Lake Norman Magazine

July 2, 2013

Guy Getaways

Whether you’re on a family vacation or hanging with your buds, these oceanfront resorts offer plenty of fun in the sun

The King and Prince Resort The King and Prince Resort first opened as a dance club on Georgia’s beautiful St. Simons Island in 1935. Over the years it has undergone extensive upgrades, while retaining its grand, historic charm, such as the original stained glass windows in the resort’s elegant Delegal Room.

Boys will be Boys Outdoor recreational opportunities abound both on and around the resort, making it a convenient playground to do some serious male bonding. Situated on the northern end of St. Simon’s Island is the King and Prince Golf Course, which is set among saltmarshes, lakes, and lagoons. Designed by renowned architect Joe Lee, the award-winning course is considered one of the Southeast’s finest. For an up-close look at the local wildlife, paddle along the island’s pristine coastal waters, saltmarshes, and rivers. Guided tours and kayak rentals are available at nearby Ocean Motion Surf Shop (www.stsimonskayaking.com). Or, head to deeper waters where you can land mammoth king, mackerel, and barracuda. Capt. Mark Noble (www.georgiafishing.net) offers inshore and offshore trips. When you’ve worked up an appetite, head to King’s Tavern Restaurant. While enjoying grand views of the Atlantic, you can indulge in man-sized dishes including short rib pot roast, filet of beef, and Lowcountry shrimp and grits

Family Man You’ll have no problem keeping the family entertained at King and Prince. The resort has six oceanfront pools and a large sandy play area. When stomachs start to rumble, order sandwiches, salads, and burgers—along with an adult beverage for mom and dad—from the new Ocean Terrace Grille, who will deliver it poolside. If the weather turns sour, there’s also an indoor heated pool and hot tub. When you’re ready to explore the island, rent bikes from Ocean Motion Surf Shop and cruise along the paved network of paths to the charming downtown area, which is bustling with shops and restaurants. The kids can play at the oceanfront Neptune Park, which features a waterpark, miniature golf, playground, picnic tables, and fishing pier. Afterwards, climb the 129 steps to the top of the St. Simons Lighthouse and gaze out on the water. Details: www.kingandprince.com

Wild Dunes Resort Situated on the beautiful Isle of Palms, the1,600-acre Wild Dunes Resort is a sprawling coastal destination and great summer playground with a full line-up of activities designed to satisfy all kinds of vacationers.

Boys will be Boys To get your visit started, grab your buddies and a set of clubs and head to the links. The resort boasts two Tom Fazio-designed courses, with rolling fairways, rustling palm trees, and beautiful views of the ocean and surrounding lagoons and salt marshes. If you prefer tennis, there are 17 courts, a full-service pro shop, and top-ranked instructors who oversee a full range of clinics and lessons. After a day in the sun, Wild Dunes has about a half dozen bars and restaurants where you can refuel. Choices include The Sea Island Grill and Lounge, which serves upscale Lowcountry dishes, or the more casual Sand Bar, which overlooks the golf course. To celebrate the good times, order a round of resort’s new Firefly Moonshine, which is distilled just outside Charleston.

Family Man There’s a bevy of adventures for families and kids, including two swimming pools, Jet Ski rentals, kayaking, and bicycle rentals, which is a great way to explore the scenic 1,600-acre resort. For something a little more adventurous, take a boat trip to the wild and rugged Capers Island. The three-hour excursion winds past tidal creeks and salt marshes thriving with wildlife, such as bottlenose dolphins, egrets, and crabs. Once on the three-mile Capers Island, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the beach, noted for its multitude of shells. Other fun activities include a guided fossil hunt along the marshes and estuary sandbars, and special poolside parties for the whole family Details: www.wilddunes.com

Sea Pines Resort Only about a 4 ½-hour drive from Lake Norman, Hilton Head’s Sea Pines Resort is a great destination for active families as well as a guys-only beach trip. From golf and tennis to water sports and boating excursions, Sea Pines has it all.

Boys will be Boys With three world-class courses, golf is a big draw at this luxury oceanfront resort situated in a 5,200-acre private residential Town Golf Links (home of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage), designed by legends Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus. The resort’s other two courses, the challenging Heron Point and scenic Ocean Course, have both undergone renovations recently. In addition to 54 holes of golf, Sea Pines features 23 clay tennis courts and a top-notch clubhouse. Under the direction of former U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Stan Smith, The Sea Pines Racquet Club is considered one of the country’s best.

Family Man Let the fun begin along the resort’s five miles of golden beaches, perfect for swimming, sunning, and building sand castles. Sea Pines also boasts more than 15 miles of paved walking and biking trails, a swimming pool, and 605-acre forest preserve, where you can stroll along boardwalks and observation decks that oversee woods and lakes teeming with wildlife. At Lawtown Stables, embark on a guided horse ride beneath a canopy of palmettos and moss-covered oaks. Another great way to explore the beautiful surroundings is via a wildlife boat tour

 through the preserve’s freshwater lakes, or kayaking along the calm waters of the Calibogue Sound, where you’re likely to spot egrets, herons, and manatees. Details: www.seapines.com

Sanderling Resort Located in Duck along the northernmost section of the Outer Banks, the luxurious, 16-acre Sanderling Resort is unveiling a multimillion-dollar renovation this summer, making it a great home base to explore this beautiful 200-mile stretch of barrier islands.

Boys Will Be Boys At the heart of the renovation are two new oceanfront pools just steps away from the 95-room resort. Other additions include two new bars—one in the revamped lobby and another outside by the pools—as well as an expansive deck, multiple seating areas, and fire pits. It’s an ideal spot for you and your buddies to relax and soak up the scenery. And to make the most of its oceanfront location, Sanderling has partnered with Kitty Hawk Kites, which offers on-property activities including kayaking, surfing, and standup paddleboarding. The resort’s dining options include Kimball’s Kitchen, which specializes in steak and seafood, as well as Lifesaving Station, where you can enjoy local seafood on an expansive outside deck.

Family Man Duck’s 7 miles of pristine beaches are of course one of the main draws for families, and you’re just steps away at Sanderling. A convenient way to explore other parts of the island is across the street along the Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary. The 2.5-mile nature trail meanders through hardwood forests thriving with wildlife and features two raised viewing platforms overlooking Currituck Sound. You’ll find other family-friendly activities in nearby Corolla, where you can go four-wheeling in a Jeep along the beach and visit Currituck, where wild Spanish horses run free (Wild Horse Adventure Tours offers both tours and Jeep rentals; wwwwildhorsetour.com). Just south of Duck in Nags Head go hang gliding at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, which has one of the tallest natural sand dune systems in the country, or visit the nearby Wright Brothers National Memorial and climb to the 60-foot tower where Wilbur and Orville first took flight in 1903. Details: www.sanderling-resort.com

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