Palm Beach

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With a climate allowing for year-round play and plenty of high rollers to support exclusive clubs, it's no surprise that the Professional Golf Association (PGA) has a home in Palm Beach County, as do Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Some high-end resorts provide entry to otherwise private links, but there are good municipal options throughout the county as well –some with ocean views. Green fees vary seasonally.

Palm Beach Golf

The Breakers

Palm Beach County's most famous hotel, bar none. Established in 1896, and rebuilt 30 years later to reflect the grand Italian villas of the 1400s, the 540-room Breakers is jaw-dropping: 200-foot-long lobby, ceiling frescos, and a 1,040-foot main drive leading to a Florentine fountain. All rooms, starting at 250 square feet, have marble baths and beach cottage hues of coral and teal –but it's really all about the grounds. With its half-mile of private beachfront, access to two private 18-hole golf courses (one seaside), a 20,000-square-foot spa, five swimming pools, 10 tennis courts, and on-site boutiques it's as if the Gilded Age never ended.

One S. County Rd., FL, 888-273-2537, www.thebreakers.com
Tags: luxury | golf | expensive | editor pick | spa | smart splurge | swimming pool | landmark

The Ritz-Carlton

Situated at the southern end of Palm Beach, the oceanfront Ritz-Carlton is a sprawling ode to the good life, with a breezy, warm style. More spacious than the historic boutique properties to the north, rooms start at 418 square feet and all have private balconies. In addition to its AquaNuts activities program (arts and crafts, beach trips, nature walks) for ages 5 to 12, the Ritz offers a teen beauty salon and lounge with pool, video games, Internet access, and music. Grownup vacationers can choose from spa treatments or take advantage of the 18-hole golf courses at Atlantis Country Club and Polo Trace.

100 S. Ocean Blvd., FL, 561-533-6000, www.ritzcarlton.com
Tags: luxury | family | golf | expensive | spa | swimming pool

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