Vineyard hopping
The historic Middleburg Country Inn offers the true B&B experience of plush beds in a sweetly prim room, with an excellent breakfast (the Apple Spice old-style waffles are tasty!). But best of all are the über-welcoming owners, Jo-Ann and Kevin Hazard. They’ll be the first to tell you the best vineyards to visit: Chrysalis (the vineyard that brought back the traditional American Norton grape), Swedenburg (the owner was instrumental in passing certain laws that allowed for Virgina wine sales), and Pearmund (on the forefront of Virginia wine production— producing the most wine in Fauquier County— with an art gallery worth seeing). Most of the vineyards offer cheese and fruit to go along with the wine tastings, but if you’re still hungry (and standing) when you get back to town, then grab dinner at the Rail Stop Restaurant, down the block from the inn. But hold off on dessert. Instead, sneak back to the inn and ask Jo-Ann for a slice of her to-die-for lemon pound cake. 209 E. Washington St., Middleburg, Va., 800-262-6082,

Gardener’s haven
In the Brandywine Valley in northeastern Delaware sit 11 buildings from the 19th and 20th century, which, together, make up The Inn at Montchanin VILLAGE— one of the most luxurious spots to stay in the state.  Come for the history, but stay for the gardens. Start your day at Privy Lane, where you’ll be greeted with dahlias, roses, lack-eyed Susans and more. Then hop in your car and drive 10 miles over the Pennsylvania state line to Longwood Gardens ( to explore the 1,050 acres (with 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens). Between May 29 and the beginning of September, the Festival of Fountains takes place, displaying 100-plus waterlilies that bloom both day and night within spectacular European fountains. Route 100 and Kirk Road, Montchanin, Del., 302-888-4205 or 800-Cow-Bird,

Recreation redux
Located in Western Pennsylvania is a Relais and Châteaux property, the Lodge at Glendorn, and it is here where some of the best outdoor activities in the mid-Atlantic can be found. Take a canoe or kayak out on Bondieu Lake or go for a dip in the oversized swimming pool. Ride a Cannondale mountain bicycle or hike through miles of trails. Trap and skeet shooting, golf and tennis also abound. Three miles of privately managed lakes contain trout in abundance for fly fishing: Robbers Nest Branch, Jill Lake Branch and a mix of browns, rainbows and brookies. Cast your line from shore, or have an Orvis guide take you on a Day Tripper Float Tube— and if you need more fly fishing, take a gourmet packed lunch and head out into the Allegheny National Forest, or take a scenic boat ride down the Clarion River. After a long day on the water, hit the spa for a traditional Swedish massage, then have dinner at the inn’s restaurant. 

Highly recommended:
the quail and foie gras with poached pear, pomegranate molasses and hedgehog mushrooms, followed by the Bison striploin with gratin potatoes and a bleu cheese crust in red wine jus. Then head to your room— preferably the Forest Hideout— a brick cottage with a slate roof and an all-wood interior with a fireplace for cooler nights. 1000 Glendorn Drive, Bradford, Pa., 814-362-6511,

Hotel FauchèreFine palette
Since 1852, the Hotel Fauchère in eastern Pennsylvania has been serving up an exquisite reason to just come relax. First of all, it’s also a Relais and Châteaux hotel, which means that it can stand alone for a simple, charming stay. Kiehl’s bath products, original hardwood floors, firm mattresses with 2 inches of feather bedding covered in 100 percent Egyptian cotton and Frette linens is enough to make it hard for anyone to even rise from sleep.  But the Delmonico Room calls— named after Louis Fauchère’s friends, the Delmonico Brothers, who had the first real stand-alone hotel restaurant in New York (they also invented the hamburger, Lobster Newburg, Eggs Benedict, and the famed steak, among other things). Start with a pecorino flan with a black truffle essence, and segue into the housemade boudin noir shepherd’s pie. The spot-on end to the meal is a baked Fauchere Alaska, served with a citrus and tarragon parfait. Then wake up to a Sunday jazz brunch, which has virtually everything any food fanatic could ever want, including some delicious baked goods. 401 Broad St., Milford, Pa., 570-409-1212,

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