Photo by Mark Bienvenu
The Palmetto House
The Palmetto House offers a luxurious getaway that has literally been sculpted over a swamp outside Baton Rouge. This gorgeous, detailed home features artisan furniture and original sculpture, designed and handmade by the owners. In fact, the home is so spectacular that it’s been featured on The Discovery Channel’s “Ultimate Homes.” Find it on Airbnb or at facebook.com/thepalmettohouse.
Valentine’s falls in mid-winter, so even in our part of the world there’s a reasonable chance it’ll be chilly enough for an open fire. What better time to slip away to one of these intimate, secluded hideaways, which welcome visitors with rural solitude, crackling fires, and a few moments’ respite from the helter-skelter of daily life?
Little River Bluffs is a magical place amid thirty acres of pine forest along the Little Tchefuncte River. Owners Blaine and Loretta DuBose welcome guests to two upscale cabins: The A-frame River Chalet stands on a forested riverbend and features twenty-five-foot windows, a cantilevered deck, jacuzzi tub, and soapstone fireplace. The cozy Meadow Cabin stands by a forest pond and offers a cypress interior, screened deck, and open fireplace, too. Walking trails crisscross the property; there are kayaks for river trips; and if all that solitude gets a little too, well, solitary, the excellent restaurants of historic downtown Covington are ten minutes away. littleriverbluffs.com.
No phones, no TV; just birdsong and the chatter of stream water to entertain guests at The Forest Retreat in Gloster, Mississippi. Two artfully designed “treehouses” set high on forested ravines ensure complete solitude since the property is surrounded by 99,000 acres of Homochitto National Forest. Treehouses are furnished in Adirondack style and equipped with kitchen facilities since there’ll be no one around to make you breakfast. Wood-burning stoves keep the winter chill at bay; if it’s warmer, a clawfoot tub set on the lower deck of the Thunder Ridge cabin provides a bird’s eye view out into the forest canopy. forestretreat.com.
No fewer than five of Butler Greenwood’s eight romantic bed-and-breakfast cottages feature open fireplaces. Two historic dependencies—the circa 1796 Old Kitchen and nineteenth century Cook’s Cottage—retain their original fireplaces; three more cottages keep the home fires burning with box fireplaces. Firewood is supplied and the fireplace laid when guests arrive to this St. Francisville landmark, so all you need to do is strike a light and settle in for the night. butlergreenwood.com.
Brand new and situated on the banks of scenic Bayou Liberty, Bayou Haven B&B in Slidell offers luxurious suites named and decorated for Louisiana native birds, and accommodates all sorts of warm-weather activities including kayaking, paddleboats, fishing (from pier or guided excursion), a day spa, Sunday Jazz Brunch, and bayou cruises. In chillier weather, the home hearth glows bright, with three open fireplaces in its public areas and a fourth in the Egret suite. bayouhavenslidell.com.
Other Outdoor Adventures: