3.21.2021 – 3.25.2021 || Ponte Vedra Beach | Florida
This is what I refer to as tennication, or champagne and tennis. We started playing tennis during the pandemic as the courts were one of the first things to open back up after COVID-19 quarantine. Last Fall we had a great time taking a lesson and playing on clay courts at the Greenbrier and were looking for a tennis focused Spring Break so that we could spend most of the time outside and start playing tennis after a few months off over the winter.
We started researching top tennis destinations and that is how we discovered The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach on Florida’s northeast coast. The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club offers unlimited access to tennis court time, an ocean view with a balcony, access to outdoor dining, and other outdoor activities.
Where we stayed:
The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is a gorgeous AAA Five Diamond rated resort on the Atlantic Ocean with 15 clay tennis courts, two golf courses, 10 restaurants, four swimming pools, boutique shopping, a spa, and much more! The website did an amazing job preparing us for our stay, but the property was super impressive in person and very well maintained.
We stayed in the Summer House, one of the ten oceanfront buildings across from the main building (far left and far right pictures above). Some of oceanfront buildings have been renovated more recently than others so inquire about the location of your room when booking or checking in. The Summer House worked for us as it was a quick walk to the main building and other activities such as the beach club, racquet club, etc.
We enjoyed gorgeous views from the balcony and loved that the beach rarely had any other occupants so it felt like a private oasis any time of day.
What we did:
We played a lot of tennis! We were able to book daily court time and sign up for the morning drill clinic in advance. Our mornings consisted of breakfast at the Inn Dining Room followed by a 6 person (comprised of members and guests) group drill with an instructor from 9-10 am and then court time from 10:30 – 11:30 am. The clay courts were well maintained and the drills were a fun way to meet other hotel guests, in addition to members, as The Racquet Clubs is a private club on the hotel property.
Photo shoots on the way to the racquet club felt like the right thing to do. Part of the reason I like playing tennis is the outfits. If you look like a champ, you will play like a champ, right?! The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club logo contains seahorses and was also present on many items for sale in their boutique shops. The black hat with a yellow seahorse matches my tennis bag and shoes and will remind me of this trip for years to come.
When we weren’t at the racquet club, we enjoyed the ocean views and hung out on the beach. The weather wasn’t always sunny, and the water was a little brisk, but it was nice enough to be outside for the most part.
We headed to St. Augustine one morning while it was too wet and windy for tennis.
Where we ate:
The best meal of the trip was at Dockside Seafood Restaurant upon arriving in the Jacksonville area. It is a fast casual restaurant so you place your order upon arriving, then seat yourself and admire the water views until your order is ready. The blackened mahi mahi, fries, and coleslaw pictured below was excellent and my best meal of the trip. They have a couple of other restaurants in the area that I hope to try next time we visit.
After a morning of tennis , we had lunch at the Surf Deck Grill (pictured below) or take out from the Beach Side Snack Bar (same menu) at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.
Waiting for our table at the Seahorse Grill at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club’s signature restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
We ate dinner off property two of the four nights.
Dinner at Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass
Dinner at 3 Palms Grille
The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club checked all the boxes and was a fantastic way to spend a few days in Florida. I hope to return and will continue looking for champagne and tennis options as we start traveling again.
Question: Where should I go next for a destination tennis vacation?