Expansive Georgian Resort with Colonial Period Decor
With its orderly rows of windows and symmetrical chimneys, the stately exterior of The 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 third King George—colonial America. Oil paintings of the Founding Fathers peer out from gilded frames, and colonial-era furnishings are stationed around roaring fireplaces. The hotel is on the grounds of and owned by Regent University, a Christian school founded in 1978.
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. Bacon-wrapped Virginia beef, pork belly with local peaches, and other dishes can be sampled at the award-winning Swan Terrace Restaurant, one of two onsite eateries. In the morning, the same space holds a breakfast smorgasbord on linen-draped tables stretching outside onto the brick-inlay terrace.
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.