Of all of the places we have stayed -- and our team of travel writers stays in hundreds of lodgings each year -- this is among the most distinctive. Built in 1870, Bishop Hill Guest House stands on a ridgetop just east of Madison, Indiana, and exudes a wonderful blend of history, luxury and nature that experienced travelers appreciate. We can best describe the home as "Civil War chic." The dining room table and some of the furnishings in the front parlor are primitive, but the kitchen has granite counters and stainless-steel appliances. The bedrooms have king beds with high-thread-count sheets. And the baths are beautifully updated, with new fixtures and amazingly soft, big towels. A photo of the home's original occupants hangs in the hallway, a reminder of how much time has passed since it was built and how the current owners appreciate that history.Bishop Hill sits on 300 rolling acres, and guests are welcome to hike the two mowed trails through the property. We found the trails to be fairly rigorous; for easy walks, just stroll along the gravel road and listen to the songbirds and the lowing cattle from some nearby field. A bird feeder also stands outside the living room, so guests can relax, grab a guidebook and admire the dining feathered guests. A full kitchen also makes it easy to cook meals here, and a large outdoor table and chairs set makes for a perfect setting to dine. From $200/night.