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:
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 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.
The instructors at City Yoga of St. Augustine take relaxation seriously. They invest in the translation of asana that means "at ease," a phrase that sums up their noncompetitive atmosphere and approach to each class. During lessons that encompass aspects of Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, and Lakulish yoga styles, they guide students through multiple versions of each pose. Fundamental postures can blossom into advanced holds or serve as meditative stretches for yogis of all experience levels. Rather than pushing their guests toward more difficult tableaus on smaller and smaller Twister mats, the teachers stress the value of awareness and introspection in comfort. They hope that their pupils can then transport the convivial spirit of the studio outside its walls, whether they are signing up for a full-moon beach yoga workshop or simply smiling on the walk home.
A mountaintop gazebo rises above a labyrinth of emerald corridors, offering sweeping, ocean views to mini golfers who conquer Fiesta Falls Miniature Golf's course. The 18-hole circuit takes players past eight waterfalls, through shadowy caves, and around a 65-foot Spanish galleon that has been enjoying a golf-centric retirement since the Age of Imperialism. During the daytime, trees and rocky outcroppings block out the sun’s rays, which are supplanted by towering light fixtures after sunset to allow for nighttime play. Fiesta Falls’s concessions dishes out soft-serve ice cream, milk shakes, and other desserts to help guests ice their elbow after a particularly strenuous round.