Southern Hospitality at ColdWater Inn, Tuscumbia, AL

The first stop on our south then west road trip was Tuscumbia, Alabama, birthplace of Helen Keller. The ColdWater Inn was a perfect pairing to the tour of Ivy Green, Helen Keller’s home. Locally owned, the 74 guest room boutique-style inn eptitomizes the hospitality of Tuscumbia’s welcoming charm.  We arrived a little before midnight ready to settle into comfort and local flavor. ColdWater Inn delivered.

Although there’s a certain grandness to the decor from the grand staircase of the lobby to the mix of Victorian era furniture throughout the common areas, there’s a down-home vibe where people are invited to sit for a spell and exchange news of the day.  For example, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the Manager’s Reception from 4 to 6 pm in the first floor lounge (which doubles as the breakfast area) serves complimentary wine and local beer. Unfortunately, we missed out on this perk due to timing.


A King Standard room

The receptionist, however, after checking us in, did give us an insider tip on the best place to eat lunch–Claunch’s Cafe in Spring Park, and told us how to get there. She was right. This was southern cooking at its finest. Several recipes are the owner’s grandmother’s.

She also told us all we needed to know about breakfast, check out, and how to get to Ivy Green.

Our standard king room located on the 2nd floor near the 2nd floor common area, gave us exactly what we needed. An incredibly comfortable bed, free WiFi, a well appointed bathroom, a hair dryer and a 32-inch flat screen TV. In the morning, the homemade biscuits and gravy, part of the free breakfast, were a fine way to start the rest of our journey. Of course, grits were included.


The 2nd floor common area with its courting couch

If we had time to linger for one more day, we would have been able to enjoy player piano music in the afternoon, the outdoor swimming pool, and the barbeque patio area. The patio has a grill for guest use.

Before checking out, I did partake of another perk– one I’ve never seen before. Guests who fill out a card with suggestions and comments are given a free bottle of water and a snack at check out.

Located at the outskirts town, the hotel is across from the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and minutes from downtown. We were at Ivy Green, Helen Keller’s house in less than 10 minutes.


Back patio with grill and firepit for guest use

In addition to King Standard rooms, there are Double Queen Standard, Queen Suites and King Suites. For a more luxurious stay, choose the Queen Cotton or King Cotton Suites. These rooms are appointed with Victorian style furniture and decor similar to the common areas of the hotel.

You can book a room directly from the hotel’s website. Rates range from $99 to $179. We used

Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein

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