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Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes as well as a pair of sandals or Tevas. Before you leave home, break in your new shoes so you're not uncomfortable on the road.

Golfing San Francisco to San Juan Island

Golfing With Kids

San Francisco to the San Juan Islands via coastal golf courses -

TRAVEL NOTES FROM A ROUGH WRITER

Our destination was the idyllic San Juan Islands, a short ferry ride from Anacortes, Washington, about a two-hour drive from Seattle. We needed respite from the city life, and we were searching for good fishing, cozy inns, and those wonderful courses of the Pacific Northwest.

First night out of San Francisco, we checked into the historic Benbow Inn in Garberville, where we played the nine-hole public course early the next morning. This is a mountain course with some spectacular views - it's short with narrow fairways lined with the majestic redwoods. There is some great trout fishing nearby, and there are lots of activities for children. Into Oregon, we traveled, stopping high in the ponderosa pines near Sisters at Black Butte Ranch. There are two 18-hole courses here, and because there are no outside events, golfers literally have the run of the place. We poked around the general store, took a swim and even tried a horseback ride, which didn't seem to help our swing the following day. Sunriver, about 160 miles southeast of Portland, beckoned. While we didn't spend the night, we strolled the grounds and got the feeling that this is a place geared toward families who love the outdoors. Everything's here-swimming pools, tennis courts, jogging paths, and a breathtakingly beautiful Robert Trent Jones, Jr., course complete with seven lakes all under snowcapped Mount Bachelor. We saw another course here, South Course, and were told it's longer and not quite as hilly. We were saving a white water rafting trip on the Deschutes River and fly fishing for our return trip.

As we streaked for Seattle, our thoughts turned towards our round at Harbour Pointe Golf Club in Everett. The natural splendor of the Northwest is unparalleled, so any new course in this area is cause for celebration. This Arthur Hills design already has been acclaimed one of the top public courses in the country, and we soon saw why. The front nine is routed around 30-acres of wetlands, home to nesting ducks. The back nine takes you over hill and dale, thick with firs and sweeping views. The 11th hole sits on a bluff that faces Puget Sound, with the frosted peaks of the towering Olympic Mountains looming above. This is an easy course to walk and we thought it a fine example of a top-notch public course.

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Experience Southwestern charm and history at this quintessential New Mexico Inn nestled in the heart of Taos' historic district. When you step into the Inn, you step into Taos history.

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