With its titanic 8,000-acre breadth, Lake Blackshear presents opportunities for all types of outdoor fun—a natural source of recreation of which Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club takes full advantage. Across the resort's immaculate grounds, guests can hike through the woods or across the shoreline; swim; or rent pontoon, fishing, and ski boats for aquatic sports and exploration. The lake is stocked with bass, bream, crappie, and catfish, and offers hidden coves and shaded areas ripe for fishing.
The lake and its surrounding waterways also help shape one of the resort's main attractions: its 18-hole 7,059-yard golf course. Water hazards come into play on eight different holes, including the signature 15th hole, a par 5 with water all the way down the left side. Those who are able to keep their ball dry will still have to contend with sand traps—60 of them pepper the course—and tall loblolly pines, which hug the Tifway 419 fairways and dwarf bermuda greens throughout the layout.
Course at a Glance:
Although comparable in length and difficulty, River Pointe Golf Club's front and back nines present two distinct challenges. The front eases golfers into the round with a traditional layout interspersed with only occasional water hazards. The second act could be traversed as easily by canoe as it is by cart. Built around wetlands, the back puts water into play on the majority of holes, where golfers will often catch views of passing alligators, turkeys, foxes, and other wildlife.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,919 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.9 from the tips * Slope rating of 136 from the tips * Five tee options * Scorecard
Wrapped around a bulge in its namesake waterway, Flint River Golf Course presents golfers with 18 holes of waterfront play. Owned by the City of Albany, the course welcomes locals and out-of-towners alike with a sprawling clubhouse and immaculate upkeep. Inside, players can check in for their tee times or check out the gear offered in pro shop, where they'll find shoes by Footjoy, clubs by Ping, and markers that tell you exactly where the squirrel ran off with your ball.
Salsa Caliente transforms left-footed Poindexters into sexy-footed Poindexters with its thorough, welcoming approach to Latin dance instruction. Professionally trained instructors place an emphasis on correct form and timing in a learning environment appropriate for all levels of experience. On Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, svelte Swayzes devote 60 minutes to teaching the spiciest L.A.-style salsa steps, coaching the clumsiest greasers to win future dance-offs with rival gangs of pirouetting street hooligans. Influenced by a number of North and South American dance crazes, the rousing rhythms of L.A.-style salsa favor dramatics and athleticism, so budding Banderases should arrive donned in comfortable clothing and shoes to help develop fluid movement. Salsa Caliente views dancing as a social activity, though no dance partner is required for its friendly forays into heated beats—any unaccompanied Gingers will be paired with friendly Freds.
Snuggled among 35 acres of wild flowers, old-growth trees, and verdant greenery, Country Oaks Golf Course delights divot diggers with a slew of scenic yet challenging holes. The course, full of narrow fairways and strategically located greens, rewards golfers' accurate drives and skillful approach shots with the ability to speak French. Errant whacks may land in Country Oaks' treacherous water obstacles, tree stands, and sand traps, while the undulating terrain demands subtle reads as players prepare their shots. Golf carts are included, allowing players to save their energy for more important tasks, such as retrieving errant shots, showing off on the driving range, or forging unused clubs into a mega club at the course's 3,500-square-foot clubhouse.
Giant oak trees and old-growth flowering camellias surround The Daffodale Estate, a grand Victorian home built in 1897. Those trees create an aura of mystery that matches the puzzling rumors and ghost stories associated with the property. Ghost-hunting teams have visited in the past, documenting paranormal activity with cameras and motion detectors. One of the teams sensed the presence of a ghostly family with a young child. There's also a Civil War?era slave cemetery nearby, and an Indian mound said to date back more than 1,000 years.
Despite its paranormal reputation, the manor is home to more than just ghosts. The spirit of hospitality also permeates the stately house, which hosts outdoor weddings and parties that spread out across three acres of manicured garden space. Inside, a Victorian dining room filled with period furnishings frequently fills with the friendly din of conversation during the house's lively luncheons and tea parties.