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Showing posts from August, 2007

Beaches of South Walton, Florida

I haven't been to the Beaches of South Walton in months, and what a difference a couple of months makes. The staggering growth that communities such as Seaside in Florida experienced 20 years ago is now happening in places like the Watersound community, Seacrest Beach, Inlet Beach and Rosemary Beach.

Even though they have been around for some time, it seems that these beach communities have been dropped onto the Florida Panhandle map overnight. On most of my visits to the beaches, I would stay in Santa Rosa or the still-growing Watercolor development. Most of my time was spent strolling through nearby cute shops and the fine grocery store in Seaside, which was the picturesque setting for the Jim Carrey film "The Truman Show." This time, I devoted the bulk of my visit to Rosemary Beach, which I believe is the brand-spanking-new sibling to Seaside.

About 10 miles to the east of its older "sister," Rosemary Beach is, at the moment, peaceful and attractive. Built on …

Two Carolina golf resorts are worth the trip

While you might not match Tiger Woods' prowess with the golf clubs, you can certainly dream. Two Southeast golfing spots may help you reach that elusive goal of becoming a golf pro. The Kiawah Island Golf Resort on the coast of South Carolina and the Maggie Valley Club in the mountains of North Carolina are premier courses that are worth a road trip.

An island golf getaway

Perhaps the next big star in the golf course world will be the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Both the 2007 Senior PGA Championship and the 2012 PGA Championship will be held there. This course, which opened in 1991, was designed by famed golf architect Pete Dye.

The course offers excellent golfing accompanied by a panoramic view of the Atlantic. Kiawah Island is located just 45 minutes outside of Charleston.

In addition to the Ocean Course, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort is home to four other notable golf courses. The Turtle Point, Osprey Point, Oak Point and Cougar…

Just outside the city, Westchester County offers history, arts

Visiting the Big Apple is exciting. Sometimes, a bit too exciting. If you get stressed out just planning a New York City trip, pencil in a little time for a visit to nearby Westchester County to get away from the crowds. Located about 30 minutes outside the city, Westchester offers a lesson in history, art and culture, all without feeling too remote.

Whether you’re driving in from New York City or flying directly to the area, Westchester County is easily accessible. A tour of the county’s historical sites is the perfect introduction to this bucolic area, dubbed the “gateway to the Hudson River Valley.”

Not your run-of-the-mill manors

The best place to start is in the Village of Sleepy Hollow. That’s where Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate, stands. Home to four generations of this legendary family, Kykuit is a six-story stone house that has been maintained for more than 100 years by the National Trust. Tours — which include rooms, art galleries and even the family’s automobile collection — t…

Welcome to the Valley

The steep road leading into the mountains was packed with leather-clad Harley Davidson bikers, retirees in their Lincoln Town Cars, 30-somethings in their family SUVs and me in my economy-sized car. Our common mission was to climb this terrain into Maggie Valley, N.C. I'm not certain what my fellow roadsters' agendas were, but mine was clear: I needed to get away from suburbia's rat race.

Aside from the escape factor, I also came here for budgetary reasons. High gas prices had put a dent in my travel plans. As the Budget Director in the house, I came up with the idea of a trip to the Smoky Mountains-area town, an easy, three-hour drive. My wife and daughter were skeptical at first.

After some convincing, both admitted that they are fans of places like Maggie Valley, with magnificent scenery, great restaurants, unlimited shopping and a wide selection of lodging options. Golf club lodgingOne of the places that stands out among the pack of hotels and motels in the area is the…

Electric Youth-article about Florida museums

Instead of hitting the beach, take the kids to some great museums while visiting Florida.
Check out this Florida article at Men's Traveler

Chicago has magnificent neighborhoods

There’s more to Chicago than the Sears Tower and Navy Pier. Next time you pay a visit to this Midwestern metropolis, check out some of the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Whether you decide to explore on your own or with a tour guide, the city’s historic districts, parks, zoos and museums are a great way to experience the Windy City’s sense of community.

Check it out on Men's Traveler online.

Western N.C. inns range from posh to rustic

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As my family and I began our trip to the mountains of North Carolina, I found myself haunted by flashbacks of sixth-grade summer camp. I’ll admit it: Even though I’ve been on several fun camping trips over the years, the prospect of the whole “rustic thing” left me less thrilled. “I think I should turn this car around,” I joked, as we headed toward the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers, N.C. My friend Bruce Hensley, who handles public relations for the inn, had been urging me to check out the place for a while. When I finally took him up on his offer, everyone in my family assured me the trip would give me a chance to “find myself.” And I did. My family’s time in Cashiers offered me and my family an escape from electronic gadgets, from malls, from traffic. It gave us time to bond. The beauty of the region and the peace it affords its visitors really is good for the soul.

A summer retreat for everyone

The three-hour drive from here to Cashiers (pronounced: Cash-ers) is an easy one, but the h…

The outdoors is callling in Arkansas

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This Arkansas article is up and running at Men's Traveler

I had a blast in Little Rock during my visit in June 2008.

Island Fun

The ferry churned its way through the calm waters off the South Carolina coast. Bright warmth from the sun beamed down upon me as the breeze and mist kicked up from the vessel's sides. To my right, I noticed an osprey's nest in an unusual place - a high -powered utility grid. This is the experience of the ferry that carries you to Daufuskie Island, a tiny hamlet off Hilton Head.

This once -secluded island that felt cut off from the world is now at a crossroads. As the splendid Daufuskie Island Resort expands physically and financially under the palmettos, residents hold on to its unique past even in the midst of all this growth.

No one feels this more than Sylvia Wampler, who has been running Southern Shirtique for years in the backwoods of Daufuskie. Her T -shirt and gift shop is accessible only by a golf cart equipped with rugged tires, which the island's resort loaned me.

"It is definitely changing around here," she said. "Just looking around here, you can s…