GETTING THERE: Berry Hill is 217 miles from Washington, and a pretty drive once you leave the dreaded I-95 corridor just past Richmond, where you take I-64 west to the Powhite Parkway south (Route 76). Follow Route 76 to Route 288, then to Route 360 west to South Boston. About eight miles north of South Boston, turn right onto Hamilton Boulevard and continue two miles to Route 501. Turn right onto 501 north and take a left at the third traffic light onto Green's Folly Road (Route 654). Go straight for 2.1 miles to River Road (Route 659) and turn right. Berry Hill is on the left at 3105 River Rd.

STAYING THERE: The resort (434-517-7000, www.berryhillplantation resort.com) has 90 guest rooms in the hotel wing and one cottage in each of two small buildings on either end of the front lawn. Rates start at $159 a night per room, $179 with full breakfast. The cottages run $259. The Carrington and Bruce suites, upstairs in the mansion, start at $275 a night.

EATING THERE: The Dining Room, open for breakfast and dinner daily, features traditional plantation fare (such as wild boar and trout) and "Cajun-infusion" cuisine using fresh local ingredients -- at rather hefty Washington prices. The recently opened Darby's Tavern offers lighter fare and late-night snacks.

WHAT TO DO: Should you want to slip off-grounds to take a gander at what else the area has to offer, your first stop should be Bob Cage's Sculpture Farm, about five minutes from downtown South Boston off Route 360 east, on the former tobacco auctioneer's estate at Shanti Road and Cage Trail (ask locals for directions, or call Halifax County Tourism at 434-572-2543). This is a drive-by attraction, so there's no admission fee. If you're into NASCAR, head for the South Boston Speedway (434-572-4947, www.southbostonspeedway.com), six miles or so up the road on Route 360. The South Boston-Halifax County Museum of Fine Arts and History (1540 Wilborn Ave., South Boston, 434-572-9200; www.sbhcmuseum.org) has exhibits of Virginia artists as well as local history and artifacts.

INFO: Halifax County Tourism Department, 866-464-2543, www.gohalifaxva.com.