Designed in 1925 by prolific Scottish-born course architect Donald Ross?whose work includes famed American courses Pinehurst No. 2 and Oak Hill?Palatka Golf Club's 18-hole course careens around the swaying trees of Ravine Gardens State Park. Home to the Azalea Amateur Tournament, the course challenges golfers with remarkable hole layouts that thoughtfully weave sand traps, greens, and fairways under a canopy of arbors draped in billowy Spanish moss.
Course at a Glance:
At Anastasia Lanes and Putnam Lanes, bowlers hone skills on newly renovated, synthetic lanes while using digital, animated scoring systems to monitor progress. Bowlers close frames as a digital sound system broadcasts tunes from the Internet's reservoirs, and personal screens display professional sporting events and documentaries of bears rolling curled-up armadillos at soda bottles. Vibrant orange and blue walls surround the lanes at both locations, with full-service lounges and snack bars that fire pizza, nachos, and pitchers of soft drinks or beer to keep famished gamers from hunting small game with their bowling balls.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies to promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The Amrit Yoga Institue is less a facility for practicing yoga and more of portal to a new way of living. Set on a 6-acre campus with flowering tropical gardens, walking paths, and a tranquil beach, this institute is designed to help its students learn the art of self-discovery and experience greater freedom in their minds, bodies, and spirits. Amrit Yoga is a method of learning and teaching Yoga Nidra, a type of yoga that works to relieve stress and change day-to-day habits, improving sleep, releasing muscle tension, and decreasing anxiety. Learn to understand addiction through yoga and meditation in the Self Discovery Through Recovery program, or train to teach Yoga Nidra through the Yoga Nidra Certification program. The Amrit Yoga Institute also offers therapeutic yoga, massage therapy, and Ayurvedic body treatments to help speed the healing process.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse has been keeping its luminous eye on the Atlantic’s endless horizon since 1874. In the 130 years since, the tower of Alabama brick and Philadelphia iron has served as the home of light keepers, a beacon to sailors, and a target of arson, eventually benefiting from a 15-year restoration project that commenced in 1980. Today, a staff of historians and protectors is eager to share the rich history of the nation's oldest port, not only through education and preservation but also by letting guests explore.
Visitors can scale the 165-foot, black-and-white lighthouse's 219 steps to the bright-red observation deck to catch breathtaking views of St. Augustine and spot gangs of dolphins making trouble by the shore. Lens-room tours allow up-close access to the regularly off-limits Fresnel lens, built in 1873, which weighs 2,000 pounds and shepherds ships with a light that radiates for 25 miles on a clear night. The clink of champagne glasses adds an element of glamour to Sunset Moonrise events, whereas Dark of the Moon tours let guests in after-hours to hear the tales of paranormal activity that earned the lighthouse a feature on Ghost Hunters.
The needles of pine trees brush together softly in the forests that line St. Johns Golf & Country Club, mimicking the bated breath of golfers as they wait for a ball to fall on the bunker-speckled 18th hole. The undulating green caps the 7,250-yard Clyde Johnston-designed course, where golfers unleash their swings from one of five tee distances. The course has served as host of the PGA Tour Q-School for five consecutive years, and a practice facility with a 10,000-square-foot putting green and double-sided driving range allows golfers to work on their grip or stop yelling a childhood secret every time they swing the club. Chatter and the sound of clicking margarita glasses drift down to the course from a restaurant with views of the 9th and 18th holes, and a banquet hall hosts wedding receptions and other gatherings.