As we survey recent events around the globe we’re forced to concede, perhaps ruefully, that it is small world. And sometimes we wish the world was a bit bigger: that distances were greater, and that bucolic peace could still be gained, and our everyday business rendered irrelevant with a 30-minute drive in any direction. (No, Laguna Beach doesn’t count.) To address these anxieties we bring you two suggestions, one a resort, the other a B&B. Both promise a sort of small-town ease that can only be found in the quieter corners of one’s home continent. Rest assured that such places still exist; they aren’t just day trips. But you want them to last longer than a day, right?
Montage Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina
The east coast of South Carolina is a complex of miles and miles of bio-rich inlets, islands, estuaries, bays, and coastal forests. This is where you’ll find the Palmetto Bluff resort: 20,000 acres of pristine South Carolina “lowcountry” encompassing a nature preserve, walking trails, a marina, and ample opportunities to fish, golf, watch birds, swim, explore whimsical tree houses—anything, really. But all those plans could be felled by something as modest as a veranda. And there are many of them—screened porches, too—because Palmetto Bluff is more rural village than hotel. The resort is anchored by the Inn, a large plantation house with multiple suites, but the Bluff is known for the dozens of small cottages and two-story guesthouses that line leafy avenues. This is a neighborhood, family-friendly, with incomparable natural charms. The entire development is saturated with antebellum grandeur, and while this resort boasts the expected top-flight amenities (fabulous food, gorgeous rooms, a spa, fireside s’mores every night for the kids) its signature achievement is the perfect distillation of a romantic Southern landscape. You might be looking forward to kayaking, but when confronted with a grove of old-growth oaks draped in moss, afternoon birdsong, and the wistful sight of golden hour giving way to the fireflies, you’ll understand why we’re betting on that veranda. Rates begin at $525; visit www.montagehotels.com/palmettobluff/ for more information.