America’s 12 Best Golf Vacations

Golf may have been invented in Scotland but Americans love the sport. The United States accounts for approximately 45 percent of the golf courses in the world. While golf used to be a “rich man’s” sport, today there are courses that fit every budget. With the emergence of players like Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam golf has become popular with people of all ages. Along with the growing popularity of golf, weekend trips and golfing vacations have also become more popular. Couples and groups of friends have found that a golfing vacation is the best way to play some of the best courses and also enjoy a great travel destination at the same time. We have come up with our list of the best golf destinations in America.

12. Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs is a resort destination in the desert. The area became popular around 1900 for its hot springs. In the early part of the 1920’s the Hollywood elite would go there to get away from the crowds, but soon hotels and spas began springing up to serve the clientele. Today Palm Springs is still a spa destination but also offers great golfing. Palm Springs has over 100 public and private courses in the area. Courses are available for all levels of players and budgets. One of the best golf packages is at Indian Wells Golf Resort which has 36 holes and is ranked in the top 20 of “courses you can play” in California by Golfweek magazine. When not golfing you can enjoy the hot springs, shopping, hiking, biking or horseback riding. Great for couples looking to go on a trip, or even just a group of friends.

Photo by: Prayitno via Flickr
Photo by: Prayitno via Flickr

11. San Antonio, Texas

Texas has over a thousand golf courses to choose from. San Antonio makes our list not only for the great courses but the surrounding activities. La Cantera Golf Resort is ranked #2 in “Top Resorts in North America” and among the “top 50 Golf Resorts in the US” by Conde Nast traveler. As the site of PGA events, the resort offers great dining, luxurious rooms and is a good home base for exploring the surrounding area. Sights like the famed San Antonio River Walk and of course, The Alamo are both destinations that need to be on your must see list. Located at the gateway to the Texas Hill Country, San Antonio is a great destination for couples, families or that buddy trip.

Photo by: La Cantera
Photo by: La Cantera

10. Savannah, Georgia

Established in 1733, Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia. Outdoor cafes, gourmet restaurants and River Street along the Savannah River offers visitors a unique experience. The famed 18-hole Savannah Harbor Golf Resort is a Robert Cupp and Sam Snead championship course and is ranked among the top 100 golf courses in the US by Conde Nast Traveler. The Westin offers golf packages from $109 and up. The Westin also has a complimentary water ferry to take you to River Street where you can check out the brew pubs, galleries and great restaurants after a day on the course.

Photo by: Keith Allison
Photo by: Keith Allison

9. Orlando, Florida

Mickey Mouse isn’t the only thing Orlando is known for. Besides the proximity to Disney World, Orlando offers world class golf courses and resorts. Resorts like the Villas of Grand Cypress are close to Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando. The resort offers exceptional golfing and has hosted such tournaments as the LPGA Tour Championship, World Cup of Golf and Greg Norman’s Shark Shoot-out. The club offers 45-holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature designed golf. With all the great nearby attractions, Orlando rates as a great golf destination for everyone.

Golf Course Florida (2)

8. Napa, California

Located in the Napa wine region, the Silverado Resort and Spa is also home to two championship courses designed by PGA Hall of Famer Johnny Miller. The resort offers several golf packages and also has Junior Golf Summer Camps. The resort also has a world class spa with wellness coaches and even a golf swing therapy session with massage and reflexology treatments.  With over 400 wineries in the region a day tour of wine tasting and sightseeing should be on your list of things to do. Host to the PGA Frys.com tournament, the luxury resort is a great getaway for couples looking to relax, golf and spend time in the wine country.

Silverado Resort and Spa, CA
Photo by: Silverado Resort and Spa

7. Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island off the coast of South Carolina is known for beautiful beaches, exceptional restaurants and world class golf. With over 50 courses to choose from on the island it is hard to make a choice, but one place stands out above the rest. The courses at Sea Pines Resort home to the Heron Point Course by Pete Dye, the Ocean Course and the Harbor Town Golf Links which is a favorite among PGA players has to be the best resort on the island. Located on 5,000 acres the resort hosts the annual PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage tournament. Accommodations range from elegant rooms at the Harbor Town Inn to homes and vacation villas. The resort has vacation packages to suit couples groups and families.

Photo by: Sea Pines Resort
Photo by: Sea Pines Resort

6. Monterey, California

Monterey, located on California’s rugged central coast, is the home of the Pebble Beach Golf Resort. Even people that don’t follow or play the sport have heard of Pebble Beach. Over the years the resort has attracted politicians such as Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Teddy Roosevelt, golfers like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones and celebrities the likes of Bill Murray, Bing Crosby and Clint Eastwood. With choices of three distinct accommodations, the Lodge, the Inn and a Mediterranean-styled estate, you can relax in style and also experience one of the best known courses in the world. Five courses to include the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links will test your skills and patience.

Pebble Beach Golf Resort, CA

5. White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

Don’t be confused that this location is included on our list. White Sulphur Springs is home to The Greenbrier. Since 1778 The Greenbrier Resort has been welcoming guests from all over the world. Listed on the National Historic Register, The Greenbrier has hosted 26 of the nation’s Presidents and has been a favorite of royalty and celebrities. Befitting the status of the Greenbrier be prepared to dress accordingly. Collared shirts and slacks, no denim, are required on the course. With rates ranging from $300 per person and up, this is chance to experience great golf and stay at a historic resort. You never can tell who you might run into.

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

4. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Situated at the base of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs is also home to the US Air Force Academy. Colorado Springs offers visitors great outdoor activities, such as rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, sightseeing and of course golf. The Broadmoor was founded in 1918 and at the time had the highest elevation golf course in the United States at 6,400 ft. The resort has three courses and package rates that include accommodations, course fees and meal credits. The resort also has over 20 restaurants and lounges on the property. If you ever decide to venture away from the resort, the nearby area surrounding Colorado Springs offers a lot of things to see and do.

Golf

3. Tucson, Arizona

Located in the Sonoran Desert, Tucson is also the home of the University of Arizona. Historic old Spanish Missions, Hot Air Balloon rides, horseback riding, handcrafted jewelry and souvenirs are all available. The reason we include this on our list is the Omni Tucson National Resort, a host course for the PGA Tucson Conquistadores Classic and past host of the Chrysler Classic. Ranked by PGA pros as one of the most challenging finishing holes on the tour this course will make for a memorable trip. The Catalina course has hosted over 30 PGA tournaments throughout the years while the Tom Lehman designed Sonoran Course features 2 lakes and over 60 bunkers. After spending time on the course exploring Tucson and all it has to offer makes for a great trip.

Photo by: Tucson Golf Estates
Photo by: Tucson Golf Estates

2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

With close to 100 courses in the greater Myrtle Beach area there is no wonder why it is often called “the Golf Capital of the World”. Depending on the time of year a golf vacation package can cost as low as $60 per day which includes lodging and course fees. When you’re not on the golf course you can enjoy the beach, great shopping or book a fishing charter. Myrtle Beach is a great destination for couples, families or friends alike. With courses like TPC Myrtle beach, awarded five stars by Golf Digest and the Dunes, a Robert Trent Jones signature course; Myrtle Beach has to be on your list of destination.

Myrtle Beach Golf Course

1. Pinehurst, North Carolina

While Myrtle Beach is known as the “Golf Capital of the World” Pinehurst is known as the “Cradle of American Golf”. Pinehurst has a population of less than 15,000 and is home to nothing else but Pinehurst. Since the first cottages were built in 1895, Pinehurst has expanded and grown into one of the most recognized golf courses in the world. In the early 1900’s Donald Ross was commissioned to build the first four courses at Pinehurst. Since then it has grown to nine courses total and has hosted more championships than any other course in the United States. Pinehurst has to be on every avid golfer’s bucket list and is a great trip destination.

Pinehurst Golf Course

11 Amazing Islands Every Traveler Should Visit!

What could be more relaxing than enjoying the slower place on a tropical island? While famous islands like Hawaii and Puerto Rico may come to mind, the fact is that they aren’t the only island destinations out there. They should certainly be on your list, but there are a few others you’ll want to consider. Consider adding these top 11 islands to your list of dream vacations and top places to visit in the coming years.

11. Prince Edward Island

Located off the coast of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island has a great deal to offer. The views are incredible, and the beaches are outstanding. The island has a pristine air about it that visitors love, and there’s plenty to do with more than 150 festivals, events and activities throughout the year.

Prince Edward Island

10. Palau

With more than 200 lush limestone inlets and incredible seas, the landscape of Palau is well known for its beauty. Top activities include kayaking, but the island is perhaps best known for the sub-aqua action recorded by Jacques Cousteau. Visit Jellyfish Lake to watch the underwater ballet of zooplankton that have the lost the ability to sting.

Palau

9. Hilton Head

Located off South Carolina, this American treasure is still a top place to visit. It has pristine beaches and an incredible range of shops and restaurants. The sound of the ocean helps visitors relax, and the incredible bike trails provide extra entertainment for everyone who loves the great outdoors.

Hilton Head

8. Sao Tome & Principe

The smallest state of Africa, this little region is part of a chain of extinct volcanoes. It’s off the beaten path and most tourists don’t even know it exists. Those who do visit are awed by the incredible beaches, impressive jungle interior and hotels nestled in crumbling colonial plantation homes. The dry season is June to September, and you can enjoy the views of visiting humpback whales if you visit between July and October.

Sao Tome

7. Cook Islands

This chain of 15 islands is known for having some of the finest beaches in the South Pacific. The local airport in Butmany Oz makes it more convenient for visitors, and people who stop in for hiking or kayaking don’t usually want to leave. Modern hotels provide you with most modern amenities, and the incredible shoreline ensures that you’ll leave with memories that will last a lifetime.

Cook Islands

6. Lanai

If you do travel to Hawaii, be sure to plan a few days on the island of Lanai. This hidden gem offers visitors secluded luxury and is a great representation of traditional Hawaii. Enjoy snorkeling in Manele Bay where you can swim with spinner dolphins, or sit back and enjoy the incredible beaches or rugged island interior.

Lanai

5. Tasmania

One of the little jewels of Australia, Tasmania has a rich cultural history that perfectly complements the incredible beaches and hiking trains. The scenery provides visitors with a peek at the Australia of yesterday, and visitors say that the locals are very friendly and welcoming.

Tasmania

4. Great Barrier Reef Islands

No visit to Australia would be complete without a trip to these individual reef systems. The reefs are filled with life, and the mainland offers countless excursions. You can choose the adventure level that best suits your personality and needs. Be sure to head out to the islands prepared with a snorkel so that you can get a unique glimpse of life below the surface.

Great Barrier Reef

3. Sea Island

Nestled along Georgia, Sea Island is one of the best kept secrets of the American East Coast. It features worldly elegance in the friendly setting of the deep south. The hospitality is amazing, and the scenery is impressive with Spanish moss, amazing views and welcome sunshine. It’s described by some as Heaven on Earth, and it has a reputation for being a world of its own.

Sea Island

2. Bora Bora

When relaxation is at the top of your list, Bora Bora in the French Polynesian is the place to go. The ocean scenery is incredible, and the above-water bungalows provide you with the privacy you crave. The people are friendly, and the incredible tropical beauty is hard to resist.

Bora Bora

1. Maldives

This island in the Indian Ocean combines the best of everything with incredible views, stunning beaches, great service, and gorgeous resorts. From the sunsets to the white sands, pictures don’t do this island justice. The memories will last a lifetime, but it just may become your favorite vacation spot when you need to decompress.

Maldives