The History of Bed & Breakfasts From the 1800’s Till Now

One of the many ways to enjoy a weekend relaxing at an interesting location is to book an accommodation at a unique Bed and Breakfast. B&B’s as they are commonly called, have a long and wonderful history. While the B&B type of arrangement has been around for ages, the B&B that we are familiar with today can be traced back over 100 years ago.

The usual set up for a B&B is a pension type of home in which there are rooms that can accommodate between 2 and 12 guests- usually 1 to 6 rooms. Most early B&B’s usually targeted travelers that were passing through. Locations that were popular for B&B’s were mountain regions of the Northwest such as California and Colorado, as well as other regions, specifically the New England States.

The majority of travelers that frequented B&B’s in the 1800’s were pioneers, miners, 49’ers seeking gold or professionals traveling from one area to another. Most B&B’s offered an accommodation for the night along with a breakfast in the morning which many hungry travelers took advantage of before setting off on the next leg of their journey. It should be noted that before the 1900’s, many of these B&B’s were private residences that usually catered to specific types of people. For instance, a doctor or lawyer would offer accommodation for another professional, and a middle class private home owner would offer accommodations for cowboys, miners, pioneers, etc.

As more inns, lodges and hotels were built in the 1900’s, B&B’s were seen as an affordable accommodation for people traveling through small towns or in areas that weren’t heavily developed.

In the later half of the 20th century, B&B’s enjoyed a renaissance in popularity, as many college students and young adults spent time visiting Europe. Most of these travelers spent time in small B&B type of pensions or private residences and came back to the states to either open their own B&B’s or sought them out as affordable accommodation options.

Today, B&B’s offer a warm and cozy alternative to the corporate hotel or motel. Most B&B’s pride themselves on being privately owned and operated, as well as offering accommodations in quaint and cozy homes in locations that offer historical, leisure or small town attractions.