In the heart of the Ozarks, 190 miles west of St. Louis, Mo., lawyer Samuel Dickey built his dream house in 1906. But 85 years later, the Greek Revival mansion in Marshfield, Mo., was about to be condemned when Michaelene and Larry Stevens bought it. Restored to its previous grandeur, Dickey House is now a retreat where guests can eat pumpkin pancakes with cider syrup and watch doves fly about a private aviary.
Set on two acres filled with looming oak trees, flower gardens, a fountain and a gazebo, Dickey House combines the convenience of a hotel with the intimacy of a B and B. The three rooms in the mansion and four suites in cottages on the grounds are all equipped with private bath, TV and VCR, and are decorated with elegant Victorian antiques.
There's fun to be had outside the grounds too. Local attractions include antiques shops, wineries, a replica of the Hubble Space Telescope and a regular round of arts festivals. If that's not enough, Branson, Mo., just an hour away, bills itself as the "live-entertainment capital of the world." Then again, the peace and quiet of the Dickey House may be a welcome respite www.dickeyhouse.com 417-468-3000).
--By Harriet Barovick