Forget doilies, chintz, and potpourri. These next generation B&Bs give the bed-and-breakfast routine a welcome upgrade.
Central Virginia's wistful countryside, where piled rocks and white picket fences frame horse-dotted farms, could pass for Downton Abbey. That is, until the all-American antebellum Inn at Willow Grove geo-positions you.
Book It: Rates from $265; innatwillowgrove.com or 540/317-1206
Charleston, South Carolina
While the Holy City is packed with antiques-filled B&Bs, few properties have been able to give the obligatory nod to Charleston's rich history without losing their sense of self. Zero George, named for the inn's Peninsula address, achieves this beautifully.
Book It: Rates from $299; zerogeorge.com or 843/817-7900
Laurie and Robert Williamson call their prairie ranch in Central Texas a "Restaurant + Rest." After tiring of city slicker life (they were in commercial film production in Dallas), the pair purchased these 300 acres, studded with live oaks and white-tailed deer and anchored by a 135-year-old farmhouse, which they converted into a restaurant.
Book It: Rates from $175; rancholoma.com or 325/636-4556
For years, Fort Conde's only regular visitors were high school students, bused in to see the complex settled by the French in the 1720s. Now the Fort Conde Inn, an 1836 Victorian mansion with whitewashed balconies, has kicked off a 14-building revitalization in the heart of downtown Mobile by developer Lawrence Posner.
Book It: Rates from $169; fortcondeinn.com or 251/405-5040
The most important distinction for this six-room 1827 manse is that it's an 840-acre working farmstead. Daily breakfasts showcase the farm's yields, such as eggs from resident layers and jam made with blackberries from an on-property briar patch. Rates from $249; theinnatmountvernonfarm.com
Run by a pair of thirtysomething climbers, this LEED Platinum-certified hostel is a showroom of all things local: soaps and candles from Everyday Eclectic, Greyfriar's coffee... even custom woodworking by Matt Sears of Haskel Sears Design. Private rooms from $70; crashpadchattanooga.com
Round Top, Texas
At this 46-acre property owned by Shabby Chic designer Rachel Ashwell, the five restored cottages are done up with one-of-a-kind finds (animal busts crowned in flowers hang in the entryway, copper pots over a kitchen island) from Round Top's biannual antiques fair. Rates from $230; theprairiebyrachelashwell.com