When visiting the rural south, whether you’re going on a family vacation or just passing through, why not enjoy the best of what the area has to offer. Sure, you can just stay at the same old brand-name hotel or motel and still have a pretty good time—room service is a luxury that knows no bounds—but why not try something a little different?
Do you like to eat? Well, how about a palatial farm-resort where homemade charcuterie is made on premises. How about golf? Well you won’t find a much better golf resort than the Pinehurst—or Greenbrier for that matter. Going down the following list, you’ll learn that, when it comes to looking for some of the country’s most charming and forward-thinking resort destinations, look no further than the south.
The Lodge on Little St. Simon’s Island-Little St. Simon’s Island, Georgia
Between Savannah and Jacksonville, you’ll find Little St. Simon’s Island, the totally secluded section of a 10,000 acre nature reserve that you can only reach with a reservation at The Lodge. Book your stay and hop on one of the resort’s private boats, and you’ll be rewarded with charming cabins for groups of all sizes. Think of it as a deluxe camp, with delectable family-style meals, fireside romance, and nature, nature, nature. The wilderness here is your playground. You can even rent the entire island if you have a reason to, but the communal spirit of the place is a sizeable part of its appeal.
Primland Resort-Meadows of Dan, Virginia
In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southern Virginia, Primland Resort is kind of like the platonic ideal of a mansion estate. The rooms are all unique and impeccably decorated, there’s both a private movie theater and an observatory dome—so you can watch the stars and Star Wars under the best possible conditions—and the resort’s expansive grounds offer a surplus of recreational activities like tennis, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The food is great too.
Montage Palmetto Bluff-Bluffton, South Carolina
Along the coast in the gorgeous South Carolina Lowcountry, escape to the Montage Palmetto Bluff. Here you’ll find a nature reserve outfitted with walking trails, the world class Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, a marina, and luxurious cottages outfitted with amenities like fireplaces and porches—basically homes away from home. If you bring the family, you may not all agree on what to do, but everyone will be sure to find a favorite thing during their stay.
The Greenbrier-White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
The historic Greenbrier, found in the Alleghenny Mountains of West Virginia, is a National Historic Landmark that has entertained guests since 1798. It’s long been a popular place to stay for political and Hollywood elite, and going there you’ll soon realize why. Hit the links at one of the resort’s five PGA-level golf courses, or hit the poker table at the in-house casino. There’s a farm on premises that forms the basis of the menus at the resort’s many restaurants.
Pinehurst Resort-Pinehurst, North Carolina
Located in the North Carolina Sandhills Region, the Pinehurst Resort is first and foremost a golf resort, but in reality it’s kind of an everything resort, with a seemingly unlimited list of options to make your stay as perfect for you as possible. There are nine totally different golf courses here, eight restaurants, a massive spa, and four different lodging options as well—each catering to different needs and tastes. If golf isn’t your thing, there’s a lake to go kayaking, numerous walking paths to explore, shopping, and—well, close your eyes and think of something, it’s probably there.
Blackberry Farm-Walland, Tennessee
Tucked away in the scenic foothills of Eastern Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll find Blackberry Farm—a foodie friendly haven with a touch of old southern charm. Across 92,000 rolling green acres, you’ll find mouthwatering locavore eats at the two fine dining establishments on the resort grounds—The Barn and The Dogwood—along with an extensive, 180,000-bottle wine and whiskey cellar, a creamery, a charchuterie, and bakery facilities. If all of that sounds like heaven, that’s because it is. You’ll never want to leave.
The Cloister-Sea Island, Georgia
For old-world elegance along the Georgia coast, you can’t do much better than The Cloister. Book a room looking out on the Blackbank River and enjoy a romantic getaway, or bring the family for memorable days down on the beach. There’s pro-level golf, horseback riding, a massive spa, and fantastic food spread out across six restaurants.