In his poem “Back Roads to Macon,” Raymond Farr captures the small-town charm of Cordele when describing a mailbox's hand-painted sign scribbled with the folksy adage: "Whatever your destination, thank God you arrive." Farr’s muse sits off the beaten path—about 2.5 hours south of Atlanta—dotted with antique shops and quirky specialty museums showcasing the history of cotton-farm tools and vast collections of telephones. The dry Atlantic coastal-plain climate permits year-round outdoor activities, many of which can be pursued on or near the resort grounds, including 3 miles of hiking trails through a wetland ecosystem inhabited by deer, red foxes, and lost hikers.
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.
Valley Pines Golf Club's nine-hole, par 35 course stretches across 2,499 yards of pristine terrain hemmed by a multitude of water hazards and treacherous bunkers. Golfers loop the scenic labyrinth twice over to complete an 18-hole round, granting them both a chance to learn from mistakes made the first time around and a nine-hole interval to draft comebacks to the stinging trash talk of heckling flagsticks. With two holes at par 5, three at par 3, and four at par 4, the horticultural haven forces linksmen to unsheathe nearly every club or bejeweled parade scepter stashed in their bag. Modeled after the famed 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, the course features a par 3 hole with a true island green, where golfers must launch tee shots over a perilous moat to reach their well-fortified destination. Though not prohibitively long when played from the farthest tees, the course offers four tee options to cater to players of all abilities.
Perry Country Club’s par 71 course sends golfers across 6,465 yards of bermuda-grass fairways sculpted through the towering pines. A vanguard of brand-new 2012 E-Z-Go golf carts slaloms across the emerald landscape, hastening the 18-hole odyssey as passengers take in views of native flowers and seek out treasure troves of divot tools buried in strategically placed sand traps. Rippling waterways dot the relatively flat course, adding to the verdant scenery as they wait to snatch the life force of errant drives or ill-struck approaches. Clubbers can prepare for their pin-hunting walkabout with a stint at the onsite driving range, and club members may cool off weary bodies or hot-tempered 9-irons during a postround dip in the club's outdoor pool.
Voted Albany's Best Golf Course by CityVoter in 2009, Grand Island provides club wielders of all skill levels 18 holes and more than 7,000 yards of Bermuda-green bliss. Surrounded by Georgia's natural, peaceful beauty and wildlife, golfers can enjoy aiming for birdies, eagles, and dodos on finely manicured fairways. Strategically placed bogie-bunkers keep the par 72 course interesting while containing the perfect kind of sand for historically accurate castle building.