Stephens City, Virginia
Okay, the Inn at Vaucluse Spring isn't in the mountains. In fact, it's in a part of rural Virginia that's not always scenic–you drive past a junkyard to reach the blissfully remote inn, on its own 103 acres.
Once there, some rooms–including a favorite, the Jones–offer soothing views of the Blue Ridge. And it's a quick drive to mountain hiking trails and fishing streams.
Choicest accommodations are in the Manor House, Millhouse Studio, and Cabin by the Pond. All 15 rooms are comfortable and tasteful and encourage lazing about with a book–each room has a fireplace.
Antique shops, farm markets, and horseback riding beckon. Or borrow the innkeepers' golden retriever, Biscuit, to walk the inn's fields and hills.
Delicious breakfasts include treats like ginger muffins with lemon butter, and spinach and Gruyere strata.
Dinners are served Friday and Saturday. While the food may not be on a par with that at nearby L'Auberge Provençale, it's ambitious–and foodies will appreciate they can bring their own wine.
Bottom line: A quick getaway, and a good base for exploring the Shenandoah area.
Inn at Vaucluse Spring, 800-869-0525; vauclusespring.com. Room rates: $140 to $285 a night, double, including breakfast.