Wonderful, you think as you pull up, another Vermont inn that's just like your great-aunt's house. You can't be blamed; it looks so traditional, a big white house with a barn out back. But step inside. The Pitcher Inn was rebuilt after a fire in 1993, and its second incarnation--with eight rooms and two suites decorated by 14 different designers--turns the conventional country inn upside down. Take the Trout Room, for example. it has oars lined up against the wall, tree trunks growing out of the floor, a "beaver-gnawed" bed frame, and that big old fish dangling from the ceiling. We've been trained to think themed rooms are tacky, and this may merely be an exception to that rule. But the end result cannot be denied: the Pitcher Inn is smart, sophisticated, and a heck of a lot of fun.

PITCHER INN, 275 Main St., Warren, Vermont; 888/867-4824 or 802/496-6350; doubles from $200, including breakfast.