That is the question. While I was a child, growing up in England, part of our annual summer holiday always included staying at a Bed & Breakfast for a few days. It was a less expensive alternative to hotels and we usually stayed at the same place every year, depending on which seaside town we happened to be visiting.
Despite living in the USA for many years, we have never ventured to stay at a B&B until this May, and then only because our daughter purchased a Groupon for us as a gift. She couldn’t have picked anything nicer.
Brightwood Inn is located in Matthiessen State Park in Illinois, close to Starved Rock State Park, a place that we have visited many times in the past, but only as a day trip, so it was nice to be able to stay at the parks a little later and make an early start the following morning. The weather turned out to be perfect even though rain had been predicted earlier in the week.
It made a refreshing change to lodge somewhere other than the usual run-of-the-mill hotels. Our room was spacious and comfortable, breakfast was delicious and the peace and quiet was priceless. No noisy airplanes flying overhead or heavy traffic thundering up and down the road.
The property covers 14 acres which were well-maintained and there was a pleasant outdoor seating area where we were able to relax after a strenuous day of walking and climbing up and down steps at various tourist spots in the area. The view of the sunset from our bedroom window was spectacular.
The garden featured a gorgeous selection of irises and we were also intrigued by a field in front of the house that appeared to have been planted with rows of some unidentifiable plants. We later found out that there were over 1,800 Aronia berry plants, the fruit of which the owners plan to market in the form of jams, wines, syrups and muffins amongst other things.
I’m happy to recommend Brightwood Inn to anyone looking for excellent accommodation in the Starved Rock area. They made us very welcome and I would definitely visit there again if we ever travel that way in the future.