Palm Coast, Florida
A Salamander Resort
What it is
A red-roofed, 12-story family beach retreat on 2.4 miles of fluffy white sand, with two renowned golf courses.
What it isn't
Just about golf. Sure, there’s spanking new course designed by Jack Nicklaus, but there’s also kayak tours through a 77,000 acre estuary, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding in some of 50 nearby parks….the list goes on.
What we think
When it comes to chillaxing seaside vacays, it’s difficult to trump this traditionalist gem. Every single room feels like your own private beachfront condo, thanks to homey touches (granite vanities in the bathrooms; marble entryways; DVD-players alongside each TV for movie nights). Golfers beeline here from across the globe to play the resort’s championship courses—which have hosted PGA Tours, natch—but you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy them. Their Private Golf Instruction program is taught by PGA professionals ready to get you closer to your personal best. For a boost of only-on-vacay self confidence, hit the resort’s spa for a “Beach Ready Polish and Tan”—i.e. A Bora Bora Body Polish and spray tan. (Shhh...we won’t tell anyone).
You're here because
The pool set-up is aptly named “Fantasy Pool Complex,” with a lazy river, zero-entry beach pool, twisty water slides, and even indoor hot tubs hidden by lush tropical gardens.
Watching the sun set over the Atlantic ocean, you find yourself mesmerized by the transcendent, misty, light. Until your waiter sets a plate of charbroiled Gulf oysters before you with parmesan, garlic grilled crostini and perfume rock salt. Now that’s mesmerizing.
Restaurants & Bars
Atlantic Grille - Award-winning oceanfront seafood restaurant
Delfinos - Serving Italian and seafood specialties
Loggerheads - Gastropub featuring a sixteen-foot TV screen—perfect for viewing sporting events
Sushi Bar - Small and intimate dining space serving freshly prepared sushi
Ocean Bar & Café - Family-friendly dining
Lobby Bar & Sushi - Gourmet coffee bar in the morning transiting midday to a cocktail and sushi bar
Cigar Bar - 19th century London-style cigar bar
Due south of Jacksonville, Florida (about an hour’s drive), but just down the sand from Fort Matanzas National Monument and Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, where live oak trees drip with Spanish moss.