Nottoway is everything you want in a dazzling Old South mansion. Dating from 1858, it’s the largest existing plantation house in the South, a mammoth structure with 64 rooms (covering 53,000 sq. ft.) and pillars to rival the White House’s. Saved from Civil War destruction by a Northern gunboat officer who had once been a guest here, Nottaway has still-handsome interiors featuring marvelous curlicue plasterwork, hand-carved Corinthian columns of cypress wood in the ballroom, beautiful archways, and original crystal chandeliers. You can also stay here, in rooms with period furnishings and luxurious bathrooms ($174–$320 per night including breakfast and tour; check website for online deals).