As new parents, my wife and I are grateful for many things – among them is that our friends and family told us to take a Babymoon. (And they were right!)
While pregnancy and having a baby is nothing if not time consuming (and expensive), setting aside a little time for the two of us was one of the best investments we made.
And choosing to experience a Babymoon at the Four Season Jackson Hole, surrounded by the trappings of a top notch ski resort, stunning mountain views and the wonder of a grand national park a stones throw away….well it was pretty special.
Here are nine reasons why it might be a good idea for you too!
1. You Haven’t Traveled Alone Since the Honeymoon
Traveling with your spouse, and only your spouse, isn’t always how it plays out!
You have a friend in every major city from Seattle to New York (and visiting without telling them just doesn’t feel right). Family holidays, weddings, and unfortunately funerals, take up a lot of available travel time and funds.
It’s difficult to find the time and place to escape with just your spouse, but it is so important to vacate together! The Babymoon is a great motivator to get something on the calendar that is just for two. And penciling in a few nights at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole gave us a lot to look forward to!
2. It's a Good Way to Clear Your Mind.
Sometimes a change of scenery (you can’t beat that views of the mighty Tetons) can give the brain a much-needed reboot. There are a lot of decisions to be made when you are expecting. Are you stuck on names? Maybe heading to a historical museum or local park can light your way – Bridger may be a popular name in Montana, but it would be unique in Arizona!
3. Forget Your Baby?
Of course, that will never be an option. But it’s easy to get bogged down in baby registries, preparing the nursery, day care plans and the prospect of impending sleep deprivation.
Babymoons are vacations, and while you’re not exactly leaving pregnancy at home, you can enjoy doing things that don’t fall under the “nesting” category. Play cards, go shopping, enjoy a cocktail or mocktail together – do things that are fun for mom and dad-to-be before having to worry about when the baby needs to eat, sleep or bathe. We wanted to enjoy our DINK status while we still could.
Again: registries, nursery, stroller, day care, expenses, sleep deprivation. There are a ton of things that merit your attention and even add a little stress. But they will all still be there when you return. Taking time to relax (and committing to relaxing!) is healthy and revitalizing.
Let your brain, your feet, and all the baby-related worries take the weekend off. Having a baby is such an exciting time, it’s important to enjoy it. The first few months after the baby is around are rarely described as relaxing. So, take the time to listen to the birds, sleep in, take a long bath, and read a book while you can.
We were lucky enough to spend a great afternoon in the Four Seasons Spa where treatments are inspired by the mountain environment. My wife enjoyed a relaxing maternity massage designed to provide “gentle relief” for the unique aches and pains of pregnancy as well as to improve circulation.
Guests (myself included) can also opt for healing native stone treatments, aromatherapy or sports massages. It all sounds good and feels even better.
5. Refocus On Each Other
When newly pregnant, it’s normal to focus on baby, baby, baby. It makes sense – you need to learn how to keep a human alive, which means acquiring a fair amount of knowledge, gear and gadgets; it’s stressful emotionally and financially. It is easy to stop prioritizing your partner and your relationship.
Babymoons are a great way to enjoy alone time with the person you love away from the daily stressors of the expecting. It’s not often you get to take a trip just the two of you – it’s a great time to kick the romance up another level.
Knowing that evenings would soon be a little more hectic, it was nice to linger over dinner and soak up the mountain lodge atmosphere.
6. Explore Somewhere New
You might be past the “able to fly” portion of your pregnancy (we were).
If you want to travel across the globe early on, go for it, but if you wait until you’re a little closer to “baby-watch,” it’s a good opportunity to explore places closer to home. Is there a resort town that you’ve been meaning to go to? A national park you’ve always wanted to see? While mom-to-be may not be up for camping or too many hikes, something involving a little more nature might be a fun adventure while the late-night scene is less of an option.
My wife and I live in Montana and took the opportunity to drive through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park on our way to the Jackson Hole Four Seasons. Neither of us had ever been to Jackson nor had we been through either park since moving back to Montana. It was a great opportunity to explore the incredible treasures that are right out our back door with a great destination resort in our sights.
7. It Might Be a While Until You Travel Again
On the one hand, if travel is important to you, you’ll travel with your baby. He or she shouldn’t stop you. But travelling with a baby is different than travelling solo: the top Google search on “flying with your baby checklists” includes 60 items!
So no more walking through security with your carry on and a backpack. Traveling with a baby is intense and once you get to your destination, you’re in a new place with a baby. For many people, it’s going to be at least 18 months before you all get on a plane together – enjoy traveling with your partner while you can still carry on or travel light.
8. Get a Head Start on Daytime Activities
My wife and I enjoy good food and delicious cocktails. Two of our prerequisites for travel destinations have always been a progressive food and cocktail culture. While the time will come when we can prioritize those things again, having kids shifts the focus to daytime activities. The expecting mother probably isn’t up for any late nights or bar hopping anyway, so most of the Babymoon will be spent hanging out together and doing fun day activities – which is great!
In our case, it was fun just to relax in our luxurious room and in the beautiful public spaces and soak up the alpine vibe of our five-star resort. Also, there are great trails (not too strenuous) in nearby Grand Teton National Park if you are up for outdoor fun. You can snag a pair of binocs from the concierge on your way out the door, too.
The town of Jackson Hole also has a slew of great shops and galleries for those who enjoy wandering through a great mountain town any time of year.
The glitz and glam of urban nightlife may be alluring at some stages of life, but regardless of where you go there is lots of fun to be had during office hours – getting a head start on planning vacations with days that end at 6 (and finding out how fun they are!), will get you excited to plan your first trip with your baby.
While the mother-to-be may not be able to indulge on everything on the cocktail menu, many bars or restaurants do have great mocktail options. During our Babymoon at the Four Seasons, the bartender, Blake, made Kalli a ginger-mint mojito mocktail that hit the mark and made our Happy Hour experience that much more fun.
9. It’s a Good Excuse to Travel!
If you’re reading this article, you have an appreciation for travel. Work, family, expenses, and even maternity-leave-guilt can all be reasons not to take off. But, life moves pretty fast, and if you don’t take a second to hop on a plane or take a drive, you might miss the opportunity! Sometimes getting things on the calendar is the hardest part.
So, why not let your Babymoon be your motivation to go somewhere you have never been and start your new adventure with a new adventure?
We’re glad we did!
IF YOU GO
We stayed at the Four Season Jackson Hole and enjoyed time at the onsite spa. You can find out more here.
You'll find the craggy, mountain town of Jackson Hole hidden in the shadow of the Tetons and adjacent to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Find details on how to get there and what to do here.
In the Owens-Thomas House, one of the great, historic homes in Savannah, a tour of the 1819 property begins in the slave quarters, perhaps the most interesting part of the household, because of the remnants of the “haint” blue wall and ceiling colorings, the largest example of such paint known to exist in the country.
When restorers were peeling away the many decades of construction and reconstruction to get to the base, they discovered the walls and ceiling of the rooms had originally been painted haint blue, a mix of indigo, lime and buttermilk.
This was an important discovery because the slaves, remembering their African history, knew that evil spirits, called hinques, could be kept away by barriers of water. So, they re-created such barriers using haint blue pigment, which the African slaves believed had the same spiritual qualities as basic water.
On St. Simons Island, about a 90 minute drive south of Savannah, try to find the First African Baptist Church, built in1869 by former slaves of the area’s plantations, and to this day attended by the descendants of slaves. One of the distinctive features of the small church are the windows, which are haint blue – the congregation is still trying to keep away the evil spirits
I was told, although I didn’t attend a service to confirm, that the congregation still speaks Gullah, a creole language that preserves African linguistic and cultural references.
Resort, Relaxation and a Midwestern Discovery
I was visiting St. Simons Island, staying at the beautiful and historic King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, expecting a couple of days of purely leisure activity, i.e., doing nothing and eating well.
The resort was located on a quiet stretch of Atlantic beach. During mid-day, when the tide had ebbed, I could look out at the ocean and see sandbars in the shallow waters. In the evening, the sandbars disappeared and so did the beach, as the strong incoming tide arrived with waves crashing at the gates of the property.
Watching the tide was the most activity I wanted to experience – other than eating!
I had heard the resort had brought in a new executive chef, Jason Brumfiel, an American who had honed his craft in England, and was intent on shaking up the menu – mixing the Southern tradition of the hotel kitchen with more international creations. And quite frankly, he had me at my first lunch, a delectable crab-mac-cheese that was much more complicated than the simple name implies.
I thought I was going to be settled in at the King and Prince, eating and lounging away, but the hotel had arranged a trolley tour of the island – and there went my respite. For a place as small as St. Simons Island, only 12 miles long and three miles wide, it had a long and fascinating history from pre-Revolutionary War days right up through the World War II.
Part of it all was the King and Prince itself, which had started out in 1935 as a seaside dance club, but in 1941 with the addition of guest rooms became the King & Prince Hotel. The change came just in time for the onset of the World War II, and the U.S. Navy took over the property for war time training, coast watching and housing British experts in the new but arcane science of radar.
If I didn’t spend all my waking or comatose hours at the King and Prince during my three days there, it’s actually the resort’s fault because it arranged for me to take a tour of the island with a new company, Saint Simons Colonial Trolley Tours that had just bought its first vehicle.
The owners, a Midwesterner and his father-in-law, who was a transplanted local, decided running a trolley service would be a fun thing to do. On my day on the trolley, the Midwesterner, was just gearing up for the summer season, and was uncharacteristically bubbling over with enthusiasm.
There’s a lot to see on this tour – two hours worth of crisscrossing the island, but what caught my interest was post-Civil War emancipation, which continued to affect life and progress on the island.
At one time, 14 plantations (mostly growing cotton) covered the island and there are still slave quarter ruins or in one case, a slave quarter building that has been rehabbed for mercantile purposes, still standing in places on the island. The slaves working the plantations were treated as badly as elsewhere except for some noticeable benevolence. One plantation called Retreat had a slave hospital.
The hospital was conceived by Anna Matilda who married Thomas Butler King, the owner of Retreat Plantation. After the Civil War, the Retreat Plantation withered away, but the property remained in the King family until in 1926, when it was sold to the Sea Island Company. The majestic road to Retreat, lined with old oaks, can still be seen on the grounds of the Seal Island golf course. So, serenely beautiful is the line of oaks, couples often get married in the shade of the trees. I liked it so much I went to the local bicycle rental shop, got myself a cruiser with the big wide handlebars and rode my way back to the oaks so I could get a few pictures.
On St. Simons Island, you might find yourself on Neptune Road or at Neptune Park. The word Neptune had nothing to do with the Roman God, but was the name of a slave owned by the King family of Retreat Plantation. He was Neptune as a slave, but Neptune Small as a Freedman.
The reason he is so remembered on the island was because of his dedication. When the Civil War broke out, he accompanied Captain Lord King into service until the captain’s death at the Battle of Fredericksburg. He found the captain’s body on the battlefield and took it all the way back to Georgia for burial. Then he accompanied Lord King’s younger brother with his service in the war.
As a reward, the King family gave Small some property on their plantation where he built his home. In the following decade, after Small had passed away, a portion of that well-located and now valuable property was sold to the city of St. Simons where it was turned into the park that bears his name.
Now, here’s the part of St. Simons’ history that really caught my attention and made me give up the days when I should have been relaxing at the beach or the pool. First, I had wanted to trace the history of the former slaves, which was why I ended up at the First Baptist Church, but I also wanted to see the properties that were given to the former plantation slaves.
When General William Tecumseh Sherman led the Union army through Georgia on his famous March to the Sea, he issued Special Field Orders No. 15 to provide arable land to the black Freedmen (former slaves). This was sometimes known as the 40-acres-and-a-mule policy and it specifically allocated lands in the islands south of Charleston.
On St. Simons Island, Freedmen were given property and they and their families through the generations continued to live on those lands for more than 100 years. Then came the real estate boom at the start of 2000s and developers washed ashore on St. Simons offering bundles of cash to buy out those now valuable plots of land that had been in African-American families for decades and decades.
The pressure to sell must have been intense because many families put up signs on their front yards, saying, in effect, “stay away, we are not selling out.” They were saved when the real estate market collapsed in the Great Recession.
However, with the country’s economy stabilizing, it appears the developers have returned and I noticed some of those “keep away” signs are back up on front yards.
One odd effect of the real estate boom years is that if you travel through neighborhoods in the central island, you’ll see small, old homes bordering big, new homes. In the end, a kind of neighborhood integration resulted.
IF YOU GO:
Getting There: Like most tourists, I drove to St. Simons Island from Savannah, which can take 90 minutes on the Interstate, or a bit longer if you drive scenic coastal Route 17 and stop in Darien, which also boasts historic sites. www.cityofdarienga.com
Where To Stay: My wife and I stayed at the historic King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, which sits on a quiet stretch of beach, not far from the little tourist town at St. Simons Pier. A new executive chef, Jason Brumfiel, has really livened up the menu. The property continues to renovate, with a new pool area. www.kingandprince.com
Things To Do: Two recommendations: take the Saint Simons Colonial Island Trolley Tour, which gave a great introduction to the island (www.saintsimonstrolley.com); and to get a little closer to things, rent a bike or kayak at Ocean Motion Surf Co. (www.stsimonkayaking.com).
A Scenic Driving Loop Through Northern Wyoming Takes You
Back Into The Wild West Days
At least once a year a popular travel magazine will publish what is usually referred to as the “best drives in America.” Mostly, this list includes the usual suspects such as Route 1 along the coast of California, and I can see the authors of these lists rarely stretch their imagination much, or actually get into the hinterlands of America to travel some of the great, scenic stretches of asphalt that we have created in the interior of the country.
My new, favorite ride, which covers what I call the trail of the American West, is a loop through north-central Wyoming that crosses paths with such truly American characters as Buffalo Bill, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, outlaw Tom Horn, Chief Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, General Sheridan and a host of others.
If you’re more literary minded, somewhere on this journey you’ll meet the ghosts of Ernest Hemingway and Owen Mister, who wrote the first great book of Western fiction, The Virginian. Not all is in the past as you’ll definitely encounter the trail of Craig Johnson, the immensely popular local author who writes about a Wyoming sheriff in the Longmire books, which is also a television series.
Finally, on this Wyoming loop, you’ll encounter some of the most beautiful, if not diverse countryside in the country, and the wildlife there-on. On my road trip, we saw deer, mule deer, moose, antelope and on the aviary side, pheasant, grouse and turkeys.
My wife and I made this ride over the leisurely course of five days, never driving more than two to two and a half hours a day, and taking in all the sites the small, history-drenched towns had to offer.
Start in Sheridan
The loop begins in Sheridan then goes east over the Big Horn Mountains to Cody. It turns south to Thermopolis, then back east over a different section of the Big Horn Mountains to Buffalo, and finally turns north back to Sheridan. For those who have more time, there are numerous, spectacular offshoot drives in every direction from the loop: north to Little Big Horn, the site of General Custer’s demise; east to the Devil’s Tower National Monument; south to the Hole-In-The-Wall, a series of caves where Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and other outlaws once holed up; and west (actually northwest) to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
However, I’m going to stick to the loop.
The city of Sheridan, named for famed Civil War General Philip Sheridan, was founded in 1882. It boasts a ton of history in and around the city.
I got a late start at it all. Due to a mechanical failure on my plane out of Phoenix, I missed my connecting flight to Sheridan and didn’t arrive until the next day. So, I erased about a half day’s worth of touring. Nevertheless, I saw quite a bit in a short period of time.
A good place to start is the historic Sheridan Inn, which is temporarily closed. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is approachable. Peer through the windows and you can glimpse the turn-of-the- (last) century. The hotel, which was once owned by William F. Buffalo Bill Cody, has played host to Hollywood luminaries, the Queen of England and the first great American writer to spil ink upon the local soil, Ernest Hemingway, who after holding up in a mountain cabin, came to the Sheridan Inn to celebrate finishing his book, A Farewell To Arms.
Sheridan still retains the ambiance of the Old West, partly because it has the largest group of turn-of-the century buildings in region with 46 on the Historic Register.
After you get past the Sheridan Inn, saunter the few blocks to Main Street and stop in at Mint Bar, which first opened in 1907 as the Mint Saloon. Like I said, it was a warm afternoon and I decided to stop in for a cold beer. There is a picture of the old saloon and it sure looked like I was sitting at the same bar, handsomely carved from local, burly pine (the burls were kept). This is definitely Wyoming territory, because the walls were adorned with stuffed Rocky Mountain fauna of every type -- as is almost every public pace you’ll visit.
So did anyone famous drink at the old Mint Saloon? Probably, but in recent times Kenny Rogers filmed a western there (he was thrown through the front window), the rock bank ZZ Top stopped in for drinks as did the cast of the Longmire television show..
Stepping out of cool confines of the Mint Bar look across the street, there’s a nondescript store front that reads King’s Saddlery. This is clearly a case of looks can be deceiving, because somewhere behind the doors is one of the most fascinating things to see in Sheridan, if not all of Wyoming. The store is well known for selling saddles and ropes, some of which, especially for working ranchers and rodeo types, are hand woven. Although the retail shop doesn’t look much different from any other store, you need to know that this is just the front of a huge enterprise. A whole world is in the buildings beyond.
Don King began making saddles in 1946 and became quite famous for his work. His saddles were featured in PRCA World Championships for six years. His success engendered this business, which is mostly behind the store front into which you just walked. When you make it to the back, take a look at the rope section, where hundreds of different coils abound.
In fact, King’s Ropes are so well-known, the coolest thing you can do is buy yourself a baseball cap with the King’s Ropes logo. Not only has Johnny Depp been photographed with such a cap, but a character in the Longmire television show also wore a King’s Ropes cap.
Sometime over the course of Don King’s life he began acquiring western and Native American memorabilia and artifacts, including hundreds of old saddles. After he died, his boys continued collecting and all that work is housed in another building beyond the initial storefront. It’s open to the public. Ask to see the Don King Museum. This is no small collection; it grew to thousands of items and is housed in two floors of what looked like an old warehouse. What’s there? The hundreds of old saddles, rodeo memorabilia, an old horse-drawn hearse, old rifles and guns including one found on the site of Little Big Horn conflict where General Custer met his demise, and on and on.
Surprisingly, I still had my energy level on high even after the exhausting visit to the Don King Museum, so I hopped in my rental car and headed for the Trail End Historic Site, a turn-of-the century mansion, now restored, which was oddly designed in Flemish Revival style. The house was built by John B. Kendrick and after he died was home to his widow, Eula. From her bedroom, she could look out acros a thin river valley to her husband’s gravesite in the town cemetery. After visiting the Trail End house, I made my way to the cemetery, which not only has gravestones for Civil War veterans but has a couple of civil war canons as well.
Wyoming is steak country, so don’t look for epicurean delights on this loop unless you consider Rocky Mountain oysters high cuisine. So, for your last interesting meal on this loop stop at Sheridan’s Warehouse 201, a restaurant in a converted warehouse.
Since I missed my first night in Sheridan, I headed for accommodations that originally were designed to be for my second night, a lodge in the Big Horn Mountains. With daylight waning, we hopped in the car and drove what was essentially State Road 14 west into the Big Horns, where some peaks rise over 13,000 feet.
I’m not going to say too much about the Bear Lodge Resort, other than it nightly houses more than its fair share of unusual characters, mostly hunters, fisherman and four-wheelers. However, when I awoke early the next morning I peered out my window to see a small herd of mule deer chomping on the grasses behind my cabin.
Fifteen minutes out of the lodge, heading west through the Big Horn National Forest, we passed a moose walking through a swampy area of forest.
After coming through the forestlands and a peak pass at over 9,000 feet, you descend rapidly into rolling, arid hills. This geography lasts all the way to Cody, which, as you might guess, was named for William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who seemed to have been everywhere in Northern Wyoming.
Travelers often say Cody boasts one of the best museums in small town America. I would report that statement condescends. Indeed, Cody boasts one of the best museums in America, whether in a big city or anywhere else and it is one highlight of the Wyoming loop.
Plan to spend hours at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, because it is actually five museums in one, the most recent addition being anextensive natural history wing. The other “museums” within the museum are dedicated to Buffalo Bill, his life and times; firearms; western art; and saving the best for last, the superlative Plains Indian Museum.
I would recommend saving some time for one other museum in the area. That is the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, which was constructed on the site of one of the country’s largest relocation camps for Japanese-Americans, who were displaced from their homes and shipped to remote locations during the World War II years. The site is about 14 miles outside of Cody, and well worth the visit.
A lot of tourists wash through Cody, especially during the summer months, so to keep them entertained into the evening, the city boasts a nightly rodeo. It’s not the professional loop, but it was a first class competition and entertaining even for my wife and I, who consider ourselves city slickers.
After overnighting in Cody, at the historic Buffalo Bill Village, where my wife and I stayed in our own little log cabin, we headed south to Thermopolis, which isn’t really an Old West experience, but is a unique part of the loop because of its famed hot springs.
Hot Springs And More
There is quite a bit to do at Hot Springs Park so save yourself some time for walking and riding about. If you hadn’t yet seen any buffalo on your trip, included in the park grounds are hundreds of acres of rangeland reserved for roaming buffalo. Visitors are allowed to drive through the buffalo preserve.
The Thermopolis Days Inn, a bit of wild animal museum on its own, sits on the edge of the park and if you don’t feel like taking the thermal baths at the park, the hotel offers an outdoor spa that uses the thermal heated water emitted by the hot springs
Thermopolis is not just the hot springs.
The small city proudly brags that it has one of the finest dinosaur museums in the country. I checked it out just to be sure. It’s not the biggest dinosaur museum you’ll ever visit, but it is as good as it gets: great exhibits, great design and great dinosaurs. Well worth the visit.
After a night in Thermopolis, I traveled east on State Road 16 to the Big Horn Mountains and entered the high, forested lands on a road further to the south than the one I took west a few days earlier. Another high mountain pass at over 9,000 feet and another bucolic ride through thick mountain forests. Eventually the road, descended into Buffalo, a small town with a great history.
Collecting Western arcana must have been a big deal in the 20th century because the 1,500-item collection of Buffalo, Wyo., pharmacist Jim Gatchell laid the basis for the town’s robust history museum.
Buffalo is the venue of the Longmire Days festival, because Longmire book writer Craig Johnson lives a few miles outside the town. If one reads the books or watches the television series, someone is always referring to Sheriff Longmire being at the Busy Bee Café. Look for the real Busy Bee on Main Street.
Johnson is not the most famous writer to spend time in Buffalo. The renovated and handsomely revived Occidental Hotel has been around for over 100 years hosting many well-known personages including presidents Herbert Hoover and Theodore Roosevelt, Calamity Jane and Buffalo Bill, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, the outlaw Tom Horn and the writers Ernest Hemingway and Owen Wister, the latter of which holed up at the Occidental to write the first great novel of the American West, The Virginian.
Try to get the owner of the Occidental Hotel, Dawn Dawson Wexo to show you around. It’s like visiting a museum of the Old West and early 20th century.
There is so much Old West history around Buffalo you might want to spend a few days here. I only had one day, so I chose to visit just one site, the TA Ranch about 20 minutes outside of town.
For anyone who follows the history of the West, one of great cattle conflicts occurred here and is known as the Johnson County War. It all started when a group of cattle barons hired a small army of hired guns to eliminate homesteaders. The homesteaders got wind of the invaders and surrounded them at the TA Ranch. The barn where most of the invaders held up for three days surrounded by a bigger army of homesteaders still stands, but riddled with bullet holes from the “war.”
The barn is on private land so you need to inquire if you want to make the visit.
The land around the TA Ranch consists of rolling hills settled by farmers and ranchers, but in the fading evening light as I drove back into Buffalo, the wildlife had come back around and when you peered at the fields what you saw was not cattle and horses but deer and antelope.
To complete the loop, I drove the next day from Buffalo to Sheridan. If you get off the interstate there’s plenty more history to see, but I had a plane to catch, skipping such sites as the location of the Fetterman Massacre of 1866 or the more civilized Brinton Museum with a surprisingly strong collection of American art.
I guess I’ll just have to come back.
If You Go:
In Sheridan, try the Sheridan Mill Inn (www.sheridanmillinn.com). But, if you want to get a head start on the loop, you might head for the Bear Lodge Resort (www.bearlodgeresort.com) in the Big Horn Mountains. In Cody, I stayed at the historic Buffalo Bill Village with its individual log cabins (www.blairhotels.com). When in Thermopolis, the Thermopolis Days Inn boasts a uniquely natural history-like décor (www.daysinn.com/thermopolis). Finally, when in Buffalo head to another historic building, the Mansion House Inn (www.mansionhouseinn.com), where your hosts make a great breakfast.