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Shaker Village in Canterbury, N.H., is one of the two remaining active Shaker communities in the US. The village has a 22-building museum on 600 acres of farmland, woods, and fields just north of Concord. It is open to the public daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, through Oct. 11. Hourly guided tours, through furnished exhibits, are available in six buildings: the Meetinghouse, the Ministry Shop, the Sisters Shop, the Laundry, the Bee House, and the Schoolhouse.
Shaker crafts, such as baskets, furniture, tinware, oval boxes, and herb wreaths - known for their simplicity and functional practicality - are available in the gift shop, and there are frequent demonstrations given by craftspeople at the village.
Traditional Shaker foods are prepared and served in the ''Good Room,'' and catered lunches and dinners for tour groups, with traditional Shaker cooking, are available in the Creamery.
Admission to the museum, including the guided tour, is $3.75 for adults and $ 1.25 for children. Special group rates are available on request. For more information, write to Shaker Village Inc., Canterbury, N.H. 03224; telephone ( 603) 783-9977.
As bed and breakfasts become more popular as an alternative to large hotels, there are more 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 villages in South Carolina, the book gives historical background, recommended places to dine and shop, and extensive antique listings. There are beautiful pen and ink drawings done by the authors' husbands, both architects and professors of architecture at Clemson University.
The 12 villages include Beaufort, Summerville, Marion, Bennettsville, Cheraw, Camden, Winnsboro, York, Pendleton, Abbeville, Edgefield, and Aiken. 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 they are proud of the history of their corner of the state and want to share it with others.