at this country inn outside Red Wing, Minnesota. At Christmastime, owners Robin and Elaine Kleffman pipe frosting “ribbons” on brownies and decorate their signature almond cookies like miniature poinsettias. Elaine’s hand-stitched Advent ornaments hang from the mantel, and her treasured antique crèche adorns the Bavarian sideboard in the dining room. (866) 763-2276; roundbarnfarm.com
Logan, Ohio: Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls
The gorgeous caves, cliffs and valleys of Hocking Hills State Park surround this cozy retreat, where guests gather in the colorful gift shop and linger over indulgent meals in the intimate restaurant. Choose between secluded cabins or more affordable (but still comfortable) guest rooms. If you like to cook, sign up for a class with the chef (holiday cookie-baking books fast!), and you’ll go home full of ideas for bringing the inn’s delicious fare to your home for the holidays. And don’t forget a spa treatment. (800) 653-2557; innatcedarfalls.com
Grand Marais, Minnesota: Gunflint Lodge
Look across Gunflint Lake, and you’ll see Canada! Though you’ll have to forgo some modern conveniences at this historic retreat (cell phone service is sparse), this is a fantastic place for an outdoorsy weekend, especially in winter, when snow (and white twinkle lights) adorn the pines around the lodge and cabins. Owners Bruce and Sue Kerfoot are delightfully hands-on, and the lodge hosts a variety of themed weekends, including one where you can smoke your own holiday turkey. (218) 388-2294; gunflint.com
- Photo by Melanie McManus.
Hubertus, Wisconsin: Cold Spring Inn and Vineyard
Nestled on an 80-acre preserve in the Kettle Moraine region of Wisconsin, this winery-inn is a definite hidden gem. Breakfasts might include caramelized bananas over Belgian waffles, delicate egg pastries with bearnaise sauce or popular fruit-and-yogurt parfaits. Slip away for a free-spirited toboggan ride or a serene ski or hike on frosty trails. Then come back for a glass of the inn’s popular Chocolate Garnet as you savor the solitude. (262) 628-9836; coldspringinn.com
- Photo by Kit Bernardi.
Kansas: Abilene’s Victorian Inn
Full of historic ambience, this 1887 Kansas mansion is walking distance from downtown Abilene’s parks and museums. Chef and Owner Adrian Potter takes great pride in treating guests to indulgent breakfasts, and she decks out the dining room with fresh flowers and holiday decorations. The menu often includes items with an ethnic flair, like potato latkes or Swedish lemon pancakes. (888) 807-7774; abilenesvictorianinn.com
- Photo by Tina King.
Minden, Nebraska: Burchell’s White Hill Farmhouse Inn
This rural bed-and-breakfast near Minden, Nebraska, is utterly peaceful. Cozy up for a mug of spiced cider and Christmas cookies. Farm-fresh breakfasts include standards like sausage and eggs, plus generous homemade cinnamon rolls. The owners host Victorian teas and decorate throughout the inn for the holidays, and dinner in the restaurant is delicious. Be sure to try the specialty smoked brisket. (308) 832-1323; burchellfarmhouseinn.com
- Photo Courtesy of Black Star Farms.
Suttons Bay, Michigan: Black Star Farms
Pricey? Yes. But this grand winery inn is a must-see spot on Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. Sample Black Star vintages in the tasting room, or enjoy a wood-fired pizza at the on-site cafe. The inn also hosts periodic multicourse dinners. Some suites approach $400 per night, but in the winter, you can take advantage of discounted low-season rates. (231) 944-1251; blackstarfarms.com