The warmer months evoke nostalgia for childhood’s endless long days of summer break, late nights at sleepaway camp, and the feeling that fall will never come. These getaways throughout the South offer grown-ups something like a luxurious interpretation of summer camp. From a working vineyard to an historic resort by the sea, these upgraded classics and new spots make the most of the hottest season.
Stretched across 400 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Nicewonder opened its doors in southern Virginia this spring. While the hotel is brand new, the surrounding land has been producing wine in the region for generations. Book a room in the inn—styled in the manor of a mountain getaway meets Virginia farmhouse—or one of Nicewonder’s rustic-chic yurts.
Highlands, North Carolina
A country inn by the masterminds behind the perennial favorite, Old Edwards Inn, Half-Mile Farm is a luxe private retreat tucked in the cool Western North Carolina mountains. It’s also driving distance to the actual summer camps that make the region so popular with kids—and plenty of parents make drop-off days an excuse for their own personal getaway.
Barnsley Resort is a storybook setting for summer: The 3,000-acre property transforms into a wonderland of swimming, archery, tennis, horseback riding, golf, and biking in the warmer months. Barnsley pulls out all the stops for the Fourth of July, with a holiday weekend cookout, bike parade for kids, and a knockout firework display.
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
The brand-new Schoolhouse Hotel is getting major accessibility cred as the world’s first all-room ADA-compliant hotel. The retreat in the former White Sulphur Springs High School, a building that dates back to 1912, is an intimate spot for summer travelers looking to escape the heat at New River Gorge, the country’s newest National Park, just a lovely hour’s drive away.
Highlands, North Carolina
Styled as an English country house in the Western North Carolina mountains, Highlander Mountain House is our second spot on the list located in the area. Why? Because the property mixes modern and nostalgic vibes to create a new take on a classic Appalachian summer camp for adults. Throughout the summer, Highlander’s Salon Series features intimate concerts with Southern musicians. And, unlike summer camp, the concerts are accompanied by cocktails.
Tucked into a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, the seventy-room Tides Inn celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary this summer with a special open-air dinner and whiskey tasting on July 16. The inn will stay abuzz throughout the season with a new beekeeping program: An in-house horticulturist leads guests on education tours through wildflowers, offering a look at the beehives and the process of extracting the honey served at breakfast.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
A hideaway for the well-heeled since it first opened nearly two centuries ago, Jekyll Island Club Resort enjoys some of the most undisturbed land in Georgia’s Golden Isles. This summer the resort is indulging with Gilded Age-themed stays with a package that includes a full bar in-room setup, a private concierge-led history tour, croquet lessons, and sunset dolphin cruises.
St. Michaels, Maryland
The new Wildset Hotel makes Maryland’s idyllic Eastern shore all the more appealing. Rooms at the boutique property stretch across four historic buildings in the charming hamlet of St. Michaels. When you’re done strolling through town or come in off the water, grab a seat at Wildset’s Chesapeake-centric restaurant, Ruse, followed by a cocktail and s’mores around the hotel’s firepit.