Hotel at a Glance: Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa
Tucked away in Florida's northeast corner, Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa is a 4-star, family-friendly resort with plenty of outdoor activities. In addition to its five golf courses, the high-end resort has a private stretch of Atlantic coastline reserved for its guests, less than a half-mile away. A free shuttle regularly runs to and from the coast.
- Grab a bite: at one of the on-site restaurants; enjoy sparkling sea views at 619 Ocean View and dig into more casual grill grub at Sea Porch Bar & Grill
- Press awards: the resort earned a nod as "The Best Golf Resort of the Year" in North America by The Global Golf Tourism Organization in 2013
- Signature hole: the par-3 17th hole of the TPC Stadium Course sits on a skinny peninsula that juts out into a lagoon; it's considered one of the world's most photographed holes
- In-room amenities: all guest rooms come with private balconies or patios with lagoon or golf-course views
- Go for a swim: in one of the four outdoor pools or three whirlpools
- Outdoor recreation: the resort has hiking trails, bicycles available for rent, and tennis and volleyball courts
- Complimentary resort shuttle takes guests to golf courses, the Cabana Club down by the beach, and nearby shopping
Ponte Vedra, Florida: Upscale Resort Town Near Golf Courses and Historic St. Augustine
Ponte Vedra is known for its golf courses, and thanks to the seaside community's year-round warmth, visitors head to the links no matter the season. TPC Sawgrass is one of the area's famous golf courses, and the permanent home of an annual PGA golf tournament, The Players Championship. TPC Sawgrass is comprised of two PGA championship courses. Designed by legendary golf architect Pete Dye, The Players Stadium Course has a renowned 17th hole that juts into the middle of a lagoon.
The historic port town of St. Augustine, 27 miles to the south, is worth a day trip. Here, you can wander the ruins of Castillo de San Marcos, a colonial fort that weathered several attacks in its 300-year life span. Nearby, the carefully preserved circa-1798 Ximenez-Fatio House Museum—a former boarding house—will give you a good idea of what the town looked like in the 18th century; even then, St. Augustine was 200+ years old.
Kiteboarders and surfers frequented the beaches of nearby Jacksonville. More than 80,000 acres of parkland lie within the city limits—for a low-key hike or bike ride, head to one of region's many state parks. Little Talbot Island State Park’s beaches are rife with sand dunes, and at Fort Clinch State Park, you can take a daily tour past Civil War ree-nactors or explore native wildlife on self-guided nature trails.