Two hotels are inextricably linked to The Shining. One is the Timberline in Oregon (more on that later) and the other is this 420-room behemoth, which housed Stephen King in the 1970s and, ostensibly, served as the model for the place where Jack Nicholson communed with dead bartenders. Inventor Freelan Oscar Stanley created it to introduce wealthy Northeasterners to the wonders of the Rockies. The hotel effectively turned the settlement of Estes Park into a legitimate city, and helped with the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park. Though The Shining might be the hotel's most recognizable legacy, the park will be its most enduring.
Foxwoods Resort Casino
Connecticut, famous for fishing lodges and wilderness resorts, has one symbol that stands above the rest: Foxwoods, the pre-eminent gaming destination for discerning nickel-slot players throughout the tri-state area and New England. One reason: It paired destination gambling with a trove of outlet stores, including the new Tanger Outlets, home to high-end retail from the likes of Coach, H&M, and Michael Kors. All that, and it's also home to the best steakhouse in Connecticut, David Burke Prime.
Hotel du Pont
The most esteemed family name in Delaware is also on the grandest hotel in the state. Located in the heart of Wilmington, the hotel opened in 1913, after a team of 18 European craftsmen spent two years completing the marble, woodwork, and artisan ceilings. A recent $40 million renovation only cements it as one of the finest hotels on the continent. Its DuPont Theatre inside boasts the fourth-largest stage in America, and the Green Room restaurant has earned the coveted AAA Four Diamond rating. No wonder presidents such as Warren Harding, JFK, and Obama have all stayed nights in its delicately appointed guest rooms.
District of Columbia
Every American scandal or quasi-scandal since 1974 has been called "Something-gate." What happened in '74 to change the American lexicon? In a word, Watergate. This is where burglars working for Richard Nixon's campaign broke into Democratic National Committee offices, setting in motion events that led to the only presidential resignation in US history. While the curved, painfully 1960s design has been described as being "as appropriate as a strip dancer performing at your grandmother's funeral," the building was DC's first mixed-use complex, with apartments, offices, shopping, swimming pools, and gardens. After a recent nine-year closure, it reopened this summer as one of the most modern hotels in the city.