The Former Lives of 5 Bed And Breakfasts

08/16/2013 04:02 pm ET | Updated Oct 16, 2013

Ever fall asleep in class? You may have been onto something.

When most people think about a B&B, they usually envision an historic Victorian or Queen Anne in some quaint corner of a small town. While some inns were former homes of the town's most prominent, others were never homes at all. A school? An amusement park? A sailboat? Yes, even they make fabulous B&Bs.

Next time you're gathering with family and friends for Sunday service, or admiring the sun setting behind the horizon from a lighthouse, look around. You may be sitting where others will sleep and eat one day.

A former home to the Bellevue Christian Church, this stunning 19th-century house, named after the Patron Saint of Travelers, was transformed and restored into a unique bed and breakfast featuring three guestrooms, including The Governor's Suite. This room showcases fine details such as a double Jacuzzi set in front of a striking stained-glass window, and the church's original pressed tin ceiling.

It's almost time to go back to school, but at this inn class is always in session. Once a school that housed books and desks, Prosperity School is now dressed in antiques and Victorian furnishings. A "Homework Scrapbook" is featured in each room and contains information on the history of the B&B and activities nearby. You can explore the property courtesy of walking paths that cross the grounds and pass by the inn's fragrant herb gardens.

Now a cozy bed and breakfast, this 1855 pre-Victorian era home set on 17 historic acres was once Lancaster's premiere amusement and entertainment park. Ghosts from its past remain, including the Carousel House, the former home of the famous Denzel 48-animal, hand-carved carousel, and a vintage ticket booth set alongside former rollercoaster cars. The private Cottage at Rocky Springs offers a kitchenette, air-jet tub and fireplace.

For more than 133 years this Victorian inn, surrounded by the San Francisco Bay, has been an active lighthouse; it is now a cozy bed and breakfast, too. Upon arrival you will be treated to hors d'oeuvres and champagne, while admiring the spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline and Marin coastline. The one-of-a-kind stay will help to pay for the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the structure.

Pintita, Baltimore, MD

B&B ahoy! The Pintita, a 45' sailing ketch that docks in Baltimore Harbor, serves up breakfast with a side of adventure. You can relax in one of two staterooms before setting off for a sunset sail and enjoying the picturesque ocean views. The next morning, wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and a warm morning meal, then take a short stroll over to the nearby shops at Fell's Point.

-- Mary White, Founder of

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