Fall Weekends 2009: Online Extras

Here are 10 great resorts from our Fall Weekends guide. For even more getaways, pick up our September issue, on stands now.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Location
Farmington, Pennsylvania
800-422-2736
nemacolin.com

The Mood

Out-of-the-ordinary activity and lodging choices abound at this sprawling Allegheny Mountain resort—from off-road driving to winetasting to dogsled rides.

What’s Special
The Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired spa—one of the best among area resorts; plenty for golfers, including a golf school and the challenging Mystic Rock course, designed by Pete Dye; lodging that ranges from a French-inspired chateau to a boutique hotel to an English Tudor-style lodge.

Most Unusual Activities
Skiing; nine-hole Frisbee golf; a zoo with miniature horses, a camel, llama, and zebras; a zipline; a chance to build and race a remote-control car.

For Kids
Besides an extensive children’s program, there’s a Kidz Spa with treatments including updos, movie-star makeup, mini-massages, and mani-pedis.

The Food
The cuisine is several cuts above that of other resorts, especially at high-end Lautrec. Dining options include regional American; an upmarket steakhouse; family-friendly Italian; pizza and burgers; and an ice-cream cafe.

What’s Nearby
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s seminal dwellings, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob; Ohiopyle State Park, with rafting, kayaking, and hiking and biking trails.

Drive Time
About three hours.

The Price
$319 to $729 a night; packages include extras.

Bottom Line
Great for extreme-sports aficionados and active types. 

—Cynthia Hacinli 

Tides Inn

Location
Irvington, Virginia
800-843-3746
tidesinn.com

The Mood
On a bluff overlooking tranquil Carters Creek, this intimate, elegant resort has drawn generations of boating families. Parents love the wholesome—dare we say old-fashioned—fun, from croquet to crabbing.

What’s Special
A sailing school operates through mid-November. Low humidity and refreshing breezes make autumn the loveliest time to sail. Relax after with an aquatic-inspired spa treatment.

Most Unusual Activities
Captain your own sunset cruise on a 16-foot electric Duffy; it’s easy to operate and seats six. Ask for a picnic basket with snacks and wine.

For Kids

Crab Net Kids takes youngsters under its wing with crabbing, crafts, swimming, and more. A free par-3 golf course is perfect for learning.

The Food
At the Chesapeake Club, local flounder or diver scallops can be enjoyed with local wines. Choose a terrace table and enjoy the sunset. Jackets are appreciated in the East Room; the Club Lounge serves up jazz and lighter fare.

What’s Nearby
Irvington is a tiny town with a hip reputation for upscale shopping and dining. Borrow the resort’s bikes and pedal through town to the Steamboat Era Museum or White Fences Vineyard for a tasting.

Drive Time
2½ hours.

The Price
September and October, $285 to $485 a night on weekends, $235 to $385 weekdays. November, $310 to $460 weekends, $260 to $410 weekdays. Packages available.

Bottom Line
Long a refuge of the boating-and-golf set. A renovation gave the resort a British Colonial air. 

—Mary Burnham 

Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort

Location
Flintstone, Maryland
800-724-0828
rockygapresort.com

The Mood
This resort is summer vacation year-round: Dad playing golf, the kids romping in the pool, Mom in the spa.

What’s Special

Golf without eco-guilt—the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course has been recognized for its environmental practices. Don’t miss horseback riding along wooded trails; a buddy saddle is available for little kids.

Most Unusual Activities
Owl prowl: Under cover of darkness, be on the lookout for nocturnal birds of prey. The nighttime hike is led by a naturalist.

For Kids
More than 30 outdoor adventures, including canoeing, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, and evening campfires with s’mores.

The Food
The Signatures Bar and Grill features pub fare such as burgers, chili, and sandwiches. The Lakeside Restaurant specializes in surf and turf. Each offers vegetarian options.

What’s Nearby
Visit nearby Cumberland to shop; walk or bike on the C&O Canal; or ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

Drive Time
About 2½ hours.

The Price
Rates here can be great: A three-night family getaway starts at $258.

Bottom Line
Looking for posh rooms and elegance? This isn’t the place. If you want fun and comfort, it is.

—Matthew Graham 

Omni Bedford Springs Resort

Location
Bedford, Pennsylvania
814-623-8100
omnihotels.com

The Mood
The hotel’s pastoral setting and historic authenticity evoke a genteel era when life was uncomplicated—especially for the elite who summered here.

What’s Special
Golf on the celebrated Bedford Old Course; swimming in the historic indoor pool; the bath ritual (scrub, shower, steam, hot and cold plunges) before a spa treatment.

Most Unusual Activities
Stargazing; bocce.

For Kids
Scavenger hunts and other kids’-program fun; s’mores by the fire pit; fishing.

The Food
Dining options—all good—range from the Crystal Room’s comfort food to the 1796 Room’s gourmet fare to the Frontier Tavern’s pub grub.

What’s Nearby
Historic buildings in Bedford; 14 covered bridges; graves of early settlers at the 1806 Log Church; wineries; Shawnee Lake; trap shooting.

Drive Time
Two hours.

The Price
$149 and up per person per night (double occupancy) with breakfast to $397 a room with all kids’ meals, two breakfast buffets, and a $100 activity credit.

Bottom Line
Ideal for golf or spa getaways, history buffs, couples, and kids under 13. 

—Dale Leatherman 

Wintergreen Resort

Location
Wintergreen, Virginia
434-325-2200
wintergreenresort.com

The Mood
Weekend golfers and die-hard outdoorsmen feel equally at home at this Blue Ridge mountain resort. Ridgeline condominiums are spacious with inspiring views—and offer the option of eating in or out at one of four top-notch yet casual restaurants.

What’s Special
Terrific Devils Knob, a mountain golf course with fun elevation changes; some 30 miles of on-site trails— at the Wintergreen Nature Foundation, you can get a hiking map as well as advice on choosing a route.

Most Unusual Activities
The Dome is an arcade with Xbox and Wii and a mechanical bull. Or you can rent a GPS unit and take the kids on a geocaching scavenger hunt.

For Kids
Discovery Ridge has Ridgley’s Fun Park for snow babies not quite ready for the slopes—plus a rock-climbing tower, a bungee trampoline, mountain-bike rentals, and miniature golf.

The Food
Beef lovers go to the Copper Mine for prime cuts, while fish is the forte of Devils Grill—try for a table overlooking the 18th green. Salads, sandwiches, and Thai lettuce wraps set the scene at the casual Edge. The fried-green-tomato sandwich is a standout among the pub fare at Stoney Creek Bar & Grill.

What’s Nearby
At the bottom of the mountain, Devils Backbone Brewing Company serves up ten hand-crafted brews; pints start at just $4.50. The menu is standard American, but dishes such as wings with habanero or strawberry-bourbon sauce are inspired.

Drive Time
Three hours.

The Price
Nightly rates range from $129 for a studio to $855 for a seven-bedroom home. Your fourth night is free until mid-November.

Bottom Line
A printed daily activity schedule and shuttles allow everyone to do his or her own thing: tennis, golf, aquatics, hiking, biking, relaxing in the spa. 

—Mary Burnham 

Boar’s Head

Location
Charlottesville, Virginia
800-476-1988
boarsheadinn.com

The Mood
This grand dame exudes Southern class—along with state-of-the-art recreation—within sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

What’s Special
A world-class tennis center and sports club where fitness professionals and a nutritionist can customize a weekend of wellness.

Most Unusual Activities
Hot-air-balloon rides; cooking classes; rock-climbing lessons; some 55 fitness classes a week, including Pilates, yoga, interval training, and cycling.

For Kids
Little ones can watch geese in the stocked fishing lake; bigger kids can learn to belay and tie knots at the rock-climbing wall.

The Food
The jacket-and-tie Old Mill Room is known for wild game and a decadent Sunday brunch. Bistro 1834 has creative salads, fresh fish, and vegetarian options. A cafe offers quick, healthy bites.

What’s Nearby

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and other historic sites; lots of wineries to tour and taste.

Drive Time
2½ hours.

The Price
$189 to $365 a night. Bed-and-breakfast and dinner packages available.

Bottom Line
Great for golf, tennis, and fitness buffs who like to be near a lively city.

—Mary Burnham 

Hotel Hershey

Location
Hershey, Pennsylvania
800-230-4134
thehotelhershey.com

The Mood
This resort town’s vibe ranges widely, from the elegance of Hotel Hershey to the theme-park kitsch of characters dressed like Hershey candies.

What’s Special
Formal gardens, some with a classical-music soundtrack; chocolate tasting at downtown’s Cafe Zooka; interactive Hershey Story; two new pools with water features such as a crazy slide and gurgling foundations as well as optional $200-a-day cabanas and free wi-fi; three good golf courses (Hotel Hershey has been named in the past by Golfweek as one of the top 100 golf resorts in the country).

Most Unusual Activities
Outdoor ice-skating year-round; chocolate treatments at the spa (think fondue wraps); the Odyssey, a jungle gym for grownups and kids.

For Kids
Hersheypark, with 11 roller coasters and a water park with wave pool and tubing; Cocoa Kids Club; candy-making and chocolate-sculpting classes; ZooAmerica (adjacent to Hersheypark and included in admission).

The Food
Farm-to-table Harvest, in the new luxe cottage complex at the hotel, and Devon Seafood Grill, in downtown Hershey, have added luster to the dining scene.

What’s Nearby
Hershey outlets; Pennsylvania Dutch Country; the Susquehanna River for canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting.

Drive Time
2½ hours.

The Price
$179 and up for rooms at rustic Hershey Lodge; $269 and up for Hotel Hershey; $449 and up for luxe cottages that include porch rockers, great rooms, and mini-fridges.

Bottom Line
Go for a low-key getaway—spa, golf, dining, lounging by the pool—or embrace the chocolate-centric/theme-park fun. 

—Cynthia Hacinli 

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina

Location
Cambridge, Maryland
800-233-1234
chesapeakebay.hyatt.com

The Mood
This waterfront resort makes the most of its location with an airy, by-the-shore vibe and vast windows framing glorious marsh and bay views.

What’s Special
An 18-hole golf course that wends its way around the bay; s’mores at the outdoor fireplace on a starry night (the flames flicker till the wee hours, when adults partake in cocktails and cigars).

Most Unusual Activities
Two-hour catamaran cruise; a couples massage in the Ravens View, a circular room of windows in a tower overlooking the bay ($450).

For Kids
Family movies shown Friday and Saturday by the pool; a kids’ program, in conjunction with National Geographic, that offers eco-friendly crafts, nature hikes, and more; family scavenger hunts.

The Food
Dining has never been a strong point, but Easton, with its excellent restaurants, is 20 minutes away. At the resort, Michener’s Library, with soaring ceilings, cushy club chairs, and a menu of salads and burgers, is the best bet—especially with its sweeping view of the Choptank River.

What’s Nearby
The charming historic enclave of Easton with its Lilliputian downtown and the tourist mecca of St. Michaels for shopping, antiquing, and things nautical.

Drive Time
About two hours.

The Price
Fall rates range from $199 to $319 a night for a double; great package deals often trump those of other area resorts.

Bottom Line
With kids’ programs galore, it’s a popular choice for families.

—Cynthia Hacinli 

Inn at Perry Cabin

Location
St. Michaels, Maryland
866-278-9601
perrycabin.com

The Mood
This Orient-Express-operated inn serves up nautical chic. Comfy beds, water views, and the slow pace of the town all make for a restorative stay.

What’s Special

Seasonal spa treatments such as pumpkin scrubs and apple-cider massage in fall; new aromatherapy classes.

Most Unusual Activities

A crabbing expedition; for $110 more per person, the inn will turn your catch into a multi-course extravagance.

For Kids
While the inn has a pool and can arrange for cribs and babysitting, this is more of a couple’s getaway than a family destination.

The Food

Internationally trained chef Mark Slater is worshipped for his braised lamb shanks, crabcakes, and breakfast lobster hash. But really, anything would taste good while you’re gazing at the picturesque Miles River.

What’s Nearby

Quaint shops and cafes are a short bike ride away, and the area often hosts feasts and festivals. Opportunities to fish, boat, and golf are abundant, too.

Drive Time
About two hours.

The Price
$205 to $730 per room per night. Historic rooms in the main building are smaller and less expensive but have garden views; many of the rooms in adjacent, newer buildings are larger and have water views. The two-night Celebration Package, which starts at $320 per room per night, includes two breakfasts, one dinner, and Champagne on arrival.

Bottom Line
Leave the kids home and steal away for romance.

—Rina Rapuano 

Keswick Hall

Location
Keswick, Virginia
888-778-2565
keswick.com

The Mood
With just 48 rooms, an attentive staff, and lush grounds, Keswick is like the country estate of a wealthy friend—one who has three swimming pools.

What’s Special
The divine infinity-edged pool, overlooking the Arnold Palmer golf course, features underwater music and poolside service for lunch and drinks. The pool closes after Labor Day; there’s also an indoor pool, open year-round.

Most Unusual Activities
Unusual? Not much—this resort’s offerings are classic: golf, tennis, spa. There are excursions to go hot-air ballooning, fly fishing, and clay shooting.

For Kids

While they’re welcome, this somewhat hushed and formal Orient-Express property is not really for children. There are no formal activities for kids.

The Food
Fossett’s is a jacket-and-tie option, while the Palmer Room offers lighter fare. The poolside menu is very good—we can vouch for the chicken wrap, garlic and truffle tortilla chips, and ice-cream sandwich.

What’s Nearby
Charlottesville’s lively pedestrian mall; dinner at C&O’s cozy downstairs bistro; Kluge Estate’s winetasting in a gorgeous setting.

Drive Time
2½ hours.

The Price
$195 and up per room per night; $395 and up on fall weekends. Packages can make the tab less taxing.

Bottom Line
You’ll feel pampered and to the manner born.

—Sherri Dalphonse