Lay of the Land
Habitually shrouded in a sheer coat of mist, the Great Smoky Mountains are a blissful beauty to behold. A subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, the Smokies, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Park, span the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Its soft foothills and forested peaks are unrivaled, whether viewed from the close proximity of one of the many hiking trails or a rocking chair at the bucolic Blackberry Farm.
Who Should Go: Foodies and those looking for wilderness-inspired luxury.
The South Carolina lowcountry spans the coastal region that comprises popular destinations like Beaufort and Hilton Head, and is often extended to include such larger cities as Charleston. Teeming with maritime forests and lush wetlands, the region—home to the Inn at Palmetto Bluff—is ripe for exploration via land and water.
Who Should Go: The riverfront atmosphere—as peaceful as it is active—is equally suited to couples and families.
The Golden Isles of Georgia, a grouping of four islands in the Atlantic, gained prominence in the late 19th century, when a number of upscale resorts and wealthy families took up residence along its sandy shores. The convenient coastal destination boasts a temperate climate nearly year-round (even during the winter, the temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit), making it one of the best long weekend destinations along the East Coast. Dramatic seascapes and revered courses also make it a bucket-list destination for avid golfers.
Who Should Go: Golfers and families looking for an activity-filled beach vacation.
Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, the peaceful town of White Sulphur Springs has seemingly been plucked out of the 18th century and dropped into the modern world. Esteemed southerners have been visiting the sleepy town for centuries, giving the destination a rich history that couples well with the slow way of life one adopts upon arrival. The region also boasts a brag-worthy golf pedigree: the historic Greenbrier hotel has hosted the Ryder Cup, and the nearby Oakhurst Links is the oldest organized golf club in the United States.
Who Should Go: Golfers and traditionalists looking for a grand, old-world experience.
Visiting Colonial Williamsburg, on the east coast of Virginia, affords an opportunity and rare moment when history comes to life. Actors dressed in period costume play the parts of shop owners, farmers and such dignitaries as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Characters debate issues of slavery and foreign policy, dance at the Governor’s Palace and patronize the local taverns.
Who Should Go: Families with kids learning about the American Revolution.