Ranked 12th in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Family Hotels and Cruises, The Homestead has been pampering guests—including 22 U.S. presidents—with an assortment of leisurely activities since its pre-Revolutionary War construction in 1766. This Groupon includes one night of well-appointed slumber for up to two guests in one of the historic resort's luxurious classic rooms, featuring down pillows, featherbeds, and midnight golf tips from the ghosts of former boarders. The sun porches and authentic fireplaces in some rooms reflect influences of quieter times, whereas WiFi and flat-screen TVs keep guests technologically apprised of happenings in the outside world. Honk your golf cart's horn in triumph after launching a dimply ball off the nation's oldest first tee in continuous use at the Old Course (an extra round of golf may be purchased for $35). The hilly, par 72 course was originally completed in 1892 but has received fairway contouring and silicone calf implants to keep golfers on their toes. Patrons allergic to grass or 9 irons can partake in a slew of indoor excursions, such as complimentary afternoon tea in the Great Hall, free film showings in the historic theater, and spirited rounds of sphere hurling at the on-site bowling center.
Equipped with one of the region's most comprehensive snowmaking systems, Snowshoe Mountain Resort lures snow saplings and mountain mavens alike with 60 snow-covered slopes and trails and more than a dozen summit-scaling lifts. Bring a guest for a mountain excursion and enjoy the eye-enthralling views and varying difficulties of the Northern Tract, Snowshoe Basin, Silver Creek, and Western Territory. Beginners flock to the Northern Tract for its gentle grade and wide swathes of slopes, which hone skills, refine turns, and perfect pizza-points. The Western Territory challenges mountain maneuverability via a 1,500-foot difficult drop embodied in the Cupp Run designed by Olympian Jean-Claude Killy, and double-black-diamond-rated Shay's Revenge, known for its 52% gradient, malicious moguls, and oppugnant partnership with gravity. Snowshoe Basin, on the other plank-bound foot boasts 35 trails, characterized by an 800-foot vertical drop. Shirking tradition, 12 of Silver Creek's runs break the confines of daytime, transforming into night runs for moonlight-influenced skiing.
Free trolley buses run up and down Historic Main Street in the picturesque downtown Staunton, which sits just steps outside the hotel and is lined with charming shops, quaint cafés, and chic bistros. Within walking distance is the American Shakespeare Center, where a historically accurate reproduction of an Elizabethan theater shows the Bard's popular plays on its simple wooden stage. Close by, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum shows off exhibits of the 28th president's public life, along with personal artifacts, photographs, and prank telegrams to vacationing senators. In between sightseeing stops, travelers can stop by local pizza parlor to grab slices with their included $10 dining credit.
A native of Augusta County who knows its wildlife and terrain, Dwight Wood recreates a simpler time—a time when cowboys rode horses up the mountain trails, ate steaks seared by the campfire, and jumped into a hot tub before going to bed. Granted, that last part is only available if you stay overnight at the bunkhouse, but the Wood family's horseback-riding trips are otherwise historically authentic.
Riders meet at 9 a.m. on the ranch, where they're paired up with a trusty and well-trained steed before trotting out into the wilderness of George Washington National Forest. Dwight guides the trip over water, up slight inclines, and past breathtaking views of mountain country, leading the pack to some of the highest points in the region without the help of cliff-side escalators. He also keeps each trip small in order to better answer questions and provide a personalized experience for each rider. Guests can saddle up for a half-day, full-day, or overnight excursion, and look forward to a cowboy-style supper on longer trips.
When they craft their seasonal menu, the cooks at AVA Restaurant and Wine Bar aren't looking to impress diners with unfamiliar dishes. Instead, they wow taste buds with rich, robust flavors, roasted duck breast to meatloaf kicked up a notch by chipotle cream sauce. For vegan and vegetarian visitors, AVA's culinary team draws on organic and local fruits, veggies, and grains to create meals such as vegan chicken and waffles. Meatless or not, each feast can be accompanied by pours from an award-winning wine list curated by the eatery's onsite sommelier. Bartenders also serve plenty of beer, as well as custom, exotic tea blends.
As an Aveda salon, Mill Street Salon Body and Soul Day Spa uses a plethora of Aveda products to help the staff cut, color, and style hair. The spa side of the business doles out mani-pedis, facials, and massages. An onsite laser technician banishes unwanted hair from bodies and treats guests to hourly laser-light shows.