Category Archives: Golf

From budget to bucket list, Active City Travel’s favorite golf courses you can play on your next vacation in Canada and The United States.

Visit Florida’s Space Coast

The billionaire space race has reignited public interest in space exploration and travel, an interest not seen since millions watched Neil Armstrong make one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

It’s easy to forget that space travel was the dream of one man. In 1961 John F. Kennedy asked America to commit to sending men to the moon “before this decade is out.” Sadly President Kennedy did not live to see his dream come true.

JFK at Kennedy Space Center
JFK at Kennedy Space Center

When the space program began, NASA chose Merritt Island, Florida for two reasons: the launch would occur over unpopulated areas and an east coast location meant rockets leaving Earth would get a boost from the Earth’s rotation.

Explore Kennedy Space Center main gate
Explore Kennedy Space Center main gate

If you’re interested in space travel and the science of space exploration,  a visit to the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Space Coast is probably on your bucket list.

Top Tips for Kennedy Space Center Visitors

First time visitor? KSC is overwhelming. Will you have time to see everything? What should you see first? Start early and make use of the helpful concierge at the information center.

They can plan out a visit based on what you most want to see and your time available. The free map has good must see suggestions. A multi day ticket is also available – good for multiple admissions within one year.

Tip #1. 

My suggestion: Start where it all began – take the bus ride from KSC to Launch pad A. The world’s fascination with space travel was ignited by Apollo 11, the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, on July 2oth 1969.

Apollo 11 Control Room, KSC
Apollo 11 Control Room, KSC

See the actual control room, not a replica but the control room used for the first moon landing in 1969. These computers cost $3.5 million a piece and were the size of a car. Now your smartphone is millions of times more powerful than the Apollo 11 guidance computers. You can walk under a gigantic Saturn V rocket and touch a moon rock, which unremarkably feels just like an earth rock.

Saturn V Rocket at Kennedy Space Center
Saturn V Rocket at Kennedy Space Center

Looking like a model kit built by giants, the Saturn V rocket fills the room. The three-stage liquid-propellant reliable, but non-recyclable Saturn V was the NASA rocket that launched humans to the moon.

Tip #2. 

After you return, join the timed entry for space shuttle Atlantis. Choose your KSC visit partner carefully. This is not the time to have the argument that space travel is a waste of government money – money better spent improving lives on earth. That may be true but it’s a total buzz kill.

Tip #3.

After all that time on your feet, you’re ready to sit down. Visit the Imax Theaters for a film. When you visit the IMAX theater, take the stairs to the very back – the experience will be more immersive.  Also families with fidgety, coughing children will stay together on the first level by the entry doors.

While the Kennedy Space Center is the feature attraction of Florida’s Space Coast, there are plenty of other places and attractions to visit. Cities in the area include Titusville, Cocoa, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Merritt Island (unincorporated), Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Indialantic, Palm Bay, and Viera.

Cocoa Beach, south of Cape Canaveral, is known for its beach and surf breaks. Inside a surf shop, the Florida Surf Museum traces the sport’s local history. Nearby Cocoa Beach Pier has eateries and shops. The maritime forest at oceanfront Lori Wilson Park attracts birdlife. If you’re looking for unique crafts and curiosities or vintage clothes, check out Historic Cocoa Village.

Duran Golf Club
Duran Golf Club

Viera’s Duran Golf Club features a championship 18-hole links-style Florida golf course which plays 7151 yards from the tips. Designed by Chip Powell, Duran opened to the public in 2005.

The par-4  18th is the signature hole at Duran. This long, sweeping dogleg left wraps around a large lake, a challenging finale to your round.

Duran Golf Club Invitational annually hosts top women’s college golf teams from Louisville, Florida, Florida State and UCF,South Carolina, LSU, and Auburn.

Where to Stay on Florida’s Space Coast

Just steps from the Atlantic, the pet-friendly Windemere Inn by the Sea is situated on a barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Indian River to the west, located on A1A, in Indialantic, Florida. 

Windemere Inn by the Sea
Windemere Inn by the Sea

The Windemere Inn B&B features eleven comfortable guest-rooms. 

Pet-friendly Windemere Inn
Pet-friendly Windemere Inn

Tesla and Universal/J1772 charging stations are provided as well as parking.  Pets travelling with their owners are welcome in the secluded English Garden and the Windsong rooms.

Guests have the choice to swim in the ocean or the heated pool. Beach towels, umbrellas and beach chairs are all available to take to the nearby beach. 

Windemere Inn by the Sea
Windemere Inn by the Sea

We enjoyed comparing notes with other travellers over delicious homemade complimentary breakfasts and our genial host had great suggestions for local bars and restaurants including Meg O’Malley’s Irish bar in downtown Melbourne. Try the famous 18-cent bean soup and the best Guiness ever – in Florida!

Top Resorts in Palm Beach County

If your perfect Palm Beach Florida vacation features a range of surf and turf activities, we have the ideal resorts for you. These properties offer everything from snorkeling amidst sunken ships to historical tours on beach cruisers to waterside golf.

You’ll find ample opportunities for paddleboard and surfing lessons, state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor fitness facilities and even a 15-mile jogging trail along the Intracoastal Waterway.

The Breakers
The Breakers photo credit: John Cameron

Inspired by the Italian villas of the 1400s, The Breakers Palm Beach is run by descendants of founder Henry Flagler. Guests can do a free, two-hour cycling tour of local historical sites.

Golfers will love the challenging Rees-Jones course, the oldest 18-hole course in Florida. Dating from 1896, the Ocean Course sits on 140 acres overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, adjacent to the 540-room Breakers Hotel.

The Breakers Clubhouse
The Breakers Clubhouse photo credit: John Cameron

After the round, guests head to the Flagler Steakhouse upstairs in the golf clubhouse for excellent steak and seafood dishes.

The Breakers Pool
The Breakers Pool photo credit: John Cameron

Gym enthusiasts appreciate the contemporary 6,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor oceanfront fitness center, while all can enjoy the 20,000-square-foot spa, Mediterranean-style beach club overlooking one-half mile of private beach, four swimming pools, five whirlpool spas, 10 lighted tennis courts and an extensive program of family activities including water sports.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa photo credit:John Cameron

The Eau Resort offers free beach cruisers so guests can cycle three miles north to golf along the ocean and the Intracoastal at the Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course.

Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course
Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course photo credit:John Cameron

The helpful water sports staff can arrange fishing trips or set you up with paddle boards, kayaks and catamarans to explore the marine life or improve your sailing skills.

Divers can see the old A1A highway, 30 feet below the surface, while snorkeling kids can discover schools of fish closer to shore. There’s an Aquanuts program for children ages five to 12 and a COAST Teens Program for ages 13 to 17.

An onsite tennis pro offers lessons on three Har-Tru clay courts, while a state-of-the-art fitness center, complete with personal trainers, offers spinning, yoga and Pilates classes.

The Seagate Hotel & Spa
The Seagate Hotel & Spa photo credit: John Cameron

The Seagate Hotel and Spa in Delray Beach is a gold-certified Leed property boasting five beautiful aquariums, including a shark tank. At their ocean club, guests can take a guided snorkeling tour to sunken ships or explore the area in single or double kayaks, paddleboards or rent masks and fins.

Golfers enjoy a private country club featuring an 18-hole Joe Lee-designed championship course and eight Har-Tru tennis courts, a fitness center and a pool.

Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
Marriott Singer Island Palm Beach photo credit: John Cameron

A key feature of the Marriott Palm Beach Singer Island is the grotto-style, heated outdoor Lagoon Pool with a two-story waterfall and water slide. Guests congregate here on Friday evenings for the popular dive-in movies on the resort’s big-screen. Beach volleyball and morning meditation classes round out the group activities.

3800 Ocean is the signature restaurant at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island.  It’s always a treat when the chef takes away your menu and says, leave it to me. Chef Sergio Rivera presented us with a delicious starter of plump Wellfleet oysters, dredged in a breaded coating, fried and presented in their shell, followed by a duck breast au jus on black olive risotto and a sea bass wrapped in prosciutto, perfectly paired with a California chardonnay.

At the water sport rentals desk, you can book a pedal boat tour to nearby Burnt Ridge or sign out a motorboat to explore the waters on your own.

Waterstone Resort & Marina
Waterstone Resort & Marina photo credit: John Cameron

In Boca Raton, the Waterstone Resort and Marina, popular with boaters, has 139 guest rooms with private balconies overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway or Lake Boca.

The polished chrome against whitewashed teak wood millwork both indoors and out creates a seamless transition between the main floor and waterfront promenade. Easy access to water activities on all three include reef snorkeling trips, fishing charters, boat rentals, surfing lessons, jet skis, ocean kayaks and paddleboards.

The Boca Raton Resort & Club’s award-winning amenities include two 18-hole championship golf courses, 30 tennis courts, seven pools, a 32-slip marina with full fishing and boating facilities and a half-mile of private beach with water sports and family activities.

Previously published on USA Today 10 Best