Most of the region's big resorts are run by large companies, but Nemacolin is the creation of Joe Hardy, an entrepreneur who has built a chain of lumberyards and owns Nemacolin because he loves it. With no MBAs giving him advice, he keeps spending money and making the resort better.
Nemacolin now has one very good golf course, Mystic Rock; a wonderful restaurant, Lautrec; and, among the accommodations, two nice places to stay–the big main building and the new Falling Rock lodge, which has striking Arts and Crafts decor and beautiful rooms.
Nemacolin, like the Homestead and Greenbrier, has lots of activities–a very nice spa plus tennis, swimming, horseback riding, fishing, biking, and the like.
Bottom line: A great restaurant, one terrific golf course, and it's less than three hours from Washington, making it perfect for a quick weekend getaway.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, 800-422-2736; nemacolin.com. Weekend rates start at $180 a night.