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Cultivated List: Luxury Getaways in the Southeast

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

After months of uncertainty and stay-home orders, we are feeling completely stir-crazy and are ready for a much-needed break and change in scenery.

To ease our way back into travel and support some of our favorite local properties, we are planning some fun Fall getaways in the Southeast. All of the places mentioned are an easy drive from our home base in Atlanta and are committed to ensuring a safe and healthy stay for you and your loved ones. Many of the properties are also offering flexible cancellation policies and special upgrades that we can secure through our longstanding relationships.

Check out our roundup of the most stunning sandy beaches, rugged mountains, foodie hotspots, and chic country getaways in the Southeast perfect for soaking up the last of the amazing summer weather and bringing in the beauty of Fall. The hardest part will be choosing which trip to take first.


Montage Palmetto Bluff

Photo Credit: Montage Palmetto Bluff Instagram

If there are’s two words to sum up The Bluff, it would be delightfully local. This resort, located half an hour from Savannah, GA, stuns guests from the start with the Spanish-moss lined driveway leading up to the main building. Located along the 100-mile coastal strand known as the Lowcountry, three-quarters of the Bluff is a protected nature reserve where guests can go nature watching for dolphins, gators, and eagles.

Guests can take in scenic views of the May River from their spacious cottage, guestroom, suite, or village home. There is plenty of opportunity to embrace The Bluff’s southern hospitality, from the local snacks stocked in every cottage, to the daily “porching,” where sweet tea and cookies are set out on the screened-in porch. The Bluff is a favorite getaway for golfers, who come from around the world to tee off on the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Book through Cultivated Departures to take advantage of daily resort credits through mid-December. For each night reserved, travelers will receive a $100 resort credit ($200 for suites, $300 for residences) and a complimentary upgrade at time of check in.


Blackberry Farm

Photo Credit: Blackberry Farm Instagram

Blackberry Farm has cemented itself as a foodie paradise thanks to its unique foothills cuisine, a term coined by late proprietor Sam Beall who turned the hotel into a culinary destination. The Farm is a sprawling 4,200-acre resort and actual farm that not only delights nature lovers and hikers, but gourmet globetrotters as well. The entire menu is inspired by the local produce grown around the property and is complimented with the farm’s staggering 180,000-bottle wine cellar. There’s also an on-site creamery, bakery, and brewery that you can visit as part of the daily Farmstead Tour.

Blackberry Farm’s sprawling property makes it the perfect hiking destination, especially for Fall when the Smoky Mountains foliage is in full effect. Other popular activities include fly fishing, horseback riding, paddle sports, and picnicking among the beautiful landscapes. The Farm is also home to Wellhouse, one of the most celebrated small luxury spas in the nation. The full-service spa offers a range of services to nurture mind, body, and soul, including Reiki sessions, massages, facials, and more — don’t miss the signature Appalachian Body Purification treatment. The service at Blackberry Farm is so top-notch that many travelers note that it feels like a six-star hotel. From creating a custom itinerary, scheduling dining reservations, reserving ground transportation, and even a rose petal turndown service, there’s no job that’s too big for the Blackberry Farm Concierge team.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Book through Cultivated Departures and get 15% off rates at Blackberry Farm. Contact us to learn more.


Inn at Serenbe

Photo Credit: Inn at Serenbe Instagram

Located just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, the name Serenbe was coined by owner Steve Nygren and manifested from the phrases "to be" and "serenity"— which is exactly what you’ll discover at this Inn. Set on a 36 acre farm, the Inn features an abundance of delightful scenery: from slowly strolling along the stone labyrinth to riding along a horseback trail that weaves through the woods, there’s no shortage of beautiful backdrops and photo opportunities. You can even partake in goat yoga with baby goats from the farm! At night, indulge your inner camper by roasting s’mores on the fully-stocked bonfire near the Lake Pavilion before falling asleep on the plush beds. For those traveling in larger groups, there is also the option to book standalone houses and cottages.


The Inn on Biltmore Estate

Photo Credit: Biltmore Estate Instagram

The Inn on Biltmore Estate sits atop the grounds of the famous Biltmore Estate, a 250-room mansion known as the largest privately owned house in the United States and was built by the Vanderbilt family. The Inn is located only 3 hours away from Atlanta, making it the perfect weekend getaway. Relax in your suite, carefully decorated with regal touches that hearken back to the mansion’s Gilded Age, before exploring the 8,000-acre Estate via the hotel’s free shuttle.

In fact, touring the Biltmore Estate is a must-do on your trip, and we’re sure that the estate’s rich history and beautiful architecture are bound to enchant you. Popular activities include self-guided tours through the grandiose Biltmore House, an exclusive guided tour of the Estate’s rooftop (don’t forget your camera!), and the gorgeous Walled Garden.

A visit to the Biltmore Winery pairs exceptionally well with your getaway: try a glass of handcrafted wine at a complimentary wine tasting, or visit the beautifully designed indoor/outdoor wine bar to savor the charcuterie and locally-made truffles. In true Biltmore fashion, the knowledgeable wine hosts will be there to take you on a journey through award-winning vintages. Just don't be surprised if you leave the estate with a few extra souvenirs.


Cloisters at Sea Island

Photo Credit: Sea Island Instagram

At Cloisters, you can still live out your jetsetter dreams even when the borders are closed. Thanks to the unique decor at each of the properties, it’s easy to pretend that you’ve been transported to the English countryside at Cloister’s Main Building; relaxing somewhere in St. Tropez along the five miles of private beach at the Beach Club; or sipping sangria at one of the Spanish-inspired suites found at Ocean Residences. Cloisters is conveniently located in southeastern Georgia and features plenty of fun activities like fishing, playing across three golf courses, kayaking, horseback riding, tennis, and more. As part of its mission, the property also offers one-of-a-kind walking tours through the nearby maritime forest, a “patrol” looking for nesting sea turtles, and nature classes for kids.


Blackberry Mountain

Photo Credit: Blackberry Mountain Instagram

Blackberry Mountain has luxurious mountain vacationing down to an art. The property is full of thoughtful touches inspired by the surrounding landscape, from the large floor-to-ceiling windows that invite guests to peek at the fauna outside, to the stacked-stone chimneys and oak flooring. The hotel’s Watchman cabins are located on the peak of the mountain and let guests wake up to the sun rising in one state and setting in another. In fact, on a clear day you can see North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky! Besides cabins, other accommodation options include standalone cottages and homes, which are perfect for families.

Guests can expect the same hospitality and service as its sister property, Blackberry Farm, but with more excursions and classes for the active traveler. True to its mission of inspiring guests to get in touch with nature, Blackberry Mountain has guided hikes around the area, with world-renowned experts educating guests about the local flora and fauna. The property also arranges wine and whiskey tastings; cooking demonstrations; yoga classes; and classes that allow your creativity to flow, including sketching, pottery, and basket weaving, among many others. Fall is the perfect time to visit Blackberry Mountain to see the beautiful autumn foliage, especially on the hiking trails and in the restaurant, as the chefs change up their menu to include delicious seasonal fare.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Book through Cultivated Departures and get 15% off standard rates at Blackberry Mountain. Contact us to learn more.


The Greenbrier

Photo Credit: Greenbrier Instagram

With a motto like, “America's Resort since 1778” you can’t get anymore all-American than the iconic Greenbrier. The luxury resort is set among stunning 11,000 acres of land and includes more than 700 guest rooms, 20 restaurants, 36 shops, and 55 indoor and outdoor activities. Regale your friends with stories about how you explored the Greenbrier’s once-secret underground bunker, took a falconry class, or mastered your shuffleboarding skills. However, what really makes the Greenbrier stand out is the timeless decor that was curated by high-society interior designer Dorothy Draper. You can still find Dorothy’s loud florals, fun prints, and bold colors in every corner of the Greenbrier - perfect style inspo for the Grandmillenial!


Under Canvas Smoky Mountains

Photo Credit: Under Canvas Instagram

It wouldn’t surprise us if you looked up glamping and found Under Canvas listed as the definition. This hotel combines the thrill of camping with a luxurious twist: think organic bath products, safari-inspired canvas tents, and even knowledgeable Guest Experience Coordinators to make sure that every aspect of your stay is top-notch. To give it that camping atmosphere, there are fun classic games like cornhole, horse shoes, and board games, along with a propane grill to unleash your inner Gordon Ramsay. This fall, Under Canvas will be presenting their Acoustic Music Series, where leading musicians hold intimate live music shows exclusively for guests. It’s the perfect opportunity to stargaze — in more ways than one.

Thanks to its location at the foot of the mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only a 20-minute drive from the campsite. If you’re ready to venture out a little farther, Under Canvas also has other “glampsites” in National Parks across the country, including Zion, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and more.


Old Edwards Inn

Photo Credit: Old Edwards Inn Instagram

True to its name, the quaint town of Highlands, North Carolina is perched more than 4,000 feet above sea level and makes for the perfect socially-distanced escape. Spend your day hiking through lush forests and discovering rushing waterfalls at Nantahala National Forest before coming back to unwind at the Old Edwards Inn. Located on the southwestern plateau of the Blue Ridge Mountains, guests are invited to tap into the mountain’s healing properties by revitalizing their body and rejuvenate their senses at The Spa at Old Edwards Inn. Each of the treatments is performed in a private treatment room or your Spa Suite, and include innovative yet local offerings such as the Sweet Mountain Metamorphosis, a massage using local mountain herbs; the Essential Therapy Immunity Booster massage; or the ever-popular French Facial, which uses a mix of skin cocktails to leave skin smoother and younger. It’s no wonder why The Spa at Old Edwards Inn won the Top Hotel Spa in North America by Conde Nast Traveler.


Half Mile Farm

Photo Credit: Half Mile Farm Instagram

Rustic chic meets country luxury at the charming Half Mile Farm. A sister property of the Old Edwards Inn (it’s only 2 miles away!), the Half Mile Farm is an idyllic sanctuary nestled away from the rest of the world. From the cozy fireplace to the balcony with views of the forest, your cabin will feel like a home away from home. except for the fact that you’ll have a personal concierge to take care of your every wish. Your concierge will personalize your amenities to your liking, whether that’s a bottle of champagne and a cheese plate waiting for you after an exciting day of hiking, or a basket in the kitchen filled with fresh crops from the hotel’s own farm. Popular activities include a romantic paddle on Apple Lake, a dip in the heated mineral pool, or stargazing with a glass of bubbly in hand.

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