There comes a time when walking the beach or dining out or going to the theater simply won’t feed the need for putting one’s muscles to work. Whether you prefer to test your athletic skills on land or sea, here are five suggestions for working up a good competitive sweat in comfort and style.
By Valerie Schimel
Billed as the “birthplace of tennis in Northeast Florida,” the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is the official tennis club of the ATP World Tour. The resort is a tennis lover’s dream: 15 Har-Tru clay courts, eight lighted courts, computerized ball machines, an oversized practice backboard and a staff of professional instructors at your disposal. Work up a sweat on the court, then relax in the spacious clubhouse, take a dip in the Jacuzzi or grab a drink at the courtside lounge. Looking for a more intensive experience? Tennis Magazine reports that Ponte Vedra has “one of the top adult tennis camps in the nation.”
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club: 200 Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach, 888-839-9145, pontevedra.com
Hit the links and reap the benefits of a $100 million, four-year renovation project at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens. Brace yourself for a challenge on the resort’s Champion course, voted toughest course (non-major division) on the PGA Tour by Golf Digest. Afterward, recoup with a dip in the property’s zero-entry pool, then reward yourself with a wine-heavy feast at Ironwood, a 2012 winner of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.
PGA National Resort: 400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, 800-863-2819, pgaresort.com
Set sail at Captiva Island’s South Seas Island Resort and rediscover the Atlantic at the hotel’s Colgate Offshore Sailing School. Choose from two-, three-, five- or seven-day courses and cast off. Or get the kids involved via a family package. You’ll learn to sail, cruise or race on sailboats 26 to 43 feet. Spend the day on the water, then retire to a guest room, villa, condo, cottage or private home. All enjoy access to Captiva’s 330-acre wildlife preserve and two-and-a-half-mile beach.
South Seas Island Resort: 5400 Plantation Road, Captiva Island,
Located seven miles from the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach’s The Breakers resort is the ultimate destination for a croquet lover. Spend the day at the National Croquet Center playing on 19 full-sized lawns or pop by on Saturday at 10 a.m. for a free “Golf Croquet” lesson. Practice your newly acquired skills on The Breakers’croquet lawn or relax in the 20,000-square-foot spa. Don’t miss the moonlight massage, a 90-minute treat that begins at sunset and continues as the moon and stars light the sky.
The Breakers Palm Beach: One South Country Road, Palm Beach, 888-273-2537, thebreakers.com
Drop a line in the water at Hawks Cay in the Keys and you may never leave. The island resort is serene, secluded and stocked with fishing options. Choose among reef, Gulf Stream or backcountry flat fishing and let the hotel’s guides lead the way. The fishing is plentiful and delicious. Local catch includes blackfin tuna, grouper, bonefish, mahi mahi, snook and tarpon. Spend the day on the water, then slip into the resort’s Calm Waters Spa for an 80-minute sea-stone massage. Cap it off with a glass of wine by the fire pit.
Hawks Cay Resort: 61 Hawks Cay Blvd., Duck Key, 888-395-5539, hawkscay.com