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The bed and breakfast option: go native, savor local history

Of all the options visitors to Philadelphia have for accommodations, only one allows them to experience the city like someone who lives there: bed-and-breakfast.

About 30 households in and around the city are part of an organization called Bed & Breakfast of Philadelphia. The accommodations they provide range from a private apartment in a sprawling Victorian home, to a top floor in a turn-of-the-century brick town house, to a stenciled bedroom in a 1760 farmhouse.

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On the weekends many of the host homes provide a full American breakfast served on a sunny porch or in front of a cozy fire. On working days many hosts let their guests rise at their leisure and prepare their own meal.

The most expensive accommodations are $45 a night for two, with most others between $22 and $35. All homes have singles for $15 to $30. A brochure is available from Bed & Breakfast of Philadelphia, PO Box 101, Oreland, Pa. 19075.

Another bed-and-breakfast option in Philadelphia is offered at the just-opened Society Hill Hotel, housed in an 1830 brick structure that housed an Army recruiting station during the Civil War.

Brass beds, oak furniture, and fresh flowers are among the special touches the hotel provides. Croissants and freshly squeezed orange juice are delivered to the rooms each morning. Rates go from $40 for a single room to $70 for a two-room suite.

The address and telephone number are Society Hill Hotel, 301 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107 (215) 925-1394.

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