Holidays have you harried already? Then take a page or two out of "Great Inn Getaways from Cleveland" (Gray and Co., Publishers, $14.95), the new book by Kent author Doris Larson. From quaint Victorian mansions to artsy-craftsy bed-and-breakfasts and luxury hotels sporting state-of-the-art spas, Larson has a weekend tailor-made for you. Here are three of her favorites.
For couples: Celebrate the season at the 201-year-old Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio, where Christmas is observed every day during the month of December — except the 25th. Choose from one of three themed holiday dinners, including a hearty meal of German fare; a Charles Dickens repast of Christmas goose and a pudding Bob Cratchit would love; and a feast of Virginia ham, turkey and cherry pie patterned after the kind of meal served at Mount Vernon in George Washington's day. Before turning in for the night in one of the 18 antiques-filled guestrooms, Larson recommends rekindling romance by taking a horsedrawn carriage ride around town. The Golden Lamb, 27 S. Broadway, Lebanon; (513) 932-5065; www.goldenlamb.com
For singles: Although Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada, is known for its summer Shaw Festival of plays, the 100 Fountain Spa at the Pillar and Post is a favorite year-round retreat. Melt the stresses of the day away by indulging in a mud wrap or hot stone massage in one of 12 "treatment rooms" decorated to resemble such exotic ports-of-call as Egypt, Turkey, Mexico and Greece. "While there, be sure to take a dip in the outdoor hot-spring pool with cascading waterfall," Larson says. Pillar and Post, 48 John St., Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario, Canada; 1-888-669-5566; www.vintageinns.com
For families: It's a history lesson the kids are sure to remember. Named by Midwest Living magazine as "one of the Midwest's best historic vacation sites," Roscoe Village, located in the canal-era town of Coshocton, is aglow during the annual candle-lighting ceremony that takes place on the first three Saturdays in December. "It's a Christmas-card scene come to life with lights in every window, a 35-foot Christmas tree, strolling carolers, cookies and hot mulled cider," Larson enthuses. While there, she suggests staying at the Inn at Roscoe Village, which exudes charming Shaker style, right down to the folk art on the walls and subdued hues of blue, cream and green in the 51 guest rooms, 13 of which have king-sized, four-poster beds. Inn at Roscoe Village, 200 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton; Call 1-800-237-7397; www.roscoevillage.com