When we set about compiling a list of weekend escapes for our June/July issue, the challenge wasn’t coming up with unforgettable trips. It was constraining our number of options to a manageable 14—one for each summer weekend. The list of trips on the cutting room floor was far longer, and it would be a shame to let all that good brainstorming go to waste—especially since there are still plenty of days (both during and at the end of the week) left in the season. Consider this bumper crop of adventures three more reasons to hit the road before the weather turns cool.
Log Cabin Cooking Class
When to go: Thursday, August 22, from 5:30-9:00 P.M., when Barbara Swell leads guests in creating an end-of summer, southern Appalachian harvest feast, complete with two kinds of pickles—end-of-garden chow-chow and 5-day sauerkraut—fixins like black skillet cornbread made with heirloom kernels, and boozy roasted peach ice cream for dessert. In addition to the pickles, attendees will get to make and take home a bottle of peach brandy liqueur.
What to expect: Classes ($45) are held in Swell’s 1930s log cabin located five miles east of downtown Asheville. The retro kitchen-workshop is stocked with vintage gadgets, dishware, cast iron, and a stash of mid-century feedsack aprons for students to borrow. Each course is hands-on and limited to 8 participants and includes printed recipes (and occasionally a copy of one of Swell’s kitchen wisdom–filled books). Ingredients are always local, organic when possible, and often picked from the on site garden. After the class, head over to Asheville and make a long weekend out of it.
More info: Log Cabin Cooking Class
Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
When to go: A quick glance at the online reservation calendar shows plenty of vacancy throughout August and into September.
What to expect: This cave has been actively used since 1823—as a Shawnee Indian outpost, outlaw hideout, proto moonshine distillery, survivalist bunker for the doomsday-fearing founder of Celestial Seasonings Tea, even a Hollywood-attracting nightclub (a helipad was added in the late 80s to accommodate the likes of Michael Jackson and Tom Selleck). Fortunately for modern guests, the scene is much tamer these days inside the 2,000-square-foot, five-bedroom structure (the place rents to one group at a time so there are no awkward B&B-style run-ins to worry about). With walls of rock and a waterfall flowing through the center of the main room, the cave lodge is as back-to-nature as you can get without roughing it; state of the art amenities mean you don’t have to unplug if you don’t want to.
More info: Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
Golden Rock Plantation
When to go: Anytime. Island sunsets, ocean breezes, tropical gardens, and a freshwater pool make this an evergreen destination.
What to expect: This resort, one of a handful of charming former sugar plantations-turned-inns on the small and not overrun former British colony of Nevis, contains a cluster of small cottages set on one hundred verdant acres: a nineteenth-century stone cistern is now the swimming pool, and guests can rent a suite in what was once a sugar mill tower. Monkeys and donkeys occasionally roam the lush hillside grounds. And, thanks to owner Brice Marden, an artist who bought the place with his wife Helen a few years back, the old weathered stone façade is punctuated by bright splashes of color, such as saturated red doorways and canopies.
More info: Golden Rock Plantation