The Brandywine Valley may be the region's prettiest landscape–a soothing canvas of rolling hills, broad fields, split-rail fences, stone houses, and the tree-shaded Brandywine River.
The lovely 28-room Inn at Montchanin Village nestles in the valley's heart. Its 11 historic structures, dating from 1799 to 1910, form an intimate village. Cast-iron lightposts with turn-of-the-century globes illuminate terraced gardens and landscaped walkways. Krazy Kat's, the whimsical gourmet restaurant, once was a blacksmith shop.
Visit nearby Winterthur, America's preeminent decorative-arts museum. Move on to Longwood Gardens, a du Pont creation that hosts concerts, fireworks, and other entertainment. Don't overlook the Brandywine River Museum, which houses paintings by the Wyeth family of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania–grandfather N.C., father Andrew, and son James.
Bottom line: An upscale retreat with a sense of history and humor, set among scenic and cultural riches.
Inn at Montchanin Village, 800-269-2473; montchanin.com. Rates: $159 to $375 a night for two.