Boar’s Head Inn

Situated on 573 acres just two miles west of Charlottesville, Va., at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this sumptuous estate offers elegant rooms and suites, a full-service spa, a championship golf course, two on-site restaurants, and a daily schedule of outdoor recreational activities.

Drive time: 5 hours.

Accommodations: In Elizabethan England, the image of a boar’s head on the sign of a tavern or public house was a symbol of a warm welcome and good food. At this special property, it still is. Built between 1819 and 1830, the former private home and surrounding farm—collectively known as Birdwood—was the epitome of Southern graciousness. Now owned and operated by the University of Virginia Foundation, it remains so in its architecture, landscape and furnishings, the latter which combine antiques with Southern country-estate décor. Fieldstone, pine beams and planking rescued from an 1834 gristmill add rustic-chic touches. Some suites have gas fireplaces—you can even have your dinner sent up to the room and picnic next to it. In most suites, balconies or patios overlook the beautiful countryside. Rates are $165-$285.

Where to eat: At the Old Mill Room, executive chef Bill Justus and restaurant chef Francisco Ayala are committed to treating mostly locally grown meats and produce with respectful simplicity. It’s the case whether they’re serving smoked salmon, portobello Benedict, grilled-chorizo breakfast hash, panko-crusted ahi tuna, or sage-dusted breast of chicken. Breakfast entrées are $10.50-$16. The full Southern breakfast buffet is $22; continental buffet is $16. Dinners are $24-$39. Ask about afternoon high tea ($30) and spirits-pairing dinners ($95).  

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Don’t miss the signature peanut soup or the crab nachos at the laid-back and cozy Bistro 1834. Sandwiches and salads are $10-$18, and entrées run $16-$30.

What to do: Check out the daily schedule of complimentary guest activities. They may include guided nature walks on the grounds’ Heritage Trail, golf clinics, or squash. Bikes, helmets and maps are free for rides on the network of paved paths around the property. Poles are also available gratis for catch-and-release fishing in the ponds. 

Weather permitting, play 18 holes on the championship mountain-view Birdwood Golf Course. Greens fees are $52/weekdays, $65/weekends, and $35 after 2:30 p.m. Cart fees are $22, and golf club rentals are $45. A 30-minute private lesson is $50. On-course instruction with the golf pro ranges from one hour and four holes ($125) to three-and-a-half hours and 18 holes ($300).

Winter means trout season, and Boar’s Head can set up a guided half- or full-day fly-fishing excursion. A half day starts at $225 for one or two anglers, a full day at $325. One-hour on-site lessons start at $75 for one or two people.

Hone your tennis skills in a private lesson with the resort’s pro (starting at $58 per hour), or play on the indoor courts for $30 an hour. A private squash lesson starts at $55 a half-hour.

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Many of the ingredients for the treatments at the Boar’s Head Spa are indigenous to the area’s mountains. Go for a head-to-toe sampler package that includes an express targeted massage, a quick-fix facial, a spa manicure, and a pedicure for $230. Or pick three 50-minute services to create a custom package for $300.

Enjoy some well-earned “me” time—or “we” time for couples—when you leave your young ones (infants to age 12) in the capable hands of the childcare providers at the Boar’s Head Sports Club. The state-licensed service costs $10 an hour.

Take in a men’s or women’s University of Virginia basketball game at John Paul Jones Arena. Call or check the website for ticket prices. 295 Massie Road, Charlottesville, (888) 575-8497.

Hit some of the city’s dining hot spots and pay a special fixed price for three courses during  January’s Charlottesville Restaurant Week.

200 Ednam Drive, Charlottesville, Va., (855) 452-2295,

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