As a sort of sequel to our previous feature highlighting the "best of the west", here are some of the places we love for spa and golf east of the Mississippi.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Huzzah for Colonial Williamsburg (www.colonialwilliamsburg.com), where you can experience what life was like more than 200 years ago. Along with your history lesson, there are 54 holes of golf and a world-class spa. Then you can tuck in for the night at the Williamsburg Inn or The Lodge.
Spa: The Spa boasts experiences inspired by five centuries of healing practices from traditions that span European, African and American-Indian cultures.
The arnica-based Muscle Repair Massage is perfect for easing muscle pain and joint stiffness; great for wrist, hand and back pain after a day of chopping out of the high stuff. The spa's "Balance and Stability" fitness class works on your core to help keep you in sync.
Golf: The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club at Colonial Williamsburg has several courses, include the Gold Course, which opened in 1963. The course was the creation of Robert Trent Jones Sr., who called it his "finest design." Accuracy counts here, due to tight fairways, forced carries and small greens.
The more contemporary Green Course, designed by Jones Sr.'s son, Rees Jones (1991), has a links feel, with "bump-and-run" greens and pot bunkers, while clever sloping helps funnel stray balls back on course.
You can also warm up on the nine-hole Spotswood Course, the original Williamsburg Inn's family-friendly layout.
The Hershey Collection, Hershey, Pennsylvania
The chocolate people in Hershey don't fool around. There is the Chocolate Factory, the Hershey Theatre, Chocolate Avenue - basically, the whole town is one giant chocolate kiss.
Spa: Chocolate spa treatments at The Hotel Hershey (www.thehotelhershey.com) - like the Cocoa Massage, Chocolate Fondue Body Wrap, Cocoa Facial Experience and Whipped Cocoa Bath - are delicious, but there are other "non-chocolate" treatments as well. Those with less of a sweet tooth may want to try the Deep Tissue Massage or Hot Stone Massage, both popular with golfers.
Golf: With 63 holes, the Hershey Golf Collection boasts the most golf of any individual resort in the state of Pennsylvania.
The Golf & Spa package includes overnight accommodations, a round of golf and lunch for one person, Spa Rain Shower, Traditional Massage, lunch and $125 credit to use on additional spa services or spa products, plus admission to other Hershey attractions.
Stay at the Hershey Lodge or Hotel Hershey and you can play on the George Fazio-designed East Course and the circa-1930 West Course of the private Hershey Country Club, where the 1940 PGA Championship was played. The East Course was built with serious tournaments in mind and is considerably harder and longer than the West.
Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina
One destination continually rises to the top when you think golf: Pinehurst Resort (www.pinehurst.com), a 2,000-acre property featuring spa, golf, tennis, family recreational activities, and special events.
From the time you check into the Carolina Inn, you know they know how to treat golfers. Your bag is brought to the golf club, where golf motifs reveal Pinehurst's long and enviable heritage.
Spa: The 31,000-square-foot Spa at Pinehurst and Golf Fitness Center next door to the Carolina Hotel, is a "wow" evoker, from the moment you enter the lofty lobby area. The awe continues through 28 treatment rooms and spa suites and a three-lane lap pool with a cascade whirlpool.
The Champions Massage is a full-body treatment to rejuvenate tired golfers, combined with hot stones used on the back and feet and rounded out with a complete foot scrub.
There is also a 50-minute Golfers Massage and a series of facials including The Stimulating Oxygenating Facial, which tackles environmentally-stressed skin with ingredients like Moroccan Clay and vitamins that deep cleanse and increase the oxygen consumption of skin cells. Sounds scary, but it works.
Golf: Here in the Sandhills, golf can be played year-round on more than 40 courses, including the eight championship tracks at the Pinehurst Resort. Little wonder Pinehurst has been chosen as the venue for the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open - they will be played in consecutive weeks at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in 2014.
The sprawling clubhouse at the Pinehurst Resort features porches overlooking practice areas, halls lined with old photos, and a large men's locker room (the women's is the size of a one-car garage). Add impeccable service and you've got a one-of-a-kind resort dedicated to giving golfers a sense of entitlement.
The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, Shawnee on Delaware, Pennsylvania
Ever since the launch of the heart-shaped tub, the Poconos has been a hot mountain vacation destination. One of the older resorts, dating from the early 1900s, the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort (www.shawneeinn.com), has over the years, hosted the likes of Lucille Ball, Art Carney, Perry Como, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Arnold Palmer.
Spa: The Spa Shawnee and Salon's menu rolls out a number of golf-specific treatments. For example, Gleason's Glow Golf Wrap is named for the famous entertainer, Jackie Gleason, who learned to play golf at the Inn.
A mask is applied over your entire body, relaxing your tense muscles. While you are cocooned in a thermal blanket, you receive a dry scalp and foot reflexology massage, leaving you ready for another 18.
Other golf spa indulgences include The Eagles Glory Massage, which focuses on hard-to-reach places with individually prepared warm oils and a soothing warm golf ball-rolling technique, and the Shawnee Signature Mixology Facial, using Eminence products made with organic fruits and vegetables. This treatment includes a mineral sun skin protector to revitalize your face and give your skin a boost.
Golf: Set mostly on an island on the rolling Delaware, each nine of the Tillianghast Approach Course's 27 holes is a par 36. The first design of famed architect A.W. Tillinghast, find tree-lined fairways and undulating greens enhanced by a scenic mountain backdrop. Check Wikipedia for a full list of Tillinghast's courses.
Constructed in 1911, this venue has hosted many famous golfers and competitions. In 1938, the Inn hosted the historic PGA Championship where Paul Runyan defeated the Inn's resident golf pro, Sam Snead.
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Orlando, Florida
Close to the big "DW," the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate (www.omnihotels.com) is a biggie, spreading out over 1,200 acres of wetlands, orange groves and rolling hills.
Spa: The 10,000 square-foot, full-service, European-style spa has an impressive menu of treatments, including the Golfer's Massage, which focuses specifically on the tired and stressed areas that plague golfers, like the hip, lower back, knees and shoulder blades.
Mild therapeutic stretching helps increase the range of motion and alleviates tension in the over-worked muscle groups, while an application of Bio-Freeze is applied to congested areas helping to ease joint pain and sore muscles.
Golf: Two world-class courses designed by Greg Norman and a nine-hole lighted par-3 course provide plenty of good golf. This is also the headquarters of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy.
Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, Thompsonville, Michigan
Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa (www.crystalmountain.com), a family-owned, four-season resort established in 1956, is a wonderful playground in northern Michigan for those who love the outdoors.
Spa: The 18,500-square-foot Crystal Spa is the Midwest's only LEED-certified spa, recognized for its eco-friendly design. Soft colors from nature and stone sooth, with the aid of a private meditation lounge and outdoor meditation garden with hot tub.
A spa package, "The 19th Hole," describes a mini-manicure/pedicure and 25-minute massage (a Michigan microbrew or glass of wine included).
Golf: In addition to a highly-rated golf school, Crystal Mountain has two championship courses: The Mountain Ridge course, which hosts the Michigan Women's Open, and Betsie Valley Golf Course, which recently underwent a $1 million renovation.
Typical of northern Michigan's landscape, the courses are cut through stands of tall trees, and climb up and down the hills.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Located near historic Charleston, Kiawah Island Golf Resort (www.kiawahresort.com) has five highly-rated courses, as well as the oceanfront Sanctuary Hotel and the Sanctuary Spa, all appealing to those looking for an over-the-top resort experience.
Spa: The Sanctuary Spa, ranked by Travel & Leisure as one of the Best Hotel Spas in the United States, helps golfers unwind with their Post-Round Massage. Your therapist will use rhythmic strokes to stimulate and increase flexibility in tired muscles. Hot towels aid in the relaxation and relief process.
Golf: Kiawah's courses come with excellent pedigrees from designers like Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Gary Player and Clyde Johnston. Kiawah has hosted an impressive lineup of events, and in 2012 the resort will make history as the fourth course to host each of the PGA of America's major championships when the 94th PGA Championship takes place there.