Henderson Park Inn on Destin's Beachfront


A Florida Resort Triple Play:

Unique Stays With Great Places to Play.

Posted by: Rick Parnham


The Sunshine State boasts the greatest number of golf courses of any state in the US. Home to four regular PGA stops and countless events on the other professional tours, it is hard to dispute that Florida is a golf destination on steroids. Thousands of annual trips bring those golf starved from northern climes to the fairways of the celebrated oceanfront and highly regarded golf resorts that dot the state. For those looking for a different kind of resort and golf experience, here is a trio of options worth sampling.


Sebring's Citrus Golf Trail: The Inn on the Lakes and 15 Golf Choices


Sebring Florida is best known for its internationally recognized speedway and race competitions. Located a little over an hour south of Orlando, amid vast tracts of cattle farms, lake clusters and citrus groves, is a great slice of Old Florida. Originally settled in the early 1900’s the town now, in partnership with neighbouring Avon Park and Lake Placid, is home to a wide range of cultural activities and beautiful natural adventures along with a varied collection of 15 golf courses.


The Citrus Golf Trail extends over the 30 mile stretch of US 98 /27 which connects this trio of towns. The Trail presents a wide range of options, both for price point and for design. Featuring championship designs by A-list architects such as Dick Wilson, Donald Ross and Ron Garl, the Trail also offers  executive par 3 routings. A number of the facilities provide more than one course, making for a great opportunity to conveniently play 36 holes and maximize your stay and play experience. Our visit saw us sampling Highlands Ridge, the old school charm of Sebring Municipal and the pair of superb designs at Sun N' Lake, including  the PGA qualifier Deer Run.


The Inn on the Lakes in Sebring


The Inn on the Lakes in Sebring is the perfect home base for any visit to the lake country. The three storied hacienda-style hotel offers 155 rooms with 14 suites on the shore of Little Lake Jackson. A spacious common area is welcoming with sofas and a fireplace while a beautiful terrace and pool area offers views of the shimmering lake waters. Adjacent to US Route 98 and the plentiful array of shopping centers and restaurants, the Inn on The Lakes is conveniently located at the heart of everything the area has to explore.


The customized golf, stay and play packages feature a served breakfast in their signature restaurant Chicanes. Following your round you can recount the day's on-course antics with a cold beverage in the hotel bar or book a reservation for an outstanding meal in Chicanes, the area's most acclaimed dining room. A diverse menu of steaks, seafood, pastas, chicken and ribs provides a delicious cap to your day. Central to all the trail courses, the hotel's superb service and amenities made the stay restful and peaceful.


A Pampered Panhandle Paradise: The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa


Florida's panhandle is dotted with cities all drawing residents and tourists alike to the expansive white sand beaches that frame the northern coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. The City of Destin is one of these charming seaside locales founded on the one-time barrier island separating Choctawhatchee Bay from the Gulf. Famous for its fishing heritage and the remarkable "squeaking" sand beaches, Destin has become a popular destination for snowbirds and vacationers alike.


The Henderson Beach Resort is the newest addition to the luxury Salamander brand of resorts, following a grand addition to the Destin shoreline. The historic and charming Henderson Park Inn, is a New England style beachfront hotel experience and was first on the scene adjacent to the sparkling gulf beach. It  features an adults only romance to the stay offering direct access to the sugary sand, a grand deck with a daily happy hour for guests and the area's only waterfront fine dining option at Beach Walk Cafe. With 36 rooms, most with balconies overlooking the surf, the setting is difficult to top.


Destin's Five Star Henderson


The winter of 2016 saw Salamander add to its collection by opening the Henderson, the only Gulf Coast five star hotel east of New Orleans. The luxury resort hotel and its adjacent collection of vacation lofts, provide both a pampered romantic setting for couples or a fabulous family friendly experience. The resort is complete with a pair of sparkling pools, kids club play area, fitness center, nature-inspired spa, gulf-to-table cuisine at Primrose Restaurant, private beach access and plenty of spectacular terraces for the perfect view of Henderson Beach State Park and the beach sunsets. Having three different stay options available to make your visit perfect, the Henderson Beach Resort has something to appeal to everyone.


A trio of premiere golf choices are within a 15 minute drive of the resort, all set along the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay. Kelly Plantation opened in 1998 designed by Gene Bates and Fred Couples. The routing takes advantage of stunning bay views and features a rather unique double green complex. Also opened in 1998, Regatta Bay is the creation of former Arnold Palmer associate Robert Walker. The design features interrupted fairways, devilish doglegs and water aplenty. Bob Cupp designed Emerald Bay which opened the premium golf market in Destin in 1991. Narrow corridors and tricky greens characterize the layout, making this a stern test.



Gulf Coast Beachfront: Weston's Wannab Inn

Weston’s WannaB Inn sits at the far southern tip of Manasota Key, one of the numerous sandy spits along the west coast of the sunshine state. The five acre resort straddling Gulf Boulevard is located directly next to Stump Pass State Park, wedged between the Intracoastal Waterway of Lemon Bay and the rolling surf of the Gulf of Mexico. The resort was originally a fishing camp that has been transformed into family friendly enclave. The  diverse collection of buildings were redesigned in the “Googie” style architecture of post WWII, with vibrant colors, sharp lines and retro-vintage 1960’s style interiors complete with stainless steel.


The resort is different from the prototypical hotel chain experiences that dot the coasts of Florida. A collection of unique buildings make up the resort. Beachfront bungalows providing 1 and 2 bedroom units, a 60’s style motel filled with charming beachfront suites and a multi-level hotel complex with suites and villas provide amazing beach or lagoon views. All rooms have full kitchen efficiencies so you have options for meals in room or nearby in Englewood. Spacious and fresh the decor and the trimmings give you a cottage home-away-from-home feel.


Gulf Coast Beachfront at the Doorstep


The resort’s prime location provides access to two of the most popular reasons for visiting the Sunshine State, sand and surf. Opening the door to your room, you are a mere few steps to the beach. Stretching the full length of the property is pristine Gulf Coast sand. Beachside pavilions complete with charcoal barbeque grills are available for grilling, while two salt water heated pools offer a different sun and water experience. Lemon Bay is the other drawing card for guests. The tranquil lagoon is filled with boats, kayaks and paddleboards all for navigating the saltwater bayous looking for fish, frolic and fun.


The resort can arrange golf outings to a range of nearby facilities. There are eight facilities all within 20 minutes of the resort and many feature multiple courses. Local highlights include the outstanding Gene Bates designed, Riverwood in Port Charlotte, the four courses at Rotunda, and the very playable Sarasota National in Venice.













































Sun N' Lake's Finishing Hole








Historic Sebring Municipal





Inn on the Lakes

3101 Golfview Rd,

Sebring, FL

33870, USA

1 863-471-9400







Primrose Restaurant








Evening Poolside at The Henderson





Henderson Beach Resort & Spa

200 Henderson Resort Way,

Destin, FL

32541, USA

1 855-702-3087







Wannab's Amazing Sunsets





Beach Fun Abounds





WannaB Inn

985 Gulf Blvd,

Englewood, FL

34223, USA

1 941-474-3431