Fishing skills

Brush up on your pickleball skills at one of these resorts

By Lynn O’Rourke Hayes

Have you tried the burgeoning sport of pickleball? It is often described as a combination of badminton, table tennis and tennis. Here are five ways to incorporate this burgeoning sport into your next vacation.

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona

Hone your pickleball skills during a stay at this sunny Arizona resort where 17 lighted courts and a full-service pro shop await. Sign up for group or individual lessons with a certified instructor or play your own family game. Later, the gang can cool off in the lazy river, frolic on the serpentine waterslide or kiddie pool, or just soak up the sun. Book spa time or a round on the Wildfire Championship Golf Course. Ask about special packages, on-site walking trails and bike rentals.

For more information:

Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Combine island sunshine with beach sports and you have the perfect all-inclusive vacation for active families. Pickleball is just one of the many sports your family will enjoy on this vacation.

Your children will be able to learn to fly through the air with the greatest of ease during the trapeze lesson at the resort’s circus school.

They could also go home bragging about walking a tightrope, riding a unicycle, and having jaw-dropping juggling skills (adults can learn, too). Take part in sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, paddleboarding and outdoor fitness lessons when you’re not relaxing under the shade of coconut palms.

Club Med Punta Cana is suitable for families with children of all ages, and visitors can expect a wide range of support programs and amenities for babies as young as 4 months old.

For more information: www.ClubMed.US.

Curtain Bluff, Antigua

Fly to Curtain Bluff, a laid-back yet luxurious resort in Antigua. It’s an enchanting all-inclusive experience that offers plenty of water sports, including water skiing, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, pedal boating, and sailing. When you’re ready for some dry land, head to the pickleball court or stretch out in a yoga class. While the kids enjoy the activities at Camp CeeBee, relax in a hammock nestled in the palm trees or spend an afternoon at the spa, where outdoor massages are the perfect complement to a sporty day.

For more information:

La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, CA

Visit this 45-acre desert oasis for a healthy dose of sunshine and non-stop sporting opportunities. Long a getaway spot for Hollywood hotshots, the Palm Springs area playground is well known for its top-notch golf and tennis. Now, with the addition of eight pickleball courts, you can learn the game or perfect your skills. Resort staff of certified pickleball professionals will be on hand to offer lessons, clinics, or just encouragement. If your clan is inclined to indulge in a multi-sport vacation, book tee times at one of their five award-winning golf courses.

For more information:

Omni Amelia Island Resort, Amelia Island, Florida

With 3.5 miles of pristine beach and abundant native wildlife, this barrier island off the coast of northeast Florida has been attracting families for decades. Spend time kayaking through the swamps or splashing around in the resort pools, or play world-class golf. When it’s time to get the paddles out, you’ll find seven pickleball courts surrounded by a canopy of oak trees. Improve your skills with clinics that nurture beginners as well as advanced players.

For more information:

Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel information on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or through

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