These off-the-beaten-track bed and breakfasts reflect the best in eco-conscious building.
Las Manos Bed and Breakfast
Buena Vista, Colorado
Location: This relaxing, earthy retreat in “Fourteener Country,” named for its many 14,000-foot or higher peaks, is a glorious Southwest-style straw bale home. Guests can request a massage from owners Colleen Finley and William McQueen, both certified massage therapists, in their rooms or on a private balcony with breathtaking views of Mt. Princeton.
Green Factor: Completely off the grid, Las Manos runs on solar and wind power. The adobe walls are made from mud collected on the property; wood for flooring and cabinets is locally harvested blue-stain pine killed by beetle infestation. To save energy, laundry dries in the mountain air.
What's for Breakfast? Try the cinnamony, fruity Baked Oatmeal or dig into the Huevos Benedictos—eggs, black beans and fresh salsa verde over homemade cornbread.
Traveler's Tips: Monarch Ski Resort and Ski Cooper are each about an hour’s drive away. In summer, rafters and kayakers shoot the Arkansas River rapids. Climbing mountains and dipping in hot springs are also tempting.
Contact: (719) 395-4567
Eve's Garden Organic Bed and Breakfast
Location: This artsy, quirky oasis is built from adobe and papercrete (light, superb insulation made partially from old newspapers). The arched, domed architecture is influenced by Spanish, Middle-Eastern and nouveau-California styles.
Green Factor: Owner Kate Thayer tends an organic garden and sells pesticide-free bouquets; her partner Clyde Curry makes papercrete bricks from old newspapers and junk mail.
What's for Breakfast? Thayer and Curry treat guests to organic meals with a Southwestern flair, gracious company and stunning views of the Del Norte and Glass Mountains.
Traveler's Tips: Explore the area’s lively communities: Marathon, Marfa, Alpine and Terlingua. Marathon is 40 miles north of Big Bend National Park’s main entrance. The park used to be the main reason to come here, but these days “Far Out, Far West Texas” is an attraction in and of itself.
Contact: (432) 386-4165
Cedar House Inn and Yurts
Location: Set in the lush north Georgia Wine Country 70 miles north of Atlanta, these yurts feature canopied beds and private decks.
Green Factor: As members of the Green Hotels Association, owners Mary Beth and Fred Tanner incorporate passive solar principles throughout the property. The inn’s low-flow toilets and showers and a pesticide-free lawn and garden keep with their earth-friendly principles. Guests who stay in the light-on-the-land yurts have use of a shower house and composting toilet.
What's for Breakfast? Seasonal specialties include Apple Nut Vegan Pancakes or Peach Melba–Stuffed French Toast (recipe on page 23).
Traveler's Tips: Visit Dahlonega’s Holly Theater just west of the historic town square or head to the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi in Amicalola State Park. On your way, stop at the Funky Chicken Art Project, an art gallery set inside an old chicken coop, and visit the Garden of Peace Project(FunkyChickenArtProject.com).
Contact: (706) 867-9446
—Melissa B. Williams
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