Okay, it’s time to unwind and rejuvenate. Run away with your significant other and be pampered in a quiet bed and breakfast inn. Say it slowly: bed ... and ... breakfast. A peaceful night’s sleep (ahhh), topped-off with food you don’t have to cook or clean-up after (yummo).
There are hundreds of B&Bs scattered across Missouri; but, let’s concentrate on two old-world villages along the iconic Katy Trail, beside the mighty Missouri River. Rocheport and Augusta offer bed and breakfast inns, excellent dining, attractive shops and top notch wineries. Take your bicycle and walking shoes to enjoy invigorating outdoor activities (even in winter) ... and don’t forget the camera. These areas are havens for American bald eagles and other birds.
The quaint little river town of Rocheport is an easygoing village, 15 miles west of Columbia. Filled with early-1800s architecture and charming ambiance, this is a perfect place to, as they say, kick back. Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine dubbed it “One of America’s 10 Coolest Small Towns.”
In Rocheport you can take a deep breath; sleep late; ride and walk the Kate Trail; hike the many hillside paths; share a bottle of wine and watch the sunset from a bluff-top restaurant. There is no rush. Remember, this trip is just for you. First stop? Your comfy B&B.
- The Katy Trail Bed and Breakfast sits right beside the Katy Trail. The three guestrooms, plus a cottage and a carriage house, have private baths. Enjoy a deluxe continental breakfast.
- Two blocks from the Katy Trail, Amber House Bed and Breakfast offers four guestrooms with private baths. A trained chef prepares breakfast to start your day; a superb made-to-order dinner can be arranged. Also, they offer gourmet cooking classes by reservation and a professional massage studio.
- Built as a school in 1914, School House Bed and Breakfast is a wonderfully restored, three-story brick building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes 11 guestrooms with private baths. A hearty, multi-course breakfast is served.
- The Yates House Bed and Breakfast offers six guestrooms, in two adjacent buildings: one is a reproduction of an 1850 roadside inn; the other was built in 1840. Savor a full, hot breakfast.
Although breakfast is well taken care of, you need lunch and dinner. There are several dining options in Rocheport, among them:
- Abigail’s is unique, with rough brick walls, uneven wooden floors and diverse decor. The menu, hand-lettered daily on a dry-erase board, outlines the day’s selection of exceptionally good food for lunch and dinner. Housing only nine tables, with seating for approximately 35, reservations are highly recommended for dinner.
- Les Bourgeois Winery’s Blufftop Bistro restaurant and tasting room commands sweeping views of the Missouri River and spectacular sunsets. This is fine dining, but in a very relaxed atmosphere. The lunch and dinner menus changes with the seasons and the availability of fresh ingredients. The winery is a multi-award-winning example of top shelf Missouri wines. Reservations are recommended.
Augusta is an unpretentious community founded in 1836. This area is loaded with more than a dozen bed and breakfast inns, a microbrewery, restaurants, shops and interesting attractions – you can’t go wrong spending some time in Augusta.
Augusta is at the center of The Augusta AVA, the first federally designated wine-grape district in the U.S. Wineries offer wines by the glass and bottle, so after an exhilarating outdoor excursion along the Katy Trail, stop in for a sample of world-class wine and Missouri hospitality.
The B&B selections range from simple to elegant, large facilities to one- and two-bedroom houses and cottages. Here are some prime Augusta examples:
- The three guestrooms of the circa 1865 Apple Gate Inn Bed and Breakfast each have a private bath and a private entrance; one is complete with a kitchenette. A full-service, three-course breakfast gets you ready to explore the countryside.
- A European-trained chef serves a full breakfast at the H. S. Clay House and Guest Cottage. All guestrooms in the 1867 cottage and 1885 house include a fireplace. Appetizers are served in the evening; port and chocolates are provided with turn down service.
- Magnificent views await at the Stoneridge Farms Bed and Breakfast, on a hilltop four miles north of town. Resembling a Bavarian Country Estate, each suite includes a fireplace and a private bath with a two-person jetted tub; most rooms have a private balcony.
- The Halcyon Bed and Breakfast & Spa occupies a renovated circa 1900 mill. The one guestroom is modern, cozy, private and quiet. It includes complimentary use of the sauna, a free yoga class (when available) and a healthy, organic breakfast delivered to your room. The on-site spa is a full service facility.
Satisfying your craving for wine is easy in Augusta and the surrounding area ... this is, after all, wine country.
- Founded in 1859, Mount Pleasant Estates Winery is one of the oldest Missouri wineries. Picnic foods can be purchased at the winery to be enjoyed on the huge patios. The winery features an indoor restaurant with a serene atmosphere and spectacular views of the Missouri River Valley.
- Walk three blocks from Mt. Pleasant to Augusta Winery, where you can enjoy wines which are produced in small quantities to assure the utmost quality. The winery offers custom-labeled wine and a variety of wine classes.
- Less than three miles east of town, Montelle Winery sits 400 feet above the Missouri River bottoms. It offers breathtaking views; a tasting room; gift shop; free Wi-Fi; and expansive outdoor decks under the trees. In season, it includes a pizza and sandwich café.
This is merely a sampling of what’s out there. Find nearly 200 bed and breakfast inns listed on VisitMO.com, the only official Missouri tourism website. Hit the road and find your favorite Missouri wines and relax at a cozy B&B. You deserve it. Oh, and let us know what you find by posting your discoveries and photos on VisitMO’s Facebook page.