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Dream Weekends: Fort Lewis Lodge

Good deals, low rates, lots of fun

Millboro Springs, Virginia

The big swimming hole on the clear Cowpasture River may be the most picturesque natural pool in the East. Chin-deep and a stone's throw wide, it washes against a towering rock cliff on the far side.

Reason enough to go to Fort Lewis Lodge; terrific rates are a bonus.

Miles from anywhere, this retreat sits on a 3,200-acre farm abutting a national forest. Twelve rooms are in the main lodge, a rustic-looking but modern wood-frame structure ringed by a large sun deck. Three bedrooms-in-the-round occupy the silo, while the choicest accommodations are two spacious cabins, built with hand-hewn logs. Riverside House, a short drive away, offers five additional rooms in an even quieter setting.

Hearty meals—breakfast and dinner are included in the rate—are served buffet-style. A dinner bell rings at 7:30, but most guests show up earlier for happy hour beside the pond. The menu is all-American: barbecue ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans, and salad.

Bottom line: A quiet spot for people who enjoy the outdoors—hiking, biking, fishing—and a good deal.

Fort Lewis Lodge, 540-925-2314; Rates: $175 to $275 a night for two, with breakfast and dinner.

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