Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Ashley-Drake Historic Inn, Franklin, IN

It goes without saying that travel doesn't have to mean weeks off work, hours at the airport, and miles of road between you and home. Sometimes, all you need is a weekend break to recharge your batteries. And if that's the case, I highly recommend hitting the road to find a taste of small town America.

Franklin, Indiana is one such town. Located between Indianapolis and Louisville, it is one of my favorite small towns in the Midwest. A few days there makes you feel as if you've stepped back to the days when everyone knew everyone else. The local movie theater, the Historic Artcraft has been restored to its former glory and features Saturday night classics, complete with popcorn and audience participation. When we attended a screening of A Christmas Story in December, my parents were delighted to win a prize for having traveled furthest to see the movie. To be fair, they had flown from England to celebrate Thanksgiving with us, but they were the only Brits in the place.

Rather than staying in Indianapolis, make Franklin your base and reserve a room at the Ashley-Drake. This gorgeous old house is just across the road from Franklin College, and is within easy walking distance of the downtown square. Owners Kim and Craig will make you feel incredibly welcome, so much so that you might be quite content to stay there all day!

The Garden Room at the Ashley-Drake

With just four rooms, you will never have that overcrowded hotel feeling. Both of my stays have been in the upstairs Garden Room with its wonderful claw-foot bathtub. Other rooms are the Depot Room, complete with all the train memorabilia any enthusiast could ask for; the Heritage Room, which if memory serves had a beautiful kimono on display; and the Liberty Room, bedecked in Stars and Stripes for a true taste of Americana. All rooms have a private bathroom and breakfast is also included in your stay.

The Depot Room at the Ashley-Drake

Breakfast deserves a mention as Kim provides a feast to make sure you won't starve. Omelets, bacon, waffles, pancakes, fresh fruit, biscuits and gravy...simply fill out the request form the night before and wake up to the most delicious smells wafting from the kitchen.

One of the fountains in the front garden of the Ashley-Drake, frozen by the November snows.

Several living rooms and a wonderful garden provide plenty of privacy and space for relaxing during your stay. I just wish I could visit the Ashley-Drake every weekend!

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