This is the first time in months that we’ve been outside and thought, “A sweater would be nice right about now.” It may still be a few weeks until Halloween, but the Washington, D.C. area is having its first taste of fall, calling to mind long weekends of leaf peeping, apple picking and, of course, layering. These three luxe escapes, all within easy driving distance of the nation’s capital, are perfect for taking advantage of all that autumn has to offer.
The Lodge & Cottages at Primland, Meadows of Dan, Virginia
This Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star escape in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains along the North Carolina-Virginia border is under a six-hour drive from D.C. This 12,000-acre, eco-friendly retreat is the perfect place to unplug and unwind. Spend a few days in the indulgent spa, hitting the links on the Don Steel-designed golf course or spotting wildlife from the miles of trails. By night, indulge in farm-to-table fare at Elements and marvel at the star-studded sky from the resort’s own observatory. This coming season, stay midweek and get the third night free.
Keswick Hall and Golf Club, Keswick, Virginia
The Five-Star Keswick Hall looks, at first glance, like a home. That’s because the 48-room Charlottesville-area resort was once a private mansion and, today, the property retains much of its residential charm. But you won’t want to spend all of your time inside; we love that the property, which is only 110 miles from Washington, D.C., is the perfect home base for a round on the Pete Dye course, touring the dozens of area wineries and taking in history at nearby Monticello. The property continues its celebration of its Five-Star status with the Star Treatment package consisting of accommodations at the best available rate, a bottle of sparkling wine and an upgrade upon arrival.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania
For the top accommodations at southwestern Pennsylvania’s Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (about 185 miles from D.C.), reserve rooms in either Chateau Lafayette or Falling Rock, both of which underwent $30 million in renovations that were completed this past March. The Chateau, inspired by the legendary Ritz Paris, is a traditionalist’s dream with its chandeliers, rich brocades and new nature-inspired furnishings. As for Falling Rock, its structure is modeled after the outdoors-embracing architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. One of the key features of the resort is its luxe Woodlands Spa, so book your fall week of relaxation with the Ultimate Spa package (available on select dates only) and enjoy an overnight stay, unlimited treatments from the special menu from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the spa or brand-new Holistic Healing Center, fitness classes like meditation and yoga and lunch in the spa café.