For years I searched for what I called my perfect weekend away location. A go to getaway location, that I could escape to if I needed a break. Some place that was far enough way that it felt like I was traveling, but close enough that I could get home if something came up. I was looking for a place that was roughly a 2-3 hour drive, but it couldn't just be a nice location. It had to be a place I loved and a place that I could feel truly happy and relaxed. Where life's problems seemed to not matter and I never got sick of visiting; an oasis.
Some places came close contenders. Gettysburg for example is a town I always love to visit and have even consider retiring there. As much I still enjoy strolling those battlefields, it lacked the feeling of peace I was searching for. Finally in 2018 I found the place, the Inn Boonsboro.
Front of the Inn, took this picture while visiting around Christmas.
First, let me explain what led me to this beautiful hotel/B&B. I have always enjoyed reading. I love getting lost in a good book and I am sucker for a good romance novel. Probably not a surprise that the wedding planner likes loves stories. However, there were a few years in my life were reading for leisure didn't occur. I was too busy with getting married, starting a business, and taking classes at Penn State. All I read was for work or school. Finally I realized how much I missed it and started back up again. I turned to one of my favorite authors Nora Roberts. I came across Inn Boonsboro trilogy.
The stories take place in the small town of Boonsboro, Maryland. In the novels, the Montgomery family restores an old building in the town to make it a boutique hotel. Imagine my surprise when I learned that not only was the town real; so was the Inn! Though the characters in the books are fictional, the Inn and lots of the locations mentioned in the books are real. I reached out to my friend Kacy, who is also a Nora fan, and asked if she knew this place existed. She did not, but was just as excited by this news as I was. We booked a girls weekend about 8 months later. It was a long 8 months and little did we know this would be the first of many wonderful girls weekends to this place.
The Inn has 8 rooms total. Each room is named after characters from literature, who had their happily ever after Each room then is thematically designed to go with that story. Though each room is uniquely different, their is an underlying style that ties them together. They all feel like they belong under the same roof together; yet nothing is cookie cutter, and nothing feels cheap.
The bed above from room Elizabeth & Darcy, below from Titania and Oberon (disregard our stuff on the beds). My two favorite rooms so far, though they are all awesome!
The beds are comfortable, with amazing linens. Each bedroom is a masterpiece, but the real star is the bathrooms. They are all descent sized with heated floors, heated towel racks, big showers with body jets, and big fluffy towels. All but one of the bathrooms include a toilet with a bidet and lid that automatically rises, as well as a big tub to soak in. The bath tub in Elizabeth and Darcy is a white claw foot tub. While rooms like Jane & Rochester and Wesley and Buttercup boast a copper tub. The one in Titania and Oberon is so deep, it goes up to my waist when standing in it.
The bathroom of Titania & Oberon room and its gigantic copper bath tub.
The Inn also has some equally charming public spaces. There is a lounge where you can stop by and grab a drink, play a game, or borrow a movie to watch in your room. They also hold a wine and cheese social there every evening. A good chance to meet your fellow travelers and potential Nora fans. We have met some wonderful people during our visits. Some who we stay connected with on social media to discuss the Inn and the area. The dining room usually has some home made pastries, and is where you get a delicious two course breakfast in the morning. Their is a library with a fireplace, a courtyard out back, and a balcony out front. The balcony is my favorite spot. I love sitting out there on a nice day with a glass of wine, and look down Main Street.
Part of the lounge area where the nightly wine and cheese social takes place.
The biggest star of this place is hands down the staff. When you first arrive, you will be greeted by a big smile. It is apparent the staff truly loves what they do and every single one them is so easy to get along with. The first time you stay, they will give a tour and show you around. They will even do it on other visits if you want, but I've learned to take my keys and just settle in. They are so welcoming that you feel at home right away.
It is one of the rare places that I am content to sit around and do nothing. Trust me, that is not something I tend to do when I travel. Luckily if I get hungry there are two restaurants right next door; Dans Taphouse and Vesta Pizza. Vesta is a pizzeria and Italian food, that will deliver to the Inn. Dan's Taphouse is a little more upscale with some great offerings. I recommend making a reservations for Dan's ahead of time. I usually do so around 7:00, right when the wine and cheese social is ending.
Within eyesight of the Inn Boonboro are some great little shops if you want to do some shopping. Turn the Page Bookstore is owned by Nora's husband and there is a room dedicated to her books. You can attend book signings there several times a year. Josie's on Main always has something cool and I love browsing at Robin's Nest. Finally their is the shop Gifts Inn Boonsboro. It not only has some merchandise featuring the Inn, it is filled with a variety of gifts and art pieces all created by local artists. There is this one painting there I keep seeing that I may have to break down and buy next time if its still there.
Each time we visit we try to do at at least one thing in the area. Within a 30 minute drive or less you can visit lots of wonderful nearby attractions. There is Harpers Ferry (in West Virigina), Antietam Battlefield, Shephardstown (also in WV, has some great shops), Hagerstown, and Frederick. That is just the tip of the iceberg, as we learn of new things to do in the area all the time. The town of Boonsboro has some annual events. The Inn itself also has events throughout the year you can try to attend such as murder mystery weekends, nights with authors, and some wine events.
Burnside Bridge at Antietam Battlefield.
Honestly even with all the stuff nearby to do, I find I am mostly content to just sit around the Inn with a book. As I said before (and if you have read some of my blog posts on travel), I like to explore an area I visit. Even when I went to Hawaii, I spent 1 day of the week lounging around the beach and the pool and the rest exploring the island. Its rare for me to find a place where I am perfectly content in such a small radius. Yet I love that their are options nearby should I want to venture outside.
Kacy feels the same way, and it has become a meaningful place to us both. Time away to recharge and also reconnect as friends. As woman I think we all need time with our female friends to rejuvenate ourselves. We have now been 5 times and plan to hit all 8 rooms. Don't worry, we wont stop once we stay in all 8 rooms. We make sure to go at least twice a year, or more if one of us needs an escape. It has become that getaway oasis I searched years for, my fortress of solitude, my happy place.
I have met guests there and have read in the Inn's guests logs and notice several others call it their happy place. Have you found your happy place yet? If so, would love to hear about it in the comments below!
Picture above is me with author Nora Roberts, who I was lucky enough to meet at a special event at the Inn Boonsboro. Even though she owns the Inn, don't expect to see her when you check in.