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Bed and breakfasts are a popular alternative to hotels, and there are many guides available, often devoted to a small region of the US. One of the nicest of these is Historic Holidays: A History and Travel Guide Featuring Bed and Breakfast in Carolina Villages, by Sarah Jane Polk and Julie Durand Craig. In addition to describing bed-and-breakfasts in 12 South Carolina villages, the book gives historical background, recommended places to dine and shop, and extensive antique listings.

Of the 28 host homes set up by the authors, only four are commercial inns. Most of the hosts are members of a local historic society and are opening their homes for the first time because want to share the history of their home with others.

Historic Holidays is available for $6, plus $1 postage (South Carolina residents add 24 cents sales tax), by order from Historic Holidays, RR 2, Box 330, Seneca, S.C. 29678.

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