Photo: Ball & Albanese
Sprawl Factor: 3,000 acres; 483 guest rooms
Recent Nip & Tuck: Last fall, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub brought an adults-only spa garden with mineral baths, a river reflexology bed, and heated cabanas to the famed Hot Springs. Guests will have access to 28 renovated treatment rooms, plus a menu of exotic-sounding features (trip to the herbal laconium, anyone?), by spring. Last May, the resort launched Allegheny Springs, a 2-acre water park fed by the same mineral springs, which pump 1,700,000 gallons of water each day.
Fame Slept Here: Twenty-two U.S. commanders-in-chief have made the pilgrimage, as did Thomas Edison, who not only visited the resort but also helped design its first electric power plant in 1892.
Resort Lore: The original 1761 bathhouse that welcomed Thomas Jefferson in 1818 stands in near-original condition today. Want proof of the three weeks he spent "taking the waters"? See the guest books marking Jefferson's stay preserved in The Homestead's archives.
White Glove Treatment: The resort is nearly as famous for its tea times as for its tee times, and the former is notably more affordable than the latter—it's free! Every day at 3 p.m., guests flock to the stately Great Hall for cucumber sandwiches, live piano music, and sips of tea. (Proper pinkie position optional.)
Signature Style: The recent riffs on Regency-style interiors—think stripes, cabbage roses, and landscape murals—come courtesy of Richmond's Beaty & Brown Interior Design, the team behind the renovation of the inn's Historic Tower and West Wing rooms.
While Away the Afternoon: When it's warm, fly-fish with Orvis instructors on the resort's own trout-stocked creek ($425 for a guided trip for two).
Book this Room: Five themed two-bedroom President's Suites pay homage to commanders-in-chief who have visited the resort; all have sitting porches and period decor tailored to their namesakes, including oil portraits. Rooms from $175, President's Suites from $825; thehomestead.com