Like any self-respecting Southern belle, the Lodge on Gorham's Bluff knows its best quality and shows it off to advantage: every one of the six rooms has windows that exploit the view, and if you follow the stairs up past the third floor, you arrive at a glass-encased perch that gives you a 360-degree gander at the rural Alabama landscape. The place is set atop a 700-foot-high precipice overlooking the Tennessee Valley in all its liquid splendor. The Tennessee River chugs by in the background; in the middle distance are the Twin Lakes; and in the foreground the calm of Raccoon Gulf is disturbed only by a fat bass or a lone canoeist. Rooms are decorated with old-money chintz and mahogany, and each has a gas fireplace, useful in all but the hottest months. Breakfast is good enough to stop your heart, both figuratively and literally. There's crisp bacon, buttermilk biscuits, cheese omelettes, and—yes, honey—grits: slow-cooked, butter-laden, real Southern grits.
Lodge on Gorham's Bluff, 101 Gorham Dr., Pisgah, Ala.; 256/451-3435, fax 256/451-7403; doubles from $120.