20 Perfect Summer Getaways
Washington, D.C.: SAVE
Where to Go: Montchanin, Delaware.
Distance from Washington, D.C.: 110 miles southwest.
Where to Stay: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and rated the “World’s Best Hotel for $250 or Less” by T+L in 2006, the charming Inn at Montchanin Village in the Brandywine Valley is part of a restored 19th-century village of 11 buildings constructed between 1799 and 1910 and connected by pathways through lush flower gardens. The 28 guest rooms and suites have antique and reproduction furnishings (some with charming canopy beds), and most have gas fireplaces and soaking tubs. A new spa with four treatment rooms will open in late August 2008.
Price: Doubles from $185.
What to Do: Climb through “Nature’s Castles,” three large-scale treehouses designed to bring back your childhood memories and built among (although not attached to) large tulip poplars at Longwood Gardens, eight miles north in Kennett Square. One treehouse is Adirondack style and ADA-accessible, another’s like an ornate two-story Norwegian stave church, and the third, called the Birdhouse, is built in a traditional old-fashioned treehouse style—set three stories high for a colorful bird’s-eye view of the glorious gardens.