Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Missoula Minus the Mountains: The Best Buildings to See When Smoke Erases the Views

The Babs, Missoula, MontanaWhile spending a couple of weeks in some of the most beautiful parks in the U.S. Rocky Mountains, I took a city break with a couple of days in Missoula, Montana. The smoke from forest fires hung in the air, giving the city an ashy-gray tint that obliterated the views of the mountains. Up close, however, Missoula’s most attractive buildings stand out, and when the smoke clears, you really get to see why this city and its architecture — whether in the historic districts, downtown, or on the campus of the University of Montana — are so attractive. Read more about the top five buildings in Missoula, Montana >

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Travel Through Time at Detroit’s Inn on Ferry Street

Inn on Ferry Street, Detroit, MichiganDetroit has seen better days — we all know that. But that doesn’t mean it’s a hopeless case. In fact, it’s one of the most interesting American cities I’ve ever visited. And when I was searching for a place to stay in this Michigan city — one of the best in the United States for architecture, and by far one of the most anthropologically riveting — I decided to opt for something from its grander days rather than a shiny new glass-and-steel hotel. So I took a step back in time and, for four days, I led a semi-Victorian life at the unique Inn on Ferry Street. Read more >


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Ca’ San Rocco: Venice’s Perfect Secret B&B

A substantial number of people who spend more than a day in Venice, Italy, tend to overnight out of town in nearby Mestre — it’s convenient to Venice, and accommodation prices are much more reasonable. But I would not suggest that. If you’ve come all this way to see Venice, stay in Venice. It may cost you more, but the experience and memories will far outweigh your parsimony. And once I decided to forgo a room with a canal view, the financial difference was barely noticeable because I stayed at Ca’ San Rocco, an utterly charming, comfortable, quiet, and affordable bed and breakfast in the heart of Venice. Read more >


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Ardconnel House Leads the Pack of Terrific B&Bs in Inverness, Scotland

Ardconnel House, Inverness, ScotlandIn the irresistible city of Inverness, Scotland, an enviable selection of bed and breakfasts can easily immobilize you into a state of inertia when trying to decide which one to make your home. One B&B seems as charming as the next, they’re all in great locations, and you simply can’t make up your mind. Let me make it easy for you: Book your stay at the Ardconnel House. Read more >


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Old World Ambience at Helena’s Sanders Bed & Breakfast

Sanders B&B, Helena, MontanaWhen I parked my rental car in front of The Sanders Bed & Breakfast in Helena, Montana, I knew I wouldn’t be returning to it for a few days. I had arrived in a handsome, leafy, residential district in the state’s capital — an area that demands to be explored by foot, inviting you on long walks past impressive homes, historic sites, and some noteworthy restaurants. And when you’re ready to call it a day, The Sanders, more than 100 years old, welcomes you back with snacks, pleasant conversation, and marvelous accommodations from a bygone era. Read more >


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A Night in a Barn in Scottsbluff, Nebraska

Barn Anew, Scottsbluff, NebraskaOccasionally in my youth, if I ever happened to leave a door open, my parents would ask me if I lived in a barn. I never understood that commonly employed expression: Do people in barns leave the doors open? Wouldn’t the horses and cows and pigs get out? Was it just something that city dwellers said to disparage rural folk? I never found out. But now that I have stayed overnight at Barn Anew, a terrifically unique bed and breakfast in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, I can say for the first time that, yes, I have lived in a barn. Read more >


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Staying in the Cradle of New Zealand Tourism at Robertson House

Robertson House, Rotorua, New ZealandEvery day in Rotorua, the birthplace of New Zealand tourism, I explored and was continually awed by the region’s gorgeous natural features — the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, the giant redwoods in Whakarewarewa Forest. I took in the Maori village of Whakarewarewa, fell in love with the wonderful buildings of the Rotorua Museum, and relaxed in the meticulously maintained Government Gardens. And every night I returned to the Robertson House, a comfortable bed and breakfast in a quiet neighborhood about a 10-minute walk from the city center. This lovely establishment had all the requisites of a desirable B&B: a charming property, a convenient location, an excellent host, and a very satisfying first meal of the day. As an added bonus, it had the laziest, most adorable dog imaginable. Read more >