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Nevada B&Bs, from vintage to modern, offer a relaxing place to unwind.
Photo: Charlie Johnston (Panaca's Pine Tree Inn and Bakery)
It can seem like hotels and motels fill one basic function—a place to sleep. You check in, click the TV on for white noise, go to bed, wake up, and race off to whatever drew you there in the first place. Bed and breakfasts, on the other hand, are about an experience. After you check in, you take a tour and learn about the history of the house. Later, you sit down for tea with the innkeeper and other guests. In the morning you wake to a gourmet, home-cooked meal, followed by hours of lively conversation over coffee in a tranquil garden. Guests that are used to hotel travel find that these “beds” are more than just a place to lay your head.
In Virginia City, B&Bs are all about history. The Chollar Mansion, owned and operated by Gena and Jeff Wood, is the 1861 business office of the Chollar Gold and Silver Mining Company. The period antiques and the Woods’ extensive knowledge of the building’s history add a richness to guests’ stays that rivals the best museums. Since the Wood family actually lives at their B&B, visitors receive a level of attention uncommon to even the most posh hotels. Two rooms in the mansion, the Requa and Clark Suites, offer a more traditional B&B experience while the detached O’Connell Cottage provides more space for families. The second floor men’s parlor is perfect for a quiet afternoon of reading.
The “B” Street House Bed and Breakfast (see picture below), the former residence of deceased opera house owner Henry Piper, was ready to fall apart when Carolyn and Chris Eichin purchased and started rebuilding it in 2004. Their toil paid off when they opened the B&B about a year ago. “People would leave letters thanking us for restoring the house, or come to the door to ask for a tour. It just blows our minds,” Chris says. The Eichins, who live at the “B” Street House, say their guests appreciate their presence. “We have a close relationship with our guests; it makes them very comfortable,” Carolyn says.
Virginia City’s largest bed and breakfast is Edith Palmer’s Country Inn. Originally opened in 1948, the B&B was reopened in 2003 by owners Leisa and Pat Findley following a three-year reconstruction and refurbishment. The four-building complex—soon to be five—has eight rooms and two family suites. During the filming of The Misfits, Marilyn Monroe stayed at Edith Palmer’s. Today, one of the more popular rooms at Edith Palmer’s is named for her. Maggie Belle’s Room, named for Pat’s grandmother, is the only one with a bay window, which fills the space with a warm glow in the afternoon. The Cider Factory at Edith Palmer’s, built in 1863, is available for weddings and banquets and open for dinner on weekends.
Outside of Nevada’s unofficial B&B capital of Virginia City, other towns from Genoa to Panaca to Boulder City all contribute to the impressive list of small inns around the state. The Wild Rose Inn is one of two B&Bs in Genoa. Owner Sue Knight says her goal is to make people feel at home, and that’s why she enjoys welcoming people into her Victorian house and serving English tea. “They just love being here,” she says. “They treat it like their own vacation home.” The house, built in 1989, has five guest rooms and attracts as many return guests as first-timers. “One man from Philadelphia comes every year to glide (a small, engineless plane is towed to a certain altitude and released) in Minden and stays at the inn for up to 10 days,” Sue says. According to Sue, many of her guests are excited to immerse themselves in the history of the town and get to know the locals. “There is something special about this part of Nevada that pulls people in,” she says.
Panaca’s Pine Tree Inn and Bakery is one of the few B&B options in eastern Nevada. Built in 1943, the unassuming home fits comfortably into its quiet neighborhood. Carol and Robert Mathews bought the home when Robert’s mother, the original owner, passed away. The transformation from home to B&B required new plumbing and electrical systems, as well as the construction of several new bathrooms and stairways. Carol says the conversion was a logical step. “Everyone stayed here when it was Grandma’s,” Carol and Robert’s daughter, Heather Center, says. “So it has sort of always been a bed and breakfast.” Carol especially enjoys the bakery aspect of the B&B—before she retired from teaching, she spearheaded a school-run bakery.
Boulder City’s only B&B, Milo’s Inn at Boulder, offers guests four Tuscan-inspired rooms. Its most unique feature may be its private wellness room. Owners Karen and Stephen Gay have arranged for local massage therapists to provide guests with various spa treatments. Visitors who don’t want to stray too far for food and drink will appreciate Milo’s Cellar, the inn’s award winning café and wine bar.
“B” Street House Bed and Breakfast
58 N. B St., Virginia City
Chollar Mansion Bed and Breakfast
565 S. D St., Virginia City
Edith Palmer’s Country Inn
416 S. B St., Virginia City
Milo’s Inn at Boulder
534 Nevada Way, Boulder City
Pine Tree Inn and Bakery
320 N. 3rd St., Panaca
The Wild Rose Inn
2332 Main St., Genoa
WORTH A CLICK
Nevada Bed and Breakfast Guild
WORTH A VISIT
14255 Hwy. 88, Hope Valley (CA)
MORE NEVADA B&BS
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Deer Run Ranch Bed and Breakfast
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Genoa House inn Bed and Breakfast
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97 Hadley Cir., Round Mountain
Old Pioneer Garden Country Inn
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Seven Mile Canyon Ranch
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Short Branch Bed and Breakfast
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Soldier Meadows Ranch and Lodge
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Steptoe Valley Inn Bed and Breakfast
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Stonehouse Country Inn
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Union Street Lodging
69 Union St., Austin
The White House
2274 Genoa Ln., Genoa
Wildflower Village Bed and Breakfast
4275-4395 W. Fourth St., Reno
HC 64 Box 6, Deeth