Many world-class facilities are just a short drive or quick flight away.
COMPILED BY CORY SEKINE-PETTITE
As ALTA members, we all know that Atlanta is the best tennis city in the nation. We have incredible neighborhood facilities and clubs. We have a lot of talented players – of all ages. And our Southern hospitality shines through at every match, from our friendly competitions and good sportsmanship to our amazing off-court food tables.
One more advantage we have is easy and quick access to world-class tennis clubs in some of the most beautiful vacation spots on the planet. Atlanta is just a short drive or a brief flight to mountain resorts, coastal clubs and Caribbean destinations. So if you’re looking for a tennis getaway this winter, take a look at our list below, book some court time and hit the road. We’ll see you out there!
Baha Mar Racquet Club Nassau, Bahamas
One of the largest hospitality projects in the Western Hemisphere, Baha Mar is comprised of three global hotel brands – Grand Hyatt, SLS and Rosewood – as well as the largest casino in the Caribbean, the most expansive collection of Bahamian art in the world, a flagship ESPA spa, Jack Nicklaus golf course, PBI Racquet Club, luxury shopping and more than 30 restaurants, bars, and lounges. Frankly, once you arrive you may never want to leave.
Tennis amenities: The Baha Mar Racquet Club, part of the Baha Mar Resort, has a court surface for all players. It features nine, state-of-the-art tennis courts: six professional hard courts, two Har-Tru clay courts and one grass court. The Racquet Club is managed by Peter Burwash International, a global leader in tennis instruction and club services. Resort guests have access to private tennis instruction, court rentals, one-on-one play with a pro, and junior clinics and instruction for kids. The Pro Shop offers top-of-the-line racquets and equipment for rent and purchase.
Off-court activities: Baha Mar guests have access to the golf course; fitness classes, including yoga, spinning, TRX, cardio burn and Zumba; and water/beach activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkeling. For nature lovers, there’s The Sanctuary, an interactive, educational experience that puts guests up close to Bahamian wildlife and sea life from turtles to sharks to birds.
Travel time: Nassau is just a two-hour, nonstop flight from Atlanta. But with 320 days of sunshine per year, you’ll feel like you’re worlds away. bahamar.com, 242.788.8000
The Racquet Club at Big Canoe Big Canoe, Georgia
A private, gated, master-planned community, Big Canoe is nestled in the North Georgia Mountains just outside Jasper. It is designed to achieve a harmonious integration of the natural beauty of the land with those elements most desired in a resort and residential community.
Tennis amenities: The Racquet Club at Big Canoe features 10 tennis courts (eight outdoor courts with four Har-Tru clay courts, and two indoor hard courts), plus four pickleball courts. Take part in a clinic, round robin or even a private lesson. Visitors and residents also can let the professional staff, led by Matt Motil, USPTA, set up a custom schedule for your group or team. The Pro Shop also carries a full line of accessories, shoes and a full line of HEAD racquets. Professional stringing and racquet customization services also are available.
Off-court activities: Relax on the lake with boat rentals and fishing, or explore Big Canoe’s 30 miles of hiking trails. You can get your exercise in at the Wellness Center, which offers boot camp, yoga and Tai Chi – or you can get a massage. The swim club and 27-hole golf club provide hours of fun away from the courts, while the Clubhouse offers a wonderful menu, Sunday Brunch and live music on Friday evenings.
Travel time: Big Canoe is just a one-hour drive from Atlanta, making it the perfect “staycation” destination for ALTA members. bigcanoepoa.org, 706.268.3367
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort Braselton, Georgia
Another beautiful spot that’s just a short drive from Atlanta is Chateau Elan Winery & Resort. Known among oenophiles for their wine, Chateau Elan also offers an unmatched escape for tennis lovers as the resort offers plenty of options for players, including three hard courts, two clay courts and four pickleball courts – all situated amongst the enchanting 16th century-styled chateau and winery nestled within North Georgia’s picturesque foothills.
Tennis amenities: The new, full-service Tennis Pro Shop offers a range of services, including assistance with new gear selection, re-stringing and demo racket rentals. There are on-staff tennis professionals as well, who are available for private lessons. Guests also have the option to choose an exclusive, overnight tennis package that includes a choice of accommodations in a villa or at the inn, complete with two hours of court time, two hours of group workshop with the Chateau Elan tennis pro, a wine tasting (eight total wines) at the Cellar Door Tasting Bar and breakfast at Versailles Restaurant.
Off-court activities: Chateau Elan also offers tennis lovers access to a full-service winery and tasting bar, a AAA Four Diamond Inn and conference center, a 35,000-square-foot European spa, 45 holes of championship golf and seven delectable restaurants.
Travel time: Chateau Elan is just a 40-minute drive from Atlanta. Just head north on I-85 to Georgia Highway 211. You’ll see the resort from the road. chateauelan.com, 678.425.0900
Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville Asheville, North Carolina
In a city known for its great restaurants and bustling brewery scene, tennis also is a very big deal. The Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville sits on 125 acres adjacent to downtown and includes access to the Asheville Racquet Club Downtown. Guests of the Crowne Plaza Resort are invited to use the tennis facilities, which are the home to the University of North Carolina–Asheville Bulldogs and play host to many USTA State Championships.
Tennis amenities: Whether it’s fitness classes, restorative spa services, exceptional social activities or even a delicious meal, every place you turn at Asheville Racquet Club there’s something to get your heart rate up. The club features four indoor courts and 16 outdoor tennis courts (10 clay courts and six hard courts). Tennis clinics are available, and there’s a pro shop onsite.
Off-court activities: The location also hosts an 8,500-square-foot fitness room, spinning room, an aerobics room, as well as an outdoor pool with a covered pavilion, and an indoor saltwater lap pool. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, there are ziplines and biking trails at your disposal, as well as golf, fly fishing and more. The resort’s Courtside Cafe serves light snacks, sandwiches, salads, smoothies and drinks.
Travel time: Asheville is a three-hour drive northeast of Atlanta, between the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Pisgah National Forest. And what a scenic drive it is! ashevillecp.com, 828.254.3211
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort Hilton Head, South Carolina
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is the ultimate tennis vacation destination for anyone who wants to improve his or her court skills. Consistently ranked among “The 50 Greatest U.S. Tennis Resorts” by Tennis Magazine since 1975, the 2,000-acre resort destination is bounded by three miles of Atlantic Ocean beach on one side and a sheltered Intracoastal Waterway marina on the other. Named to the top 25 World’s Best Family Getaways by Travel + Leisure, the resort features three world-class golf courses, an award-winning tennis and pickleball center, an 11-mile inland salt-water lagoon system for kayaking and fishing, and Hilton Head Outfitters for bike rentals, canoes, kayaks, fishing and much more.
Tennis amenities: The Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center offers 21 clay courts, four of which are lighted, and 16 pickleball courts that are all lighted for night play. The center provides year-round instruction, with 36 adult clinics offered weekly. Enjoy daily round-robin tournaments and seasonal activities, including a free weekly tennis exhibition and demo days with the pros. Consider the Tennis Stay & Play Package, which includes four days and three nights in a two-bedroom resort view villa, daily court time, two tennis clinics per person, and much more.
Off-court activities: The resort offers three championship golf courses; three miles of pristine beaches; nearly five miles of bike paths in the resort and 50 miles across the island; an 11-mile inland saltwater lagoon for kayaking, canoeing and fishing; nature cruises; shopping and more.
Travel time: The majestic beauty of Hilton Head Island and Palmetto Dunes is just a four-hour drive southeast of Atlanta. You’ll be asking yourself why you waited so long to visit. palmettodunes.com,
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Destin, Florida
“Tennis” may not be in the name of this resort, but it is a highly regarded tennis destination. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has received many accolades, including being named one of the top 25 US Tennis Resorts by Tennis Resorts Online. With 2,400 acres to explore on this Gulf of Mexico beach resort, you’re sure to make many lasting memories.
Tennis amenities: This resort offers guests the chance to experience 12 world-class HydroGrid clay courts and three hard tennis courts. Sandestin also provides a wide range of experiences, from private lessons with USPTA and USPTR pros, to a highly ranked Junior Tennis program, to Round Robin tournaments for all skill levels. Guests are welcome in the clubhouse, which features dressing rooms, showers and a shop with the latest tennis apparel.
Off-court activities: When staying at Sandestin, you will have access to complimentary amenities, including the use of bicycles, boogie boards, kayaks, access to the fitness center and a resort-wide tram service. Additionally, there are four celebrated championship golf courses, a luxurious spa, dining options for every occasion, a nearby shopping center and 7 miles of white sand beaches.
Travel time: Getting to Sandestin is a quick, 5-hour drive from Atlanta. Feel the stress of winter melt away as you head toward the Gulf and the temperatures start to rise. sandestin.com/tennis, 888.857.7538
Sea Island Resort Sea Island, Georgia
If you’ve never visited Georgia’s Golden Isles, you owe it to yourself to pay them a visit. So why not make a tennis getaway out of the occasion? An exceptional destination appealing to those who appreciate gracious service and heartfelt hospitality, Sea Island is home to four Forbes Five-Star experiences – The Cloister at Sea Island, The Lodge at Sea Island, The Spa at Sea Island and the Georgian Room restaurant – and an extensive array of engaging nature adventures and recreational experiences. But don’t forget about the tennis.
Tennis amenities: Sea Island features 16 Har-Tru courts – eight of which are lighted – plus a full range of clinics and instruction for players of every skill level. Private lessons are available daily, or you can improve your skills through the junior tennis academy and adult tennis clinics, which put players through drills, doubles strategies and more in each one-hour session.
Off-court activities: Located on the southeastern coast of Georgia, Sea Island is a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, couples, groups, health/wellness gurus and more. The resort plays host to a 65,000-square-foot spa, three championship golf courses, horseback riding on the beach, salt marsh nature tours, fishing, boating, water sports, shooting school, five miles of private beach, casual to Five-Star dining, and more.
Travel time: In less than five hours, you could be checking into a five-star hotel and relaxing poolside while waiting for your court time at one of the most remarkable vacation destinations in Georgia. seaisland.com, 866.513.7748
The Sea Pines Resort Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Hilton Head’s most celebrated resort is just a short drive from Atlanta, but feels worlds apart. You’ll enjoy the views and serenity that only 5,000 acres of oceanfront property can provide, with a vacation package designed just for you. And you might just recognize the resident tennis pro – the legendary Stan Smith.
Tennis amenities: The Sea Pines Resort is home to the Sea Pines Racquet Club, one of America’s top tennis destinations. Under the direction of U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Stan Smith, tennis enthusiasts can sharpen their skills under the watchful eye of USTPA and/or PTR-certified professionals, or reserve one of 21 clay courts. Consider the “Best Weekend in Tennis” package, a group tennis getaway that includes deluxe accommodations, eight hours of instruction and more.
Off-court activities: Sea Pines offers three premier golf courses, including Harbour Town Golf Links, home of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. If golf is not your thing, the Harbour Town Yacht Basin is a full-service marina offering charter fishing, cruises, sightseeing tours and watersports. There’s also the onsite bicycle shop, fitness center, a variety of dining and shopping options, eco-adventures, horseback trail rides and much more. You’ll never be bored when off the court.
Travel time: Hilton Head is an easy hop, skip and jump from metro Atlanta – that’s about 4.5 hours if you do the math. Time will fly by as you think about hitting the court with Stan Smith. seapines.com, 843.785.3333
TOPS’L Beach and Racquet Resort Destin, Florida
TOPS’L Beach and Racquet Resort is a tranquil resort located in Miramar Beach, in South Walton County, just 10 miles east of Destin, in Northwest Florida. As you arrive at this private, gated community, you will experience the serenity of being secluded from the more populated areas of this beach destination, while still being conveniently located to nearby shopping, dining and gulf-front attractions. Situated on 52 private acres, this full-service resort is bordered by the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and a nature preserve.
Tennis amenities: TOPS’L Beach and Racquet Resort features 12, newly renovated clay courts. Tennis Resorts Online consistently rates TOPS’L as one of the world’s Top 100 Tennis Resorts & Camps and a Best Value for the Dollar. The resort hosts regular round robins, women’s and men’s retreats, multiple USTA Jr. events, and offers private lessons for those who are interested in improving specific aspects of their game.
Off-court activities: Additional TOPS’L recreational opportunities include a newly renovated, state-of-the-art fitness center, massage therapy, racquetball, swimming pools, basketball court, miniature golf course, kayaks, paddle boarding and various fitness classes that are included in your membership or guest amenity package. The area also is home to more than a dozen championship golf courses.
Travel time: Atlanta to Destin is just a five-hour drive or a one-hour-plus flight. Either way, you’re bound to have a great time with your family or friends at a world-class tennis resort. TOPSLTennis.com, 855.969.3166
Volvo Car Open Charleston, South Carolina
For a tennis getaway of a different sort, make the short trip to the Volvo Car Open. This annual event is the largest women’s only tennis tournament in North America. Every April, Charleston welcomes 90,000 spectators and more than 100 world-class, female athletes to participate in the excitement of the tournament. Records are broken and memories are made as extraordinary tennis stars take stadium court to compete for the coveted title. Tennis lovers won’t want to miss what happens next at the 2019 Volvo Car Open, March 30 – April 7, 2019.
Tennis amenities: The state-of-the-art facility not only serves as the home for one of the premier events in the WTA, but also provides residents of the greater Charleston area access to one of the finest tennis facilities in the Southeast. Resting on 32 acres are the 20 championship tennis courts – 14 clay and 6 hard, with lighting for night play on all.
Off-court activities: The Volvo Car Open is hosted in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. The world-renowned travel destination is known for its beaches, world-class culinary scene, rich history and charm. Whether it’s your first time visiting the area or you’re a regular in the Lowcountry, Charleston offers many memorable experiences.
Travel time: You could be in Charleston – or most other destinations on this list – within five hours. One could argue that no other major Southern city offers more charm than the so-called “River City.” Drive down this spring and find out for yourself. volvocaropen.com, 800.677.2293
And Now For Something A Little Different
Elite Tennis Travel designs exclusive tennis and cultural immersion programs across Europe, the Caribbean and beyond. Whether your dream trip includes high-performance tennis training, premium access to world-class ATP tennis tournaments or VIP-only cultural experiences, Elite Tennis Travel will create the perfect tennis holiday for you.
Indian Wells, California: The desert will be in full bloom, and the stars of the tennis world will all be shining at Indian Wells. ETT’s Hit or Miss Tennis Camp, tournament tickets, hotel and spa packages available.
Havana, Cuba: Be part of the revival of Cuba’s tennis community through a one-of-a-kind cultural exchange program. Forge unforgettable ties with the Cuban National Tennis Team. Meet the Cuban leaders, coaches and players who are shaping the future of Cuban sports and politics. Appreciate the fascinating art, architecture and music of Havana – before the crowds rush in.
Monte Carlo, Monaco: Perhaps the most stunning tennis venue in the world, the Monte Carlo Country Club is well worth the trip for the Rolex Masters tournament. But when coupled with ETT’s VIP access to the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, the Monte Carlo experience becomes the tennis trip of a lifetime. Explore nearby Nice, shop the couture boutiques, and relax at one of the regions luxury spas.
Barcelona, Spain: Elite Tennis Travel’s signature journey, built around the Barcelona Open, is a client favorite for good reason. Daily tennis coaching at the historic Club Real de Barcelona is followed by delicious indulgence in wine tasting, private dining and day-tripping across the spectacular Costa Brava.
Rome, Italy: The world’s most elegant game, played in Europe’s Eternal City. Enjoy Grand Slam level tennis in a timeless setting along the Tiber River. Culture, cuisine and shopping opportunities abound.
Custom trip planning: Don’t see your bucket list trip listed here? Get in touch and ETT will plan it for you! EliteTennisTravel.com, 914.713.5074