Archive for the ‘Golf’ Category


I’ve always been a daddy’s little girl. In fact, I credit him with instilling in me my love for travel and adventure. At as young as four, I would accompany my dad on day hikes in Point Lobos, located three miles south of Carmel, Calif. At the age of 12, he had put me through scuba diving certification classes and was taking me wreck diving in the Cayman Islands. Father’s Day is the perfect day to thank him for all he’s done for me.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tress. Photo: mikebaird

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Photo: mikebaird

With the date fast approaching (mark your calendars: June 20), the pressure is certainly on to start planning your Father’s Day agenda. Here are four great Father’s Day ideas that can be shaped to fit your budget and needs. So whether you’re planning a fanciful foreign affair or keeping it low key and local, your dad is sure to recognize how much you appreciate him.

Wine Tasting

Sometimes, there is no better way to bond than over a glass (or a bottle) of exquisite wine.

  • Extravagant: Take your father to Napa County for the ultimate wine-lover’s getaway. With an ample amount of first-rate hotels, spas, restaurants and, of course, wineries, your father will enjoy the good life this Father’s Day.
  • Budget: Napa may be one of the premier destinations for wine lovers, but there are incredible wineries across the world. Check out the local wineries in your area or in a near-by town. Some offer free wine samples, while others charge-but even if you shell out some cash, at an average price of $30 per tasting, you’ll still be giving your father an affordable and enjoyable experience. Be sure to search for wineries that offer wine tasting dinners for a special treat.

Plan your wine tasting vacation on TravelMuse.

Taking your dad camping will not only make for a great Father’s Day gift, but it will enable you to bond and rehash all of those camping trips he dragged you on as a youngster.

  • Extravagant: Enjoy the great outdoors at Yellowstone National Park. Reserve a campground, dust off your camping gear and be ready to hike and explore with your father. Don’t miss Old Faithful! For some bonus points, surprise him with a cool camping gadget or a day of fly-fishing.
  • Budget: Wherever you are, a great state park or a near-by campground is never more than a drive away. Pack up the car, pick up some BBQ essentials and fill the cooler with some ice-cold brews for a relaxing and memorable Father’s Day.

Plan your camping vacation on TravelMuse.

There’s nothing that makes a person feel more alive than the open water. This Father’s Day, plan a sailing adventure for your father.

  • Extravagant: The capital of the British Virgin Islands, Tortola, is a water lover’s paradise. Its pristine waters are perfect for all sorts of aquatic activities, but Tortola is known for being a sailing haven. Stay at the luxurious Nanny Cay Villa in the marina, the perfect outlet for popular sailing areas that include The Baths, Jost Van Dyke, and The Bight.
  • Budget: Plan a day trip to your nearest body of water. Investigate local companies that offer sailing lessons if you and your father aren’t exactly the seafaring types. Learning a new skill with your father will bring you closer together and provide fun memories for years to come.

For more tips on sailing in the British Virgin Islands, read “Learning to Sail in the British Virgin Islands.”
Plan your sailing vacation on TravelMuse.

Dads and golf go hand in hand, so why not hit the links this Father’s Day for a little friendly competition.

  • Extravagant: Orlando has certainly made a name for itself within the golf community. With more than 125 golf courses within 45 minutes of downtown, there will certainly be no shortage of places to impress your father with. Take him to play at some of the best known courses in the Unites States, such as the Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge.
  • Budget: Most towns these days seem to have a county club for its residents to enjoy. Take your dad out to hit 18 holes (or even just the driving range) early in the morning and follow the game up with brunch and mimosas at the clubhouse.

Plan your golfing vacation on TravelMuse.

What are you planning on doing for your dad this Father’s Day?

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When I first entered the lobby of the new Waldorf Astoria Orlando earlier this month, I immediately noticed the replica of the famous 14-foot clock that sits in the lobby of its New York counterpart and other similar amenities like the Peacock Alley restaurant and bar, Bull & Bear Steakhouse and Sir Harry’s Lounge.


Photo: Ed Schmidt

What sets the Orlando Waldorf Astoria apart, however, is the property’s decided Florida resort personality. Large open windows in the common areas allow for natural lighting and panoramas of an expansive pool area and lush golf course. The paneled walls and floor in soft creams and the crystal sconces in the lobby add to a fresh, Florida resort feel. The 497 guest rooms and suites are brimming with tropical colors like yellow, tangerine and teal blue accented by Art Deco pieces and rich, dark woods accented by satin nickel.

“To maintain its traditional sense of grandeur and ornament while still filling the space with a fresh, inviting appeal, we incorporated bright colors and rich patterns that give the resort a more vibrant Florida ambiance and a youthful energy,” says Rosie Feinberg, senior designer at Santa Barbara, California-based sfa design.


Photo: Ed Schmidt

Feinberg says the goal was to infuse the Jazz Age elegance of New York’s Art Deco Waldorf Astoria with the vibrant ambiance of Florida. I think Feinberg’s team achieved their goal. The interior design is fresh and creative and is the antithesis of the thematic resort destination so prevalent in the area.

Surrounded on three sides by Walt Disney World Resort, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is convenient to everything Disney. The property is part of a 482-acre development that includes the adjacent 1,000-room Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.


Photo: Ed Schmidt

Enhancing the property’s spacious ambiance is a 7,113-yard Rees Jones-designed championship golf course just a few step from the front door and a 125-acre state protected preserve of waterways and wetlands that are home to turkeys, foxes and migratory birds. Other amenities include a formal swimming pool with private cabanas, a 24,000 square-foot Waldorf Astoria spa by Guerlain and 28,000 square feet of meeting space.

To read a review of the new Waldorf Astoria Golf Club course, check out

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How to Plan Your Golf Getaway by Ed Schmidt Jr.

You don’t have the time. You don’t have the money. The recession has got you down. The litany of excuses on why golfers hesitate taking a golf getaway these days is seemingly inexhaustible.

My advice: Start planning your next golf getaway now.

Maybe these words by golf great Ben Hogan will get you going. “As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round,” said Hogan.


Photo by Ed Schmidt Jr.

So, how do you start the planning process?

First, answer these questions:

  • Whom should I go with?
  • What is my budget?
  • When is the best time to go?
  • Where have I always wanted to tee up?
  • How can I get the best rates?
  • What type of courses do I like to play?
  • What type of experience do I want in terms of other resort amenities?
  • Do I want to walk or ride a cart?
  • Do I want a resort with caddies?
  • Do I want to visit a golf destination with a variety of courses or a secluded resort?
  • Do I want to drive or fly?
  • Should I use a golf tour operator?

Obviously, the previous list is a short one just to get you started. No doubt, other questions will come to mind.

The most important component in designing a successful golf getaway is determining the type of trip theme you want to execute. Are you seeking a romantic getaway with your spouse where golf is just one of many activities you’ll pursue, or do you want a trip with your golf buddies where you’ll chase the white dimpled ball from sunrise to sundown and throw down a few brewskis afterward? Other getaway themes include family trips, where you play golf while your spouse and kids enjoy other resort activities; a golf instruction getaway, where you attend a resort golf school for an intense, multi-day program to upgrade your skill level; a walking-only golf experience at a resort that features a caddie program; and a budget trip, when the sole concern is saving money.

If the entire planning process proves to be too time-consuming and confusing, I suggest contacting a tour operator that specializes in golf excursions. Some of the best I’ve worked with previously, include: Haversham & Baker, Golfpac, PerryGolf and Myrtle Beach Golf Packages.

For more golf travel tips, check out