Fall Travel Guide: Custom Weekends: Wash Those Men Right Out of Your Hair

I adore my husband, but there is nothing like a dame. So I told my old friend Liza it was time we got away, just the two of us, to do the kinds of things our husbands put up with but don’t really enjoy. “We can stay in Oscar Hammerstein’s old house, in Doylestown,” I proposed.

“I love Rodgers and Hammerstein!” Liza said.


I adore my husband, but there is nothing like a dame. So I told my old friend Liza it was time we got away, just the two of us, to do the kinds of things our husbands put up with but don’t really enjoy. “We can stay in Oscar Hammerstein’s old house, in Doylestown,” I proposed.

[sidebar]“I love Rodgers and Hammerstein!” Liza said.

You can love Rodgers and Hammerstein and still be a little leery of a B&B with rooms patterned on their works. Would South Pacific’s namesake chamber feature coconut shells and a grass bedskirt? What pseudo-Siamese horrors might The King and I room hold? Never fear; Christine Cole, new owner of Highland Farm, where Oscar dwelt for 20 years, has been content with sly suggestion: a handsome palm-frond-print spread for Nellie and Emile, petite Thai sculptures for Anna and His Highness. When Cole bought the place, Hammerstein’s stepdaughter Susan (who married Henry Fonda) stopped by to share family secrets, which Cole now happily imparts. What with the big wraparound porch, tennis court and lush landscaping, a stay at Highland Farm is like a visit to a friend’s country manor — if only one had such friends.

Liza and I would happily have settled in on that porch with books from Oscar’s study, but I’d heard great things about the massages at nearby salon/spa Essentials. The reports were under-exaggerated; we were so smoothed, stroked and soothed that we floated out giddily an hour later, men banished from our muscles and hair. The next day, we took in Doylestown sites — the quirky exhibits at the James A. Michener Art Museum (in the former county prison), concrete czar Henry Mercer’s over-the-top Fonthill estate and Moravian Potter and Tile Works, and the Americana-on-steroids at the Mercer Museum — without once having to worry whether our husbands were bored.

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