Steels Tavern, Virginia
Five minutes off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and you are in another world at Sugar Tree, an inn built of hand-hewn logs, set 2,800-feet high.
Savor the 40-mile view from the outdoor hot tub or watch the sunset over the mountains from a rocker on the porch. In the sky-lit living room, wing chairs beckon in front of a two-story stone fireplace.
Twelve rooms have private entrances, beamed ceilings, cozy quilts, and CD players for when you settle in front of your wood-burning fireplace.
Breakfast is served in a glass-walled dining room overlooking wildflowers and birdfeeders. Candlelit dinners (by advance reservation) feature seasonal specialties such as grilled quail or blackened salmon.
Picturesque Lexington and the museums and shops of Staunton are each only 30 minutes away–if you can bear to leave.
Bottom line: A mountain hideaway with rustic charm and amazing views.
Sugar Tree Inn, 800-377-2197; sugartreeinn.com. Room rates: $150 to $185 a night, double, with full breakfast.