Plantation houses, Native American trade routes, Civil War battlegrounds – when it comes to US history, Virginia is a rich hunting ground. If you’re visiting Rockland Historic House, near Leesburg, and are looking for a stay with period charm, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve picked out the area’s best hotels, inns and B&Bs to ensure your holiday goes down in history – even if only your family’s.
Bluegreen is a family-friendly countryside charmer on the shores of Izac Lake. Choose to stay in the main building for the cozy, stone-clad lobby with rocking chairs and fireplace, or – if you’ve got family in tow – one of its quaint standalone cottages or folksy log cabins. Whichever you go for, the kids will love the games room, playground and outdoor pool.
The Clifton, on the outskirts of Charlottesville, blends the historic with contemporary cool. Mid-century accents including vibrant velvet sofas, sumptuous padded headboards and clawfoot bath tubs jazz up this 18th-century home. Want a room with views? Pick any of them: the Blue Ridge Mountains beckon from every corner. In the mood for romance? Facilities include a bar and wine cellar, plus an infinity pool with cascading waterfalls and a hot tub.
We’ve never seen hotel architecture quite like this. With its red-brick walls, mature trees and floods of natural light, the towering glass-roofed atrium feels like an outdoor space. At the same time, it’s carpeted throughout, with a heptagonal bench seating area adding ’70s lounge vibes. Cross the invisible threshold to the interior, and you’ll find a more trad arrangement of chandeliers and comfy leather armchairs. It’s an odd one, but we like it.
As sweet as a square of vanilla sponge cake, this timber-framed inn knows how to butter you up. Rooms are a feast of chintz, with decorative plates propped atop frilly curtain pelmets, floral wallpaper (even in the bathrooms, in some cases) and crystal chandeliers. Elsewhere, historic standalone cottages – some dating back to the 17th century – are rich with exposed beams, quilted bedspreads and enormous Persian rugs. The icing on this cake? Its exceptional gourmet breakfasts, included in most rates.
You’ll feel like lady or lord of the manor at this 1870s-built farmhouse. With just five rooms spread out over two floors, running into other guests isn’t something to worry about. In fact, given the size and stateliness of the rooms (each with their own generous ensuite), you’ll barely have reason to venture outside. Except, that is, to explore the five acres (2ha) of landscaped grounds, or to check out the hotel’s own jewelry shop in downtown Orange.
Southern history seeps from every crack in the floorboards at this extravagant manor house. Its original owner, Colonel John Willis, was related to fourth President James Madison, and Mayhurst even shared a border with Madison’s Montpelier plantation house. The property has been variously used as a civil war headquarters, a cattle farm and – during the First World War – a boarding house for workers at the silk mill in downtown Orange. Just wait until you see the exquisite, period-perfect rooms.
Resting on a hill amid verdant forests, the newly renovated Keswick Hall takes Southern hospitality to a new level. Rooms are kitted out with firmness-adjustable Duxiana mattresses, Frette sheets, and marble-clad bathrooms, while its top-tier Presidential Suite comes with a designer kitchenette, full wet bar, and walk-in closet. Able to tear yourself away? Head out for a dip in the T-shaped, adults-only infinity pool with cascading waterfalls, or a round of golf on the private course.
The main house guest rooms at this grand 1860s mansion are charming, with antique floorboards, fireplaces and roll top baths. But for our money, we’d take the studio suite at Uncle Tuck’s Cabin. Set on its own little plot, surrounded by trees and overlooking the property’s landscaped grounds, it’s as cozy as can be – with a fireplace, log-beam ceilings and vintage furniture. Spend evenings watching fireflies dance in the dusk light from the veranda.
Visiting somewhere else in Virginia? We have the best hotels near Norfolk Botanical Garden, the best hotels near Green Spring Historic House and (you guessed it) the best hotels near Virginia Zoo, all bookable on Culture Trip. Coming after summer? Discover where to see the best fall foliage in the state – trust us, it’s beautiful.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.