In Instagram-worthy settings from coast to coast, here are a few great opportunities for summer enlightenment in which the degrees range from mountain cool to desert warm and the only scores are found in grill marks and golf games.
Master the kitchen (or grill) at Natirar. Classes in grilling and seafood are among the summer highlights at the Cooking School at Natirar, a historic estate on 500 pastoral acres in New Jersey’s Somerset County. The school, located in the estate’s Tudor-era carriage house, offers an extensive, daily curriculum focusing on seasonality and sustainability, often using produce harvested from Natirar’s own 12-acre sustainable farm. Classes are available for all skill levels, with special sessions designed for teens, families and couples, and topics span the worlds of cooking, wine and entertaining. For more information, visit www.natirar.com or call 908-901-4714.
Apply your mind to massage in the Arizona desert. As the old saying may or may not go, “Give your partner a massage and you’ll earn his or her devotion for a day. Learn the art of massage together and you’ll both reap the benefits for a lifetime.” Guests at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa can book Massage 101, a creative, interactive, partner-building experience that teaches couples professional massage techniques they can practice on each other long after they return home. The 60-minute session is held at the resort’s world-class Sanctuary Spa and is priced at $150 per couple. Book at www.sanctuaryaz.com or call 855-245-2051.
Sharpen your swing at Pebble Beach. Think of it as the Ivy League of golf schools: internationally renowned instructors, state-of-the-art teaching technology, and golf courses that are routinely ranked among the best in the world. Pebble Beach Golf Academy and Practice Facility is the world’s premier golf instruction and practice experience, offering full-swing, putting and on-course playing lessons plus golf fitness and performance evaluations, custom training programs, and three-day/three-night golf schools. Parents of teens (ages 13-18) can make it a family affair with Junior Elite Golf Camps slated for July 23-27 and August 6-10. For more information, visit www.pebblebeach.com or call 888-251-9790.
Learn the ABCs of the Adirondack Back Country. Tucked into the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, Lake Placid’s Whiteface Lodge is surrounded by opportunities for adventure in the great outdoors. And for those who don’t feel quite prepared to tackle it on their own, the resort’s ADK Guides (short for “Aide de Kamp”) are on hand to lead them through every step, providing instruction in a variety of outdoor activities offered on- and off-property, and arranging seasonal day trips, including white-water rafting, kayaking, rock climbing and even bobsledding. The ADK Guides, some of whom are former Olympians, act as adventure concierges, teaching explorers about Lake Placid and the region, and leading excursions that include instruction, round-trip transportation, snacks and more. Reservations are required, and can be booked by calling 888-582-0505 and asking for concierge services. For more information, visit www.thewhitefacelodge.com.
Plunge into literature on Martha’s Vineyard. Take a page from the summer reading lists of school days gone by and delve into great books during the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival, August 5-6. Twenty-nine of the country’s leading fiction, non-fiction and culinary authors, from Ann Patchett (Commonwealth) to Peter Brannen (The Ends of the World) to Joan Nathan (King Solomon’s Table), will be on hand for two full days of readings, panel discussions, author interviews and book signings. Edgartown’s historic Harbor View Hotel will host the first day of the festival and is the ideal lodging choice for a classic Vineyard island getaway. Visit www.harbor-view.com or call 800-225-6005.