Old St. Francis School, Bend, OregonKathleen Nyberg
The Old St. Francis School dates back to 1936 when it was a Catholic schoolhouse. Today the facility’s décor reflects its original character in its halls and lodging located in what were the school’s classrooms. It offers a number of eating and drinking options, including a brewpub, theater bar, and the Broom Closet, a coffee house in the morning and cocktail and blues bar from afternoon to night. Befitting its history, stained glass and tile art can be found throughout the buildings. A unique feature is the soaking pool, which has an open ceiling and is open to both guests and the public. Bend is known for its outdoor pursuits and the town also offers shopping. This city truly makes for a great summer weekend getaway.
The Queen Mary, Long Beach, CaliforniaThe Queen Mary
If you want to experience sleeping on a cruise ship without getting seasick, then a stay on the Queen Mary is for you. The ocean liner is a step back in time with staterooms featuring much of the original artwork and style. Build in the 1930s, the Queen Mary was the pride of the Cunard line. With the outbreak of WWII, she was converted to a warship and was retrofitted to her original splendor at the conclusion of the war. Retired in 1967, the ship found her home in Southern California, where she has remained to this day. Like more modern cruise ships, the Queen Mary has multiple dining options, shows, excursions and other amenities, but also offers various tours. (You may even spot a ghost!) The town of Long Beach offers arts and culture, an aquarium and sea excursions, and is about an hour from major south California attractions. In case you needed more of a reason to visit, here are some gorgeous photos of Southern California’s wildflowers.
Red Caboose Motel, Ronks, PennsylvaniaRed Caboose Motel
At the Red Caboose Motel in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, you can sleep in your own caboose. Open since 1970, the motel started with 19 surplus cabooses sold by the PA Railroad and has grown to include 38 cabooses, a baggage car, and a mail car, all decorated to match famous American railroads. There are nine floor plans to choose from, sleeping from two to six. The site is electric car friendly; you can charge your car at your caboose free of charge. Also on site are a movie theater, arcade, petting zoo, gift shop, and Amish buggy rides. The motel overlooks the Strasburg Rail Road and you can watch trains go by as you eat in the restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you are a true train aficionado, right next door is the National Toy Train Museum and around the corner are the Choo Choo Barn and Strasburg Train Shop. In the heart of Amish country, there are many craft and antique shops as well as working farms to visit.