Williston Observer: by Victor Block

Let’s take a walk through history. In 1740, a Native American chieftain helped lay out a much-needed east-to-west route through Great Britain’s Maryland and Pennsylvania colonies. Later, if America’s Founding Fathers had sought a retreat to celebrate victory over England, they could have partied at the Homestead, a humble 18-room lodge in what then was the Virginia colony.

Two years after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, the first guests traveled to White Sulphur Springs in present-day West Virginia to restore their health by “taking the waters.”

These historic episodes are associated with three of the most outstanding resorts in the country. My personal favorite is revealed below.

The Omni Homestead Resort is nestled in rolling hills around Hot Springs, Virginia. The Greenbrier resides among dense forests that blanket West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, which is named for the Native American trailblazer, lies in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, not far from where that early path was marked.

Each of these venerable vacation venues offers the extensive array of facilities and choice of activities that guests expect at upscale resorts. At the same time they keep one foot firmly planted in their storied past.

Many attractions show up at all three. They include accommodations fit for a president, king and luminaries from other walks of life. A number of presidents and other dignitaries have graced the resorts’ premises.

When feeding royalty, a president or member of high society, the goal is to satisfy palates that are used to the finest in cuisine. This challenge is met and exceeded in both formal dining rooms and casual eateries. For example, Nemacolin offers food options ranging from an old-fashioned ice cream and snack bar to the luxurious Lautrec, one of only 25 restaurants in the world to have simultaneous Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond rankings.

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