As shafts of sunlight fall across the wooden floors and rich red walls of Historic Rosemont Manor’s grand foyer, it’s hard to imagine the august space looked any better when President Johnson gazed upon it—or President Kennedy before him, or Presidents Eisenhower and Roosevelt before him. The Georgian-style mansion, the former home of a governor and US senator, has racked up an illustrious guest list over its two centuries of history, a roll that mingles Washington heavyweights with names such as Einstein and Lindbergh. Built in 1811 as a wedding gift, Historic Rosemont Manor only just opened to the public in 2010, but it has stood as a testament to southern hospitality for all of its 200 years.
Guest rooms overlook the countryside and Rosemont's 60 manicured acres. Intricate oriental rugs line the floors in the airy rooms, and many bathrooms feature original clawfoot tubs. The honeymoon cottage, or Byrd’s Nest, was once Senator Henry Byrd’s office and is now a romantic hideaway with a cozy fireplace and love-seat porch swing.
In the morning, a lavish southern breakfast awaits downstairs, full of hearty fare and customizable to any dietary restrictions. Later in the day, you can stroll amid the cherry trees before settling down for a picnic lunch for two. Passes at three local vineyards will showcase the Shenandoah Valley terroir.
Berryville, Virginia: Southern Charm and Outdoor Adventures
About 90 minutes from Washington, DC, Historic Rosemont Manor is nestled atop a picturesque knoll looking eastward over the Shenandoah Valley. Gardens crisscross the manor’s expansive grounds, but nature lovers venturing off the property can visit the nearby State Arboretum of Virginia, which offers free admission every day of the year.
At Cedar Creek Battlefield, an attached museum details one of the Civil War's most crucial battles. A handful of local stables offer horseback rides, and chartered hot air balloons fly like majestic eagles or mutant birdmen as they soar over the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering pristine views of the landscape.