Golf is one of those sports that you can transport you to some of the world’s most beautiful and luxurious places. Rewarding yourself with a stay at one of the top golf resorts is a sure way to ensure you improve that handicap, and to give yourself an unparalleled golfing experience!
I personally started my golf career on the plain simple grounds of Australia as that country is blessed with a good part of its land being a natural golf course. Lucky Australians, although golf course qualities varies of course. Australia is a country where some of the world’s prime golf resorts are located. I was lucky enough to stay at Port Douglas’s fabulous golf resort, the Mirage Country Club, for example.
However, we don’t need to fly to the other end of the world in order to find a top quality golf resort. There are many top quality golf resorts in the US, and that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
Top Golf Resorts In the US
The top 10 US Golf resorts as it stands today:
The Pinehurst Resort in Northern California
Kiawah Island Resorts in South Carolina
Pebble Beach resorts in California
Kapalua Bay Hotel and Ocean Villas in Hawaii.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon
Princeville Resort in Princeville, Hawaii
Dora Golf Resort in Miami Florida
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North in Arizona
The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa in Arizona
The Greenbrier in West Virginia
This list of 10 golf resorts is chosen by Travel & Leisure’s discriminating readers. There are however other ratings with hundreds of panelists who decide which is the best golf course, depending on various factors ranging from yards, par, points, the course ambiance, the overall feel and atmosphere of the golf course & resort.
So, check these golf courses, but sure don’t limit yourself to just these. There are wonderful golf courses the world over and America is home to some of the best ones.
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Yes, it is usually pretty balmy here in Hawaii, but are you prepared for all of the different weather that you will find in the islands?
The weather can vary greatly within a few miles. For instance, Mount Waialeale on Kauai is the wettest spot on earth with over 460 inches of rain a year (in 1982 it actually rained 666 inches!) However, just a few miles away is a desert that receives less than 10 inches of rain per year. So as you can see the weather varies quite a lot just on one island.
Hawaii weather is greatly influenced by the trade winds that generally blow at speeds of 10-20 MPH. Sometimes the winds will be light to non-existent and sometimes they will blow much stronger–into the 30 MPH range.
The trade winds have a welcome cooling effect. Even though it may be 85 degrees with 80% humidity, the trade winds make it feel much more comfortable.
The opposite wind is called the kona wind. The kona winds tend to bring hot, humid weather, and sometimes rain. The kona winds are not as prevalent as the trade winds. (Don’t confuse kona winds with Kona side of the Big Island which tends to be hot and dry.)
Hawaii has semi-tropical weather. Temperatures usually range from 75-90 degrees year round in the daytime, and 70-80 degrees at night. Temperatures in the winter months may be a little cooler, where nighttime temperatures can sometimes fall into the 50’s. (It feels much cooler than that with a 20 MPH trade wind blowing.)
At the higher elevations of the islands (such as up country Maui and Big Island) temperatures can drop to the 30’s or 40’s and snow often falls at the very high elevations of Haleakala and Mauna Kea!
Rain showers can appear at any time of the year but they most often fall between the months of November-February. Even though these winter months are technically the “rainy season”, the rains are generally short lived, and sunshine and blue skies return quickly.
We call these short, light showers “blessings.” Sometimes you can’t even seem to find the clouds that are producing these “blessings”, but if you look around you will probably see the rainbows they leave behind!
Hawaii also has what are called “Mauka Showers.” Mauka means “inland” or “toward the mountains.” It will often be raining in the mountains or valleys, but be dry on the beaches.
Sometimes during the winter months it does rain for 2-3 days straight. The good news is that since there are so many micro-climates on the islands, you can often just go a short distance to find dry weather.
Hawaii does, on rare occasion have a hurricane pass our way, although this happens much less often than it does in Florida or other parts of the US mainland. It is always good to be prepared, of course, but the last hurricanes to hit Hawaii was “Iniki” which hit Kauai in 1992. Hurricane season runs between June-December.
Even given these general guidelines, the weather can vary quite a bit depending on where you are on the island. The windward (Northeast) sides of the islands are generally the wettest and coolest, and the leeward (Southwest) sides are generally the driest and hottest.
So as you can see, there can be quite a variety of weather in Hawaii. Be sure to pack a light jacket, rain coat, or sweater so you’ll be comfortable on the cool Hawaiian nights and in your visits upcountry.
If you plan on visiting Maui or Big Island you won’t want to miss the summits of Haleakala (elevation 10,023 feet) and Mauna Kea (elevation 13,796 feet.) Just make sure you pack a heavy jacket!
Fall is my favorite season. It gives you the opportunity to get away (particularly if you didn’t get a summer vacation) for a fraction of the cost of a summer vacation and usually the weather, nature and cultural activities are at their best. There is so much opportunity to get away in Fall to enjoy all that the season has to offer.
Fall Foliage Tours
Whether you drive yourself or take a tour bus, there’s nothing quite like seeing the changes of the season reflected in the changing color of the leaves. Of course, some places have better color than other places, and the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are considered some of the best areas of the United States to take a fall foliage tour, with the Kancamagus Scenic Byway in New Hampshire known as one of the best places in the world to see spectacular fall foliage.
But, New England’s not the only game in town, as awesome fall foliage can also be seen in such places as the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina, Lost Maples Natural Area in Texas and Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.
You can drive your car, hike, ride a bike or let someone else be your guide on one to 8-day tours.
It used to be that Halloween was reserved only for the kids. Not anymore. Halloween has become a big adult holiday as well, with Halloween celebrations being held for adults in most major cities. Some cities, however, have become must-visit Halloween spots: New York City, West Hollywood, and Las Vegas.
New York City:
For 33 years New York City has played host to one of the largest public Halloween celebrations in the United States with New York’s Village Halloween Parade, where anyone in costume is encouraged to join bands, puppets, and dancers for a parade in Greenwich Village. The Halloween parade is so popular that is has been chosen by Events International as “The Greatest Event on Earth on October 31,” as well as having been ranked 3rd by Citysearch as the best event in New York City.
This Halloween celebration takes place on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, which has a large gay and lesbian population. The celebration usually lasts several days, with such events as “Doggy Costume” contests for you pet pooch, a Drag Race (in high heels), and a costume party on Halloween night, which is billed as the “largest adult outdoor Halloween event in the world.”
Let’s face it; Las Vegas is fun any time of the year. But, for those who love Halloween and an occasional trip to Vegas, a trip to Las Vegas on Halloween is double fun. Not for the timid is the “Fetish and Fantasy Halloween Ball,” celebrated on October 27 in 2007. It’s been happening for 12 years now, and has earned numerous accolades, including being named as “One of the Top 10 Events in the World” by the Travel Channel and “One of 5 Events to Attend Before You Die” by Maxim Magazine.
For those desiring something a little tamer, many of the casinos have special Halloween celebrations, and there’s always the “Haunted Vegas Tour” you can take, which is a 2.5-hour tour of Las Vegas’ favorite haunted locations. The tour starts at the Celebrity Room at the Greek Isles Hotel & Casino and runs every Saturday through Thursday. Call 702-737-5540 for more information.
While many people stay home for Thanksgiving, or travel back to their hometowns to celebrate with family and friends, some people like to travel for Thanksgiving, sampling Thanksgiving feasts and traditions in other parts of the country. Where might you like to travel this Thanksgiving?
Plymouth was the site of the first Thanksgiving, so naturally it’s a place you might want to consider for your Thanksgiving celebration. You may want to arrive the weekend before Thanksgiving to take part in the “America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade” and “New England Food Festival.”
New York City, New York
You’ve watched it on TV, now experience it live. Get away to New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and join over two million people who line the streets watching the festivities. If you’re not into being up close and personal with crowds, get a hotel room along the parade route and watch it from your upstairs room.
San Francisco, California:
No Pilgrims here, but what you will find are superb restaurants, such as the Carnelian Room, fifty-two floors above the city. But, the real reason to come to San Francisco for Thanksgiving is what happens after Thanksgiving – shopping! And, no place does shopping better than Union Square in San Francisco, which is block after block of great shopping experiences. Stay in a hotel in the Union Square area and you can shop, drop off your goodies, and shop some more.
The above, of course, is just a tiny sampling of fall getaways. Just be sure to take it easy after your trip, you want to be fully rested for your winter getaway.
When planning Napa Valley travel, you should understand the key areas that make up the majority of Napa Valley. Calistoga, St. Helena, Oakville/Rutherford, Yountville, and Napa are towns that offer winery tours, pleasant accommodations, and other activities that tourists can add to their Napa Valley travel itinerary. As Napa Valley is well known for its wine, adults will find plenty to do, but children may not be quite as thrilled.
Calistoga became popular in the early 1800’s when settlers discovered the amazing restorative properties of the area’s natural hot springs. From that day forward, tourists arranging their Napa Valley Travel itinerary, and who are seeking a little rest and relaxation, have flocked to Calistoga. Harbin Hot Springs is a non-profit organization that offers relaxing Napa Valley travel choices. At Harbin Hot Springs, guests can relax in any of the resort’s natural springs, attend artistic workshops, or stroll the 1700 acres of impressive landscape.
Located in St. Helena, Beringer Vineyards is California’s oldest winery in full operation. Founded in 1876, Beringer offers daily tours and wine tastings for a very affordable price. The vineyard is packed with lush landscaping and historic buildings. St. Helena is also a haven for antique shoppers. The area’s extravagant Meadowood golf course will appeal to the avid golfer. Couples needing a mix of activities on their Napa Valley travel itinerary will enjoy St. Helena.
Any movie buff knows the name Francis Ford Coppola. Formerly known as the Niebaum-Coppola Vineyards, Rubicon Estate in Oakville/Rutherford continues to produce top-notch wines. Rubicon Estate offers special estates throughout the year. The St. Helena Olive Oil Company is another “must see” on many Napa Valley travel itineraries. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are both produced daily and can be sampled in the retail section of the company.
Yountville, California is no more than one mile in length. Tourists love adding Yountville to their Napa Valley travel plans because the town can be seen by foot. Park your car, put on some comfortable shoes, and see the sites. Amazing architecture is only one of the rewards. France’s Moet and Chandon sister company, Domaine Chandon, is located in Yountville. Daily tours of the winery that specializes in sparkling wines are free. While a trip into the tasting room lets you enjoy a few samples.
In Napa, La Belle Époque remains a highly requested bed and breakfast. Romantics of all ages book rooms at this gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian months in advance. The Wineries of Napa Valley is a unique organization that offers samplings from many of Napa Valley’s wine makers. The Wineries of Napa Valley sells a wine tasting card that allows ten-cent initial samplings from each winery in the establishment.
Whether you are arranging a romantic Napa Valley travel plan or wanting to explore the world of winemaking, Napa Valley is a lavish option. Though the area can be a little on the pricey side, Napa Valley travel plans create a lasting memory.
Summer is here – outdoor venues event calendars are looking plump! Everyone is gearing up for concert picnics, outdoor plays, and summer concerts – even restaurants and eateries are offering gourmet picnic baskets to take to these events. Get your hats, umbrellas, beach chairs, and picnic blankets ready!
One particular event that I look forward to this summer is the California Philharmonic’s Festival on the Green. It’s held at the Los Angeles Arboretum every summer in succeeding weekends. Each performance features a theme (Classics, Dance, and Movie themes to name a few). This event started in 1997 – a vision of Maestro Vener. The event came a reality with the help community leaders and the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department. This year is definitely special as Festival on the Green is celebrating its 10th year.
There are many events happening in other parts of the country – if you are a big literary fan, the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR is the event for you. Founded in 1935, this Tony Award Winning event is among the oldest theatre events in the country. Started by a teacher from South Oregon Normal School, Angus L. Bowmer, the festival was officially launched on July 2, 1935. Bowmer’s idea is to create a festival in conjunction with the city’s Fourth of July celebration. In 2001, the 10 millionth ticket holder was welcome. This festival is definitely one to check out!
An event that has been gaining worldwide notoriety is the Burning Man Project. Founded by Larry Harvey and Jerry James in 1986, it started as an annual fire party at Baker Beach in San Francisco. This event began with a humble group of friends and now grew to a community of 25,000 people. There are different descriptions of this event… Some say it’s Art festival, some would describe it as music festival, and others a social experiment. It is probably a combination of all these – it seems the Burning Man Project is what you want it to be or how you experience it to be. The only way to find out is to go there yourself!
Whatever you are interest in; there is a summer event for you. There’s music, arts, theatre, culinary, and many more. Definitely plan ahead and get your tickets early, as most of the very popular events sell out months in advanced. Be sure to check out the events websites to see any restrictions (such as age, alcohol, transportation, etc.), if any.
About the Author
To see a calendar of events happening this summer – music, concerts, festivals, theatre, culinary – visit The WhereWhen Project: thewherewhenproject.com Calendar access is free with no registration required… And if you have an event to promote, posting events are free as well.