Got a golf lover in your family? Cross an item of their bucket list by cooking a trip to one of the most scenic golf courses in the country. Across the United States, you can find some of the best views in national parks. And, don’t forget to bring your clubs—nearby, you’ll find some of the most beautiful golf courses. We’ve put together a list of some of the best national parks for you to consider adding to your itinerary if you’d like to play a scenic round of golf.
Swing a Club at Asilomar
Asilomar, the Refuge by the Sea, is located on the Monterey Peninsula, near Pacific Grove, California. This area is known for sandy dunes and birdwatching. But, it’s also home to almost 20 world-class golf courses.
Within 20 miles of Monterey, you’ll find 10 public, 4 municipal, and 6 private golf courses. Just a few that you can pick from include:
- Del Monte Golf Course: Opened in 1897, making it the oldest golf course in Monterey.
- Bayonet & Black Horse: The longest course at 7,168 yards.
- Quail Lodge & Golf Club: Rated the best of all the Monterey courses.
With so many different courses to choose from, you can take your pick from the bunch, or tee off at a different course for every day of your stay.
Other Activities: Coastal Relaxation
If you’re planning a trip to Asilomar, you’ll find plenty of things to do there in addition to playing golf. The coastline along the Monterey Peninsula is known for its sand dunes and ecological diversity. You can stroll along the coast or boardwalk, take a birdwatching tour, or just settle in atop the sand with a good book.
You can also take a self-guided tour to learn more about the local area and animals. Each tour features stations where you can use your phone to scan and find more information. These tours include:
- Julia Morgan Architecture Tour: Learn more about the historic buildings and architecture designed by Julia Morgan.
- Coast Trail: A two-mile round trip coastal walk through the rocky shores’ habitat. This trail is ADA accessible.
- Dunes Preserve: This quarter-mile boardwalk loop takes you through the sandy dunes with beautiful views of the beach.
Where to Stay: Asilomar Hotel & Conference Grounds
During your time in Asilomar, book a room at the Asilomar Hotel & Conference Grounds. Asilomar is a peaceful retreat where you can enjoy the sound of the waves and get away from the hustle and bustle of a city. With 107 acres of land at Asilomar, you’re just steps from the Asilomar State Beach. You’re also just a short drive from all of the Monterey golf courses.
Hole in One at Zephyr Cove in Lake Tahoe
Zephyr Cove is located on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, giving you the perfect mixture of nature and fun activities. When compared to the quieter, more serene North Shore, South Lake Tahoe is known for ski resorts, boat tours, and golfing. Located along the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the perfect destination for nature and nightlife.
Just minutes from South Lake Tahoe, you’ll find the Lake Tahoe Golf Course, which is known as Tahoe’s best championship golf green. This is an 18-hole golf course settled in a mountain meadow and surrounded by the High Sierras. No matter your skill level, get ready for a challenge. The course also has a practice facility and driving range.
Other Activities: Boat Cruise
During your visit to Lake Tahoe, you can’t miss a chance to get out on the water and take a boat cruise. Book a spot with Lake Tahoe Cruises and choose from a variety of different tour options.
From daytime to sunset, you can pick the perfect boat cruise to board for you and your traveling companions. Pick from:
- Daytime Scenic Cruise: Voted the “Best Cruise in Nevada” by Nevada Magazine, this cruise is certain to not disappoint. During your cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II, a classic paddlewheeler, you can enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and views of the crystal clear blue water of Lake Tahoe. The tour will take you to Emerald Bay, while you listen to expert narration about the local area and wildlife.
- Sunset Dinner Cruise: For a truly unique dining experience, look no further than the Sunset Dinner Cruise. After you board the paddlewheeler boat, you can grab a glass of wine or cocktail from the bar and then settle in to watch the sunset. Choose your appetizer, main, and dessert from a chef-prepared menu.
- Sipping at Sundown Cruise: Hop aboard the Tahoe Paradise yacht for a cruise around Lake Tahoe. Get your “Welcome Aboard” glass of champagne and then settle in to enjoy live music, light bites, and the beauty of Lake Tahoe.
Where to Stay: Zephyr Cove Resort
Zephyr Cove Resort is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to stay within the heart of the action in South Lake Tahoe. The resort has 28 individual cabins and 4 guest rooms. From the resort, you’ll be just a few minutes walk from the beach, marina, lake cruises, and onsite dining. The resort also has a gift shop, lounge and bar, free parking, and is pet-friendly.
Putting Around at Yosemite
Yosemite National Park is known for its dramatic waterfalls, giant sequioas, abundant wildlife, and awe-inspiring cliffs. But,did you know it’s also home to some of the most picturesque golf courses in the country? Well, it is.
The Wawona Golf Course, established in 1918, is a 9-hole, par-35 course measuring 3,050 yards inside Yosemite National Park. As you swing your clubs, you’ll be tucked in among the ponderosa pines and taking in stunning mountain views. This pesticide-free course is watered with reclaimed gray water, has varied terrain, and is a great option for golfers of all levels. As you play, keep your eyes peeled because the 6th hole has become known as the Nursery Hole, because it’s a popular spot for wildlife.
Other Activities: Fishing
As most people know, there are endless activities and sites to see in Yosemite. If you’re looking to continue the laid-back vibe, you’ll find fishing to be just the right speed. Yosemite has some of the most exciting fishing in the world, with an abundance of rainbow and brown trout keepers filling the streams and mountain lakes. All lakes and streams are open year-round for fishing.
Where to Stay: Wawona Hotel
Nearby the Wawona Golf Course you’ll find the Wawona Hotel, a Victorian-era mountain resort hotel established in 1856. The Wawona Hotel has retained all of its charm over the years and places you right at the heart of everything fun to do in Yosemite. The hotel dining room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and in the evening you can wind down with a drink and musical performances in the lounge.
A Cinderella Story in Denali
Ready to play one of the northernmost courses in the United States? Travel to Denali, Alaska and you’ll get to do just that on the Black Diamond Golf Course. The course is just minutes away from Denali National Park & Preserve, where you can enjoy some of the wildest, most rugged terrain in the United States.
The Black Diamond Golf Course opened in 1995 and is situated next to a mountain lake, which is frequented by wildlife. As you play through the 9 holes on the Alaska Tundra, you’ll be challenged by the lack of topsoil in the area, moose prints, and tundra marsh. Be ready for the game of a lifetime. And, don’t worry about hauling your clubs to Alaska, you can play an all-inclusive game for $100 at the Black Diamond Golf Course.
Other Activities: Tundra Wilderness Tours
If you’re ready to head into the park and see everything it has to offer, book a seat on the Tundra Wilderness Tour. This 5-hour bus tour will take you along through the park to see wildlife while listening to expert narration about the scenery and the history of the park. At the end of the tour, you’ll stop at the Murie Cabin, where you’ll learn about Adolf Murie and the research he did into the park.
Where to Stay: Denali Park Village: The Lodge
The Lodge at Denali Park Village is all about location, location, location. The grounds are spread over 20 acres, with light hiking and fantastic views of the Nanana River sweeping by. Not to mention, The Lodge is located just 7 miles outside of the park entrance, so you can explore the park with convenience.
The 19th Hole at Lake Powell
In northern Arizona stretching up to southern Utah, you’ll find Lake Powell. And with over 2,000 miles of shoreline, it’s one of the best lakeside getaways in the United States. You can expect endless sunshine, warm water, and picture perfect weather. If you’re looking to golf during your visit, head to Page, Arizona where you’ll find the Lake Powell National golf course which was opened in 1995 and is great for golfers of all levels.
As you move between the 18 holes, you’ll get spectacular views of Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, and the Vermillion Cliffs. The views of the lush, green grass of the course against the famous red rocks of the area is the picture perfect backdrop for your nature-inspired golf getaway.
Other Activities: Grand Canyon, Rafting Trip
More adventures await just around the corner when you visit Lake Powell. Just a short drive away you’ll find the Grand Canyon. Along the route of this family-friendly rafting trip you’ll see Glen Canyon Dam, Petroglyph Beach, Horseshoe Bend, and historic Lees Ferry.
Where to Stay: Lake Powell Resort
Located in Page, Arizona nearby all of the down-lake activities is the Lake Powell Resort. During your stay, you can enjoy onsite dining, marina, and boat rentals if you’re wanting to get on the water. You can head off on daily adventures or simply sit back and relax by the pool.
For the golf lover in your family, you can have it all on your next vacation. The golf courses near national parks across the U.S. mean you can hit tee time while also seeing the sights that mother nature has to offer. And when you’re not teeing off, you’ll find plenty of other things to do nearby and onsite dining at your hotel. Does it get any better than that?