Monday, February 14, 2011

Hammock Beach Heaven - A Great Family Getaway

Hammock Beach Resort, Palm Coast, Florida

I have been to Hammock Beach on several occasions ~ Family Girls Getaway, Family Getaway, Couples Getaway and for a day to visit family staying on property. My favorite time there is spent with my kiddos! The resort is well laid out, with the beautiful Atlantic Ocean sprawled out right before your eyes and the tropical fantasy land of the Water Pavilion to keep you cool and entertained. From when you pull up at the grand gated entrance and your car is unpacked for you by the valets you know you are in for a pampered luxurious stay! The suites are large and very well equipped to make you feel right at home complete with granite counter topped kitchens! When you hear the doorbell ring making you feel as if it really is your home you will know your luggage has arrived. I have only stayed in various 3 & 4 Bedroom Main Tower Suites. Each and every time I am so very pleased with our accommodations! Each has a large dining area that has easily fit our WHOLE family comfortably. There are several bathrooms depending on the size of the unit which is great when traveling with other couples. They have a laundry room to wash those sandy socks or dry your wet bathing suits. the beds are super comfy and what is better than sleeping with your slider open to the fresh ocean air. One of the 3brs I stayed in even had it's own wine fridge! They have great balconies overlooking the ocean ~ wonderful spot to have your morning coffee.

There are several great activities to enjoy with the kids ~ from shell hunting on the beach to a round on the nine hole putting course! It is hard to tear the kids away from the Water Pavilion to do much else with the lazy river and HUGE water slide. There is even a zero-entry beach pool perfect for building a poolside sandcastle. A large HOT TUB for about 20? is up next to the adult only pool all perfect for mom and dad! If the weather is not good they have a sizeable indoor pool, too!

They have a great Kids Crew Club if you need some alone time in addition to the many family events they have scheduled throughout the day. When we were there Aubrey participated in her first chocolate pie eating contest. Also available are bikes for rent, beach volleyball, tennis and much much more!

The spa is fantabulous. I had one of the best massages I have ever had there! Love the eucalyptus sauna! Fitness club is so nice it almost makes working out not feel like work (I said almost).

GOLF, GOLF & More GOLF - Chris should really be taking over this section for me due to the fact that I have never played (other than mini-golf) and that I am golf illiterate. Hammock Beach Resort is home to not one but two LEGENDARY golf courses. The Ocean Course designed by Jack Nicklaus has 6 of it's 18 holes right beside the Atlantic Ocean. The beauty of the course rivals that of Pebble Beach (I have been to both so I can safely say that is my opinion). This course has received too many awards to list. The Conservatory Course is the newer of the two and is a Tom Watson signature design. It is exquisitely landscaped with several challenging holes. It is touted as the longest course in Florida ~ so choose your tee boxes wisely. If these greens fees at either of these two courses are a bit too steep, Palm Coast is riddled with golf courses. You are sure to find one that suits your budget.
FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD - There are several dining options at the Hammock Beach Resort. First, you should know there is a Publix right at the turn off A1A to the resort. So, feel free to stock up your full kitchen in your suite. We have made quite a few meals "en-suite" before. The Atlantic Grille is one of my all time favorite restaurants. The view doesn't get much better! The food is delicious! Don't miss the Dirty Bleu Chips ~ homemade potato chips covered in warm Stilton Bleu Cheese! The Sushi Bar truly has the BEST sushi I have ever eaten. The sushi chefs are meticulous at their craft. The lobster tempura roll is out of this world! Lunch al fresco at the Ocean Bar poolside is always a treat. Anything eaten outside always tastes better. Delfinos, an Italian restaurant on the property is new so I cannot comment on that one. Whatever you get and wherever you eat you will not be disappointed. Onsite there is also a coffee bar in the lobby and Loggerheads another more casual restaurant with a cigar bar above it.

Fairly close to the resort is Marineland if swimming with dolphins is your thing book something on your bucket list before you go! You can also just visit for the day for a nominal charge. There are kayaking tours available not far from the resort. Only 15 minutes north is St Augustine with all it's old world charm. The St Augustine Alligator Farm has been one of our favorite family stops even since I was a kid.

If you have good timing and plan ahead you can even book through the resort a cruise on the intercoastal but not just any cruise this is aboard The Sundancer ~ 117ft yacht that is not to be believed. It is now open to the public on Wednesday evenings for a Sunset Cocktail Cruise and on Sundays it sets sail twice, once for brunch and once for dinner. We chartered this jewel of the sea for a private brunch cruise to celebrate my Great Grandmother's 98 birthday a few years ago and did we feel like royalty.
As far as Great Family Getaways it really doesn't get much better than this. The Hammock Beach Resort is a find ~ I almost hate to let the secret out. I feel so fortunate that a place like this exists practically right in my parent's backyard. Just writing this makes me want to book now! Sign up for their emails they run specials frequently. - Hammock Beach Resort - St Augustine Info - More St Augustine Info - St Augustine Alligator Farm

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