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5 cozy fall getaways

As the air turns colder and fall schedules settle down, this is a perfect time for couples to sneak away for a night or two at a cozy, out-of-the-way inn or bed and breakfast.

A weekend away at a cozy B&B was exactly how Kathy and Mark Schmidt wanted to spend their 20th wedding anniversary last fall.

The Catonsville couple, who have three children ages 9 to 16, spent their anniversary weekend at the Inn at Meander Plantation in Locust Dale, Va. The historic bed and breakfast sits on 80 acres in Virginia wine country, close to Montpelier and Monticello, so the Schmidts spent much of the weekend wine tasting and exploring historic mansions. When they weren’t out and about, the couple snuggled by the fireplace in their room and enjoyed decadent meals at the inn.

“The fireplace gave a certain coziness to the weekend,” Kathy Schmidt says. “It was fall and it rained one night. … It was very relaxing and romantic.”

There are plenty of inns and B&Bs in the area perfect for a late fall getaway. Below are a few spots that fit the bill within two hours of Annapolis.

Five Gables Inn and Spa

BB FiveGables W

Steps from St. Michaels’ shops and restaurants, Five Gables Inn and Spa is an ideal spot for a fall or winter getaway. Snuggle by the fireplace, relax in the whirlpool tub in your room or take a dip in the heated indoor pool. Borrow one of the inn’s bikes and take a leisurely ride downtown or book a massage or treatment at the in-house spa. Guests also can unwind in the sauna or steam room.

Distance from Annapolis: 1 hour
Rate: $195-$445 (depending on room, day of the week and season)
209 N. Talbot St., St. Michaels
410-475-0100, fivegables.com


The Gaslight Inn Bed and Breakfast

BBs gaslight Inn W

This bed and breakfast is located one block from Lincoln Square in downtown Gettysburg, Pa., but you would never know it. Set back from the busiest part of downtown, the Gaslight Inn, built in 1872, is a quiet retreat with elaborate gardens. Six of the nine rooms have fireplaces. Three-course breakfasts are served every morning, and a 24-hour refreshment bar includes homemade baked goods. On Tuesday and Wednesdays, participate in morning history talks with licensed Civil War battlefield guides. Shops, restaurants and the Gettysburg Majestic Theatre are within walking distance. A mile and a half away is the National Park Service Visitor Center where you can tour battlefields or watch a re-enactment.

Distance from Annapolis: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Rate: $125-$190
33 East Middle St., Gettysburg, Pa.
717-337-9100, thegaslightinn.com


Great Oak Manor

BB great oak w

Situated on the Chesapeake Bay, guests won’t tire of the waterfront views at the Great Oak Manor. The bed and breakfast is about 12 minutes from downtown Chestertown and right next to a marina with a 9-hole golf course that is available to guests. The inn also has kayaks, bikes and sports equipment. Several of the rooms have fireplaces to enjoy on chilly evenings.

Distance from Annapolis: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Rate: $149-$499 (depending on room, day of the week and season)
10568 Cliff Road, Chestertown
410-778-5943, greatoakmd.com


Meander Plantation

BB Meander W

This colonial estate built in 1776 is set on 80 acres in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Guests are welcome to roam the walking trails on property and enjoy the on-site fine dining restaurant. Every morning features a full breakfast with meats, cheeses, muffins, breads, fruits and a main dish. The rooms feature either wood or gas burning fireplaces.

Spend the day exploring Virginia wine country or visit Montpelier, James Madison’s estate, or Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s estate. There are also Civil War battlefields and the Exchange Hotel Civil War Museum nearby.

Distance from Annapolis: 2 hours
Rate: $185 to $295 (depending on day of the week and season)
2333 N. James Madison Highway, Locust Dale, Va.
540-672-4912, www.meander.net


Vandiver Inn

BBs Vandiver Inn W

Fall is the perfect time to stay at the Vandiver Inn in Havre de Grace, says owner John Muldoon. Built in 1886, the Victorian mansion houses many rooms with fireplaces, and in the gardens, guests can also relax by fire pits. An elaborate breakfast is served every morning, and starting at 4 p.m., a full service bar is available.

Blocks away from the inn is the Havre de Grace Promenade, a waterfront boardwalk situated on the conflux of the Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River. Meander along the boardwalk and take in views of the Chesapeake Bay and the Concord Point Lighthouse. Or visit the Havre de Grace Decoy and Maritime Museums. Downtown you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants and bars.

Distance from Annapolis: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Rate: $150-$175
301 South Union Ave., Havre de Grace
410-939-520, vandiverinn.com

Story by Kristy MacKaben

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