Villas on 2,000-Acre Resort with Three Championship Golf Courses
The first challenge is deciding which course to play: Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center has three championship courses, for a total of 54 scenic holes that were individually designed by award-winning architects Dan Maples, Rees Jones, and Willard Byrd. After that, the challenges lie in water hazards such as native low-country marshes, which swallow up errant drives between the Maples course and Calabash Creek. The Byrd course's 18th hole is tucked between two tranquil ponds. Meanwhile, the resort itself brings to mind an exotic paradise with its breezy villas, tropical landscapes, and easy access to Sunset Beach.
White wicker furniture, natural-wood accents, and exotic plants deck out the privately owned, personally decorated one- and two-bedroom villas. After a round of golf, you can head in to fix up a snack in the full kitchen or relax on the private porch, which looks out onto acres of undulating hills.
Magnolias Lounge often lays out weekly brunch buffets centered on Southern cuisine, serving buttermilk biscuits with sawmill gravy and farm-fresh eggs. In the Maples course clubhouse is Brassie's Pub, where golfers stop for a quick drink before they venture back onto the greens.
Sunset Beach, North Carolina: Tranquil Barrier Island
A 3-mile-long barrier island, Sunset Beach is situated close to North Carolina's coastal Brunswick Islands, about a 50-minute drive north of Myrtle Beach. Tourists head to the water for fishing, parasailing, and dolphin watching.
Nearby Bird Island is a natural preserve that is virtually unspoiled and quiet—a luxurious retirement community of sorts for reddish egrets, blue herons, and sandpipers. In Bird Island's Kindred Spirit Mailbox, visitors traditionally leave touching letters, poems, and bill payments tendered in sand dollars.