Expansive Georgian Resort with Colonial Period Decor
With its orderly rows of windows and symmetrical chimneys, the stately exterior of Founders Inn and Spa pays homage to Georgian architecture, a style named after the four Georges who ruled England during the 18th century. But the resort’s interior is a tribute to one of the biggest thorns in the side of the King George III—colonial America. Oil paintings of the Founding Fathers peer out from gilded frames, and colonial-era furnishings sit around roaring fireplaces. Appropriately, the resort puts you within driving distance of important sites in colonial America: Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown.
The historical theme extends to guest accommodations, where you’ll find traditional furnishings and colonial-style bedding and decor. Some rooms overlook carefully manicured English gardens. For guests looking to unwind, the Flowering Almond Spa offers signature treatments, including pedicures, wraps, facials, and massages. The spa also offers full-day and half-day packages that bundle their treatments together, providing hours of pampering and relaxation. Other spa amenities include a fitness center and an indoor pool (closed 6/1–6/15).
Slow-smoked beef brisket, baked brie, and other upscale dishes can be sampled at the award-winning Swan Terrace Grill Restaurant, one of two onsite eateries. The other is the Hunt Room, a casual bar with pool tables, burgers, and brick-oven pizzas.
Virginia Beach, Virginia: Award-Winning Boardwalk and Seaside Museums
English settlers from the Virginia Company of London first stepped foot onto American soil in what is now Virginia Beach, Virginia. They would go on to found Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement, along the James River. But before they left the shoreline, they erected a cross on the spot where they had disembarked. Today, the First Landing Cross commemorates this momentous event.
Needless to say, a lot has changed in Virginia Beach since the 1600s. The seaside town has become a family-friendly destination known for supersize beaches and a 3-mile-long boardwalk dubbed one of America’s best by Travel + Leisure. Though you could spend a whole vacation soaking up rays and sampling fresh seafood from the many restaurants along the esplanade, Virginia Beach boasts a number of cultural attractions that might draw your attention away from the beach for a while. There’s the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, as well as the Military Aviation Museum, which features a B-17 Flying Fortress and a Spitfire fighter plane from World War II. In the cooler winter months, you can schedule a whale-watching trip to scout humpback and fin whales traveling through nearby waters from late December through mid-March.