Jailer’s Inn Bed & Breakfast
Sleeping Quarters Choose from six renovated rooms in the 1819 jailer’s house or the cell in the 1874 Nelson County Jail—both are on the National Registry of Historic Places. What You Get Inmate bunk beds and a Jailhouse Rock poster in the cell room; or full-size beds, hand hewn timbers, and antiques in the jailer’s house—plus iron window bars, 30-inch-thick limestone walls, and breakfast in the courtyard where hangings once took place. What to Bring A striped wardrobe. 502/348-5551; www.jailersinn.com; jail cell $80, inn rooms from $115.
The Old Jail Bed & Breakfast
Taylors Falls, Minnesota
Sleeping Quarters A converted 1884 jailhouse with original iron bars and a loft bedroom overlooking the cell block, now converted into a living room. What You Get A double bed and a futon, equipped kitchen, woodstove, and a full breakfast delivered to your door. Beyond the bars: the St. Croix River Valley, where you can hike, bike, or canoe. What to Bring Books and games for entertaining while in solitary confinement. Groceries and bikes also come in handy. 651/465-3112; www.oldjail.com; Overlook Suite $140.
Here are our favorite beacons—east coast, west coast, and in between.
Point Arena Light Station
Point Arena, California
Sleeping Quarters There are three three-bedroom, two-bath keeper’s cottages at this lighthouse compound atop a cliff jutting out of the Mendocino Coast, the closest point of land to the Hawaiian Islands. What You Get Tempur-Pedic mattresses, guided tours of the 115-foot tower (including a climb to the top), a wood burning fireplace, full kitchen, and satellite TV. What to Bring Binoculars for scoping out brown pelicans and grey whales. 877/725-4448; www.pointarenalighthouse.com; cottages from $220.
Keeper’s House Inn
Isle au Haut, Maine
Sleeping Quarters There are two bedrooms in the Keeper’s House and two dormered rooms in the Woodshed Cottage. Both are solar and wind-powered. What You Get Boat rides to town with keepers Jeff and Judi Burke on their daily excursions to pick up mail, a Wednesday-night lobster bake, and bikes for rides to the fishing village of Isle Au Haut. What to Bring Nothing—just sit back in an Adirondack chair and watch the lobstermen haul their pots. 207/460-0257; www.keepershouse.com; three-night Keeper’s House package from $950, including meals; Woodshed Cottage $2,000 per week, meals not included.
The Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast
Two Harbors, Minnesota
Sleeping Quarters Three bedrooms in the Keeper’s House attached to the tower, and one bedroom in the outlying Skiff House, at this nonprofit compound on Lake Superior. What You Get A 19th-century travel chest at the foot of your bed, a four-course Scandinavian breakfast (fruit soup, stuffed French toast, wild rice pancakes, or apple ham soufflè), the Superior Hiking Trail for nature walks, and a night light that’s been shining since 1892. What to Bring A car for trips into town. 218/834-4814; www.lighthousebb.org; Keeper’s House doubles from $125; Skiff House $135; $25 for each additional guest.