The South's Best Resorts 2018

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Southerners want a resort to offer much more than a place to sleep. We're after total escape. And pampering. And serious ambiance. We want to forget that we ever had a job or a mortgage or even a to-do list. A great resort is a destination unto itself, though we'd also like an ocean view or maybe a mountain vista when we step onto that private balcony. The best resorts in the South run the gamut from old-school elegance at places like Blackberry Farm and The Greenbrier to the rustic seclusion of Little Palm Island. It doesn't matter whether a resort is known for white tablecloth dining (jacket required, guys) or beachside picnics (flip-flops optional). What matters is that they do what they do better than anybody else—and that you don't have a care in the world from the moment you check in.

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See The Winners

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1. Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm
Helen Norman

Walland, Tennessee

Blackberry Farm emanates hospitality, from its farm-to-table offerings to the porches on guest cottages.

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2. Montage Palmetto Bluff

Montage Palmetto Bluff
Courtesy of Montage Palmetto Bluff

Bluffton, South Carolina

Guests can kayak on Lowcountry marshes in front of balconied guesthouses overlooking mossdraped oak trees.

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3. Lake Austin Spa Resort

Lake Austin Spa Resort
Courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

Austin, Texas

You'll forget that bustling Austin is only 40 minutes away. Splurge on a hot tub cottage for even more relaxation and stargazing.

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4. The Cloister

The Cloister
Peter Frank Edwards/Redux

Sea Island, Georgia

Once a retreat for Presidents and business tycoons, the historic Cloister remains a bastion of old-school luxury.

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5. Rancho Loma

Rancho Loma
Art Meripol

Talpa, Texas

For those serious about going off the grid, it offers luxe Texas ranch living in a contemporary-style five-bedroom house.

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6. Rancho Pillow

Rancho Pillow
Courtesy of

Round Top, Texas

Part Texas farmhouse and part Pee-wee's Playhouse, this retreat suits Round Top's creative community.

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7. The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier Resort
Photo: Ball and Albanese

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

A true grande dame of American resorts, it has been welcoming guests since 1778.

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8. Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri
Art Meripol

Ridgedale, Missouri

This cabin-style property is perched above Table Rock Lake in the Ozark Mountains. Activities here include paddleboarding, bass fishing, and waterskiing.

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9. Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
Chris M. Rogers

Little Torch Key, Florida

Little Palm offers guests 30 oceanfront suites, and azure water views abound.

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10. Primland

Robbie Caponetto

Meadows of Dan, Virginia

Wake up in the Blue Ridge Mountains in one of Primland's Tree Houses. Take stargazing to a new level at the resort's high-altitude observatory.

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