Designed by renowned course architect Pete Dye in 1995, Black Bear Golf Club's 18-hole, par 72 layout showcases all the calling cards of a masterfully crafted golf course. With mounded fairways, tight landing zones, and more than 120 natural sand traps, the course—which stretches more than 7,000 yards from the tips—presents a traditional links-style layout with the favorable climate and alligator forecaddies native to Central Florida. Dye's affinity for dramatic finishing holes comes into play throughout the course. A well-bunkered, tree-lined par 4, the 9th hole is the course's second-hardest, and the 18th hole is the course's most difficult, demanding that golfers finish strong by overcoming an obscured tee shot on their way to a green guarded by a pond. A challenge for golfers of all skill levels, Black Bear has hosted multiple U.S. Amateur and Canadian Tour events.
Fostering practice as well as on-course play, Black Bear boasts a grass tee, a double-ended driving range, and a 40,000-square-foot short-game-practice area. With a menu of casual grill fare, The Bear's Den invites golfers to unwind after their days at the links and test out their divot tools' utility as fill-ins for forks.
The Villages Fishing Guide is captained by Darrell Brantley, a seasoned local fishing captain and angler. Darrell cruises his boat across lush local waters, guiding clients of all ages and experience levels on their hunt for bass, crappie, and catfish. Darrell demonstrates proper equipment handling and provides groups with fishing techniques and tips.
Festivals of Speed has been parading a fleet of the world?s snazziest automobiles before crowds at several fancy Florida hotels and resorts for a full decade. The who?s who list of cars includes vintage and contemporary models from Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, and Aston Martin, some so frighteningly aerodynamic that the wind refuses to blow on them.
To complement the automotive elegance, the event planners have made arrangements for soft jazz, luxury lifestyle displays, and sumptuous snacks perfect for tossing to Bentleys as they hop up on their hind wheels. The festival also attracts speedy species of watercraft, aircraft, and custom motorcycles, as well as classic and restored cars submitted by local auto enthusiasts. Alongside its vehicle lineup, the festivals also showcase jewelry, fine art, real estate, and culinary gems to cater to all manner of luxury aficionado.
Whether you're racing rubber duckies or catching air on the giant jumping pillow, the kid-friendly activities at Stanley Pond Adventure Farm are many. Throughout the year, the farm opens for special occasions, such as Father's Day, Valentine's Day, and Bring Your Cow to Work Day. Suited for families and kids of all ages, groups can take a ride on the antique firetruck, shoot tennis balls out of a cannon, or catch and release bass and catfish.
Deer Island Country Club's 18-hole course is covered in course architect Joe Lee's fingerprints?or, more accurately, his finger-style bunkers. The renowned designer's signature sandtraps?known for their sinuous shapes that spread into multiple "fingers"?are showcased throughout the course, clutching the edges of fairways and greens, ready to ensnare golfers' misfires or speeding golf carts.
Sometimes, however, finding a sandtrap is a blessing in disguise, as many bunkers serve as a final collection area between dry land and the lakes and wetlands that come into play on nearly every hole. Though hazardous to golfers or caddies without life jackets, the wetlands sustain a bustling ecosystem that includes alligators, bobcats, and even a family of six bald eagles, which dwells in the pine trees that line the 18th hole.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course designed by Joe Lee * Length of 6,852 yards from the tips * Course rating of 73.8 from the tips * Slope rating of 133 from the tips * Six tee options * Scorecard
Tavares is home to one of cinema's longest-enduring performers. In 1964, this star debuted alongside Robert Redford in This Property Is Condemned, and more and more films would follow that initial role, including True Grit and Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? An impressive resume for any actor, but even more so considering this star is over 100 years old. The Orange Blossom Cannonball, appropriately nicknamed "America's movie train," has hurtled down the tracks in classic westerns and other films for half a century, though its roots stretch back much further. The 1907 steam locomotive pulls vintage coaches and a caboose, complete with a potbelly stove made in 1873.
When not sharing screen time with George Clooney or his five identical siblings, the train carries the general public along the banks of Lake Dora. Hours aboard the locomotive seemed ripped from another time?conductors and staff don period costumes, and they spin tales of the train's past as well as the history of the area.