Romantic Retreats for Wheelers and Slow Walkers

photos courtesy of Charles Pannell

Our guest post comes from Candy Harrington.  Known as the guru of accessible travel, Candy is the author of several accessible travel guides including the classic Barrier-Free Travels; A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Wheelers and Slow Walkers. Here newest title, 22 Accessible Road Trips; Driving Vacations for Wheelers and Slow Walkers features 22 driving routes across the United States with information about wheelchair-accessible sites, lodging options, trails, attractions and restaurants along the way. It’s a great resource for Baby Boomers, couples, families, or anybody who wants to hit the road. Candy also blogs about accessible travel issues at

Nothing beats a romantic getaway; whether it’s a weeklong stay at a luxury resort or a quick overnight escape to a quiet country inn. The time together is all that matters; in fact it’s essential in these fast-paced, high-energy times. But what about people with mobility issues? Where can wheelchair-users and slow walkers go to enjoy some quiet time together? Well, believe it or not, there are a number of options, as more and more small inns and B&Bs are making their properties accessible for everyone.

Maryland Country Manor
Located just outside Columbia, Maryland, the Columbia Inn at Peralynna simply oozes romance. This European manor home includes the accessible Peacock Suite, which boasts a spacious bedroom, a comfortable living area and one-and-a-half bathrooms.

There is ramp access to the suite from the accessible parking area; with wide doorways and barrier-free access throughout the guest room. The bedroom is furnished with a tempurpedic bed, a gas fireplace, a Jacuzzi tub and a roll-under sink; while an adjacent powder room houses a toilet with grab bars on the back and side walls. The full bathroom is much more luxurious, with a roll-in grotto shower with a built-in shower bench, two hand-held showerheads and five stationary showerheads. Other access features include shower and toilet grab bars and a roll-under sink.

Breakfast can be delivered to the suite, and evening hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer, are served in the lobby. And although there’s no on-site restaurant, the innkeeper is happy to arrange for a private candlelight repast in the suite.

Rural Texas Retreat
If you’d like to steal away to your own private cottage, then head on down to the Runnymede Country Inn in Fredericksburg, Texas. Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, this English-style inn sits on 10 acres filled with deer, wildflowers and lots of birds.

This country estate features eight spacious guest rooms, including the wheelchair-accessible Chatsworth Garden Cottage. There’s accessible parking right next to the cottage, with barrier-free access up to the front door. Inside you’ll find wide doorways, good pathway access and tile floors in the roomy cottage. It’s furnished with a 23-inch high open-frame bed, some easy chairs and an ottoman; and includes a kitchenette with a wet bar, a microwave, a refrigerator and a coffee maker.

The oversized bathroom has a roll-in shower with a hand-held showerhead, grab bars and a fold-down shower seat; and although it has a small lip, it’s still doable for most people. Other access features include a roll-under sink and toilet grab bars on the left and back walls (as seated). There’s also a separate non-accessible Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom.

It’s a very comfortable room, with a great view of the surrounding countryside. And rest assured, innkeepers Anne and Jenny Farrar will do everything they can to make your stay comfortable and memorable.

Indiana Country Inn
Finally, if you’d looking for a historic property with modern access upgrades, then look no further than, the Cornerstone Inn in Nashville, Indiana

Although steps grace the front façade of the property, an accessible entrance is located on the side. The most accessible guest room is Goshen 1, which was added in 2009. It’s located behind the main building in one of the new four-plex cottage units. Accessible parking is located directly in front of the building, with level access to the front door. The room features a level threshold, wide doorways and barrier-free pathway access. It’s furnished with a king-sized bed, and boasts a gas fireplace and a very private back porch.

The bathroom has a roll-in shower with a fold-down shower bench, grab bars and a hand-held showerhead. The toilet grab bars are located on the back and left walls (as seated); and the bathroom is also outfitted with a roll-under sink and a standard Jacuzzi tub. Best of all, it lacks the institutional feel present in many accessible rooms.

So as you can see, that romantic retreat is truly doable for everybody these days. So get ready to hit the road, and enjoy it with the one you love.