The dark, Two-lane roads leading to the unassuming wooded entrance of Woodlands Inn might have you thinking you've made a wrong turn (from $209, woodlandsinn.com). But once you wind through the towering pines, you'll realize this is exactly the relaxing setting your doc prescribed: a graceful retreat tucked away from what feels like the rest of the world. owned by Sheila Johnson (ex-wife of Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson), the eighteen-room boutique property was once, like Pinehurst, where southerners came to rejuvenate themselves. Today, the same can be said of the five-star, five-diamond inn (which boasts a fine dining experience that draws foodies from all over the country), what with its cozy, traditionally decorated living rooms and well-appointed guest suites. so relaxing is Woodlands that you'll find yourself wanting to skip a trip to nearby Charleston and instead curling up with a cup of tea and a good read. – Blake Miller
What to Do
- Sleep in a bit. The plush beds here are so relaxing you won't want to get up even if it means sliding into the large soaking tub for a long morning bath. Climb out of bed, though, for breakfast. Order the pecan pancakes. Cinnamon-coated pecans lie atop fluffy buttermilk pancakes; the secret to the scrumptious 'cakes is a dollop of sour cream in the batter — which makes them richer and even more delightful.
- Afternoon tea is a tradition at Woodlands, and it'd be a shame to miss it. The complimentary meal — with varieties including English breakfast and Earl Grey coupled with delicate tea cakes and sandwiches — is set in the lovely Winter Garden during the warmer months and fireside in one of the many parlors during the wintertime. Wrap your hands around a cup of tea, lean back into your chair, listen to the crackle of an open fire, and, most importantly, relax.
- If you choose to head off property, skip the hustle and bustle of Charleston and instead opt for a casual stroll through downtown Summerville. The quaint Southern town — affectionately known as Flowertown — boasts tiny clothing boutiques, storefronts, and dining establishments.
- Did we mention how relaxing the guest suites are? Make it even cozier by booking a spa treatment in your room by the fireplace. Though the spa menu is limited (massages and facials only), you'll find that a good rub down and beautification is all you need to unwind.