Opulent Estate with Old-Fashioned Dining in Shenandoah Wine Country
In the late 19th century, sailors on the Missouri River often chanted "Oh Shenandoah," a wistful tune that became an immensely popular folk song. The song brings to mind Shenandoah Valley’s beautiful rolling forests and river bends, nestled between the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains. Situated on a high knoll overlooking these distant peaks, The Mimslyn Inn is a grand Virginian estate built in 1931. The inn’s multimillion-dollar restoration in 2007 revived its old-fashioned elegance to blend in with the surrounding landscape.
The inn looks more like a capitol building than a hotel: its circular driveway is situated beneath a monumental portico supported by multistory doric columns. In the lobby, you'll see crown moldings, a mantled fireplace, and a winding staircase with wrought-iron railings. The inn’s historic rooms feature queen-size two-poster beds and overlook the 14-acre grounds, which boast formal gardens and a gazebo.
Crystal chandeliers and Chippendale-style chairs with ornate woodwork decorate the inn's southern restaurant, Circa '31, one of property’s prettiest spots (open during limited hours). Downstairs, the Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant evokes the Prohibition era with art-deco decor, period cocktails, and meat pies shaped like Al Capone's hat—Frommer's calls it "Luray's favorite pub."
With Option 2, you’ll ring in the new year with a black-tie affair at The Mimslyn. With only 70 guests, the intimate evening centers around the chef’s culinary specialties—a brandy-sauce-topped tenderloin, crabmeat-stuffed Maine lobster, and cherries jubilee flambéed with brandy. Live music, a magic show, and fireworks will entertain guests as they begin 2013 with class.
Luray, Virginia: Limestone Caves in Shenandoah Wine Country
Luray, Virginia, was the site of army encampments and skirmishes during the Civil War. Today, the area’s biggest draw is the Luray Caverns, a National Natural Landmark site popular for its giant pillars, curtain-like stalactite walls, and the Stalacpipe Organ, whose rubber mallets strike stalactites to play classical melodies.
The Shenandoah Valley's scenic farms produce sweet corn, goat cheese, and pasture-raised beef, which are used in many dishes at The Mimslyn's restaurant, Circa '31. In addition, dozens of wineries dot the hillsides. You can sample local pinot noirs and chardonnays on the Whiskey Wine Loop and Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.