Pennsylvania is a state that is rich with history, and some areas seem to add to that legacy more than others. Victorian Bellefonte, home to seven governors, and Boalsburg, birthplace to Memorial Day, are two such towns. Each has their own collection of unique bed and breakfasts that invite you to spend the night with history.
Who knew that seven governors could come from one little town in central Pennsylvania? That is the case in Victorian Bellefonte, just a 15-minute drive from State College and the Penn State campus. That fact is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the history found in the region. Throw in the small town Americana feel of Mom-and-Pop restaurants, antique stores and picturesque Talleyrand Park and you will be in love. The only thing cooler than stopping in for a quick visit is staying overnight in a historic location.
The Reynolds Mansion (101 W. Linn St.) often creates a “wow” moment when you see the incredible architecture that went into this home built in 1885. What catches most visitor eyes is the blue or purple color of the home, making it technically a blue brownstone. Those staying at the mansion are left wide-eyed by the lavish marble foyer greeting you just inside the door. If the incredible architecture does not do it for you, the three-course breakfast most certainly will.
Just down the street from the Reynolds Mansion is The Queen: A Victorian Bed & Breakfast (176 E. Linn St.) which is an absolutely stunning property of its own. A couple of neat features of the property are the fireplace in the foyer, which is perfect for reading a good book. The formal breakfasts are also an incredible bonus of staying at the Queen.
If you head down Linn Street a little more you will get to Our Fair Lady: A Victorian Bed & Breakfast (313 E. Linn St.). Slip into town early, then be sure to stay for the afternoon wine & cheese hour, which is a perfect warm-up before heading to several of Bellefonte’s stores and restaurants. Our Fair Lady, like Reynolds Mansion and The Queen, are just a three-quarters of a mile walk from Central PA Tasting Trail locations Big Spring Spirits and Good Intent Cider.
If being a few blocks away from all of the shopping and restaurants is your goal, then check out Riffles & Runs (217 N. Spring St.) which is perfect for any fly-fisherman because of the owner’s love affair with the sport and the tremendous world-class streams just a short drive away.
Bellefonte does not have a monopoly on the region’s history. Most people do not know this, but Boalsburg, birthplace to Memorial Day, happens to hold North America’s largest collection of authentic Christopher Columbus artifacts. The Boal Mansion & Columbus Chapel is a hidden gem that often gets overshadowed by larger attractions within the region. Colonel Theodore Boal, who is largely responsible for the incredible wealth of artifacts in the home, also donated the grounds across the street for what became the Pennsylvania Military Museum. You will be able to spot the museum easily from its vibrant colors, military vehicles and monuments, but take a trip inside to see even more history.
Springfield House (126 East Main St., pictured above) is an eye-catching property with a wrap-around porch that allows you to enjoy a nice evening or a good book. It also happens to be just steps away from many boutique shops and a local favorite, Duffy’s Tavern. The home was built in an 1840’s Civil War era style, but it has all of the modern conveniences of the 21st century.
If you’re looking for a more remote location to listen to the sounds of nature you might be better served at the Bed & Breakfast at the Rock Garden (176 Brush Valley) at the base of Mount Nittany. The Rock Garden also doubles as a plant nursery, so those visitors with a green thumb would find it delightful and a great resource to start their spring gardening.
Plan Your Trip…
To find out more about Bellefonte, Boalsburg, area bed & breakfasts or to book your trip visit VisitPennState.org.