2hrs by car
Fun fact: Washington Depot—one of the five smaller villages within the area—inspired Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow. And while you probably won’t stumble into Luke’s Diner or grab international cuisine at Al’s Pancake World, there’s still plenty of New England cuteness to be found in the historic town, which dates back to 1779 and was named in honor of—you guessed it—George Washington, who passed through the area many times during the Revolutionary War. Enjoy sweet views of the Shepaug and Aspetuck Rivers, high-steepled churches, stone Colonial homes and a provincial town square, and you’ll be relaxed in no time.
What to do: Speaking of R&R, the Mayflower Grace, a country retreat on 58 acres of gardens and woods, has an on-site 20,000-square-foot spa. Get loose during its Japan ritual, which starts with an exfoliation using ginger grass and bamboo and is polished off with a shiatsu massage with wild lime silk oil and plum blossom cream. Then further pamper yourself during the Hamman Red Flower, which begins with a scrub of coffee beans, olive stones and lemon, followed by a wrap in rhassoul clay. You’ll feel like butter in no time.
Where to stay: Your spa destination, the Grace Mayflower, touts 30 rooms and a Relais & Châteaux designation and is surrounded by 3,000 acres of nature preserve. Its interior is understatedly elegant, with floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the public spaces with sunlight. Rooms are decked out with white and beige tones, with overstuffed couches, four-poster beds, window seats and in-room fireplaces. Unwind with a soak in the marble bathroom before slipping into your robe and sinking into plump, oversize pillows. Meanwhile, the airy dining room, complete with white linen tablecloths, is where you tuck into signature dishes like East Coast oysters and Maine lobster.