Best US Golf Courses
From the east to the west coast, check out the best golf courses in the US, including Valhalla Golf Club, Augusta National and Pebble Beach.
Chambers BayOne of the more recently built courses to host the iconic US Open tournament, Chambers Bay opened to the public in 2007. Known for its wide-open fairways, massive sand traps and unpredictable coastal winds — due to its location overlooking the Puget Sound — this monstrous links course in University Place, WA, spans 7,585 yards. 960 1280
Augusta NationalAugusta National Golf Club is one of the most famous men's golf clubs in the world, let alone the United States. Located in Augusta, GA, the course is known for many of it’s remarkable features -- from "The Big Oak Tree" to Magnolia Lane -- but none more famous then "Amen Corner,” one of the most memorable stretches on any golf course, located between holes 11 through 13.
Augusta NationalSince opening in 1933, Augusta National has been lucky enough to play host to the Masters Tournament, quite possibly the most prestigious event of all 4 major championships in golf. Winning that elusive green jacket can turn a regular professional into a golfing legend overnight. 960 1280
Oak Hill Country ClubLocated next to the Genesee River in Rochester, NY, Oak Hill Country Club is the only club in the world to host the PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup, the US Open, the US Amateur, the US Senior Open and the Senior PGA Championship. The Club has a West Course and an East Course. The 2013 PGA Championship will be contested over on the East Course. 960 1280
Merion Golf ClubVisit Merion Golf Club, a private golf club located in Ardmore, PA, just 11 miles west of Philadelphia. Host to the US Open 5 times, this club’s courses -- designed by golf course architect Hugh Wilson -- has an East Course and West Course, but it’s the East Course that has become the favorite among professional golfers. In fact, Golf Digestis rated the Merion Golf Club’s East Course one of America’s greatest golf courses. 960 1280
Kiawah Island Golf ResortPlay golf on Kiawah Island, located southwest of Charleston, SC. The Kiawah Island Golf Resort has 5 golf courses. The Resort’s Ocean Course has hosted major golf tournaments, including the Ryder Cup, World Cup, PGA Championship, PGA Club Professional Championship and Senior PGA Championship. The well-renowned golf resort was voted the “#1 Resort in the US,” in <i>Golf World Magazine</i>. 960 1280
Valhalla Golf ClubLocated 20 miles east of Louisville, KY, Valhalla Golf Club hosted the Senior PGA Championship and the PGA Champion in 2011 and 2014. The PGA of America owns the majority interest in the 486-acre property -- a dream envisioned by Louisville businessman and golf enthusiast Dwight Gahm and his 3 sons. Grahm commissioned pro-golfer Jack Nicklaus to build a private golf facility, and it opened its doors in 1986. This world-class club remains the best golf course in Kentucky and on the “America’s 100 Greatest Courses”, according to Golf Digest. 960 1280
Beau RivageTrue story: In July 2011, a Baton Rouge accountant named Deborah Boies walked into this waterfront casino on the Gulf Coast of Biloxi, MS, and sat down at the casino’s $1 Wheel of Fortune machine. After investing $15 in less than a minute, jackpot! She won the $1,191,744.89 on the machine. 960 1280
Green Valley Ranch Resort and SpaEscape the fast-paced Vegas scene. Just 20 minutes from the Strip, this resort sits on 8 acres of land bordered by cool palm trees. In between coiffing your winning hands at the resort’s spa, check out the casino’s 55 gaming tables, 2,200 slot and video poker machines, and 22-table poker room. 960 1280
MGM Grand DetroitThere’s Vegas, and then there’s … Detroit? Yep, that’s right. The Motor City is one of the largest US cities to offer travelers a casino resort hotel. This beaut includes 100,000 square feet of gaming space with 4,000 slot and video poker machines, along with more than 90 table games. For further relaxation, grab a pint at TAP sports pub or sample the fare at 2 Wolfgang Puck eateries. 960 1280
Gold StrikeOnce you’ve paid your respects to the King in nearby Memphis, hightail it to this resort and casino 20 minutes away, in Tunica Resorts, MS. You’ll find 52 table games and 1,400 slot machines, plus a nightclub, spa and steakhouse restaurant that’s snagged high marks from Wine Spectator magazine. 960 1280
Atlantis Casino Resort SpaIn recent years, the main casino in this resort in Reno, NV, ditched its tropical theme for something more elegant -- think accent lighting and new, streamlined furnishings. Spanning 67,000,000 square feet of space, the casino also boasts 1,500 slot machines and plenty of gaming excitement, including the classic card game baccarat. 960 1280
Borgata Hotel Casino & SpaHands down, this is the best casino resort in Atlantic City. The $1.1 billion property gets high marks from travelers for its sheer size (it’s the largest hotel in New Jersey) and its Las Vegas feel (it is Atlantic City’s top-grossing casino). The 161,000-square-foot casino floor boasts 4,000 slot machines and 200 table games -- as well as the largest poker room on the East Coast! 960 1280
Harrah’s New OrleansA stone’s throw from the mighty Mississippi is another mighty sight: this 115,000-square-foot casino -- home to 2,100 slot machines, more than 90 table games and a poker room. If that’s not sensory overload enough, swing by the French Quarter, just 1 block away. 960 1280
Golden NuggetYou didn’t think we’d forget Vegas, did you? This Vegas landmark (open since 1946), boasts the largest casino in downtown -- we’re talking 38,000 square feet of gaming space. Near the casino’s registration desk, you won’t soon forget seeing the Hand of Faith -- a gold nugget, found in Australia in 1980, that was purchased by the resort for more than $1 million. 960 1280
Eldorado Resort CasinoYou’ve landed at Shreveport Regional Airport -- so, where’s the first place you go? This swanky casino, located just 7 miles away. The 30,000-square-foot space is home to more than 1,500 slots and video poker machines, as well a gourmet steakhouse and bar-and-entertainment venue where you can belt out some karaoke. Or kick back with a drink. 960 1280
America’s High-Stakes Casinos 13 Photos
National Finals RodeoA cowboy casts a cool look during the National Finals Rodeo, popularly known as the “Super Bowl of rodeo.” The 10-day event, held each year in Las Vegas, determines the world champ in 7 main events, including bareback riding, steer wrestling and team roping.
When to go: First full week of December 960 1280
Caldwell Night RodeoThe cowboys are the stars at this annual 5-day rodeo event. Held in the Boise metro area, Caldwell Night Rodeo draws crowds of more than 40,000 people, eager to see the big draw: many of the world’s top professional cowboys who make Caldwell Night Rodeo an annual stop on their circuit.
When to go: Mid-August 960 1280
Pendleton Round-UpReady for some bulldogging? A cowboy reaches for a steer’s horns at the Pendleton Round-Up, one of the 10 largest rodeos in the world. Started in 1910, the annual rodeo event draws crowds of 50,000 to Pendleton, OR, where the town’s motto is, “The Real West.”
When to go: Mid-September 960 1280
Dodge City Roundup RodeoWestern heritage -- and big bucks -- draw championship cowboys and cowgirls to the annual Dodge City Roundup. Since its start in 1977, the 10-day event has grown to include a payout of nearly $254,000, alongside an audience of more than 100,000 people.
When to go: Late July to early August 960 1280
Cheyenne Frontier DaysThe granddaddy of rodeo events, Cheyenne Frontier Days has been held in its namesake Wyoming town since 1897. The outdoor rodeo and western celebration features hundreds of horses performing rodeo events and track acts. The annual event draws nearly 200,000 people, with a whopping 100,000 free pancakes served by the local Kiwanis club.
When to go: Last full week of July 960 1280
Ellensburg RodeoNow in its 75th year, the Ellensburg Rodeo in Washington State has grown from a local competition among ranch hands to a leading rodeo festival: More than 600 contestants vie for prize money in excess of $400,000. In the Pacific Northwest, the rodeo is second in size only to the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada.
When to go: Labor Day weekend 960 1280
Fort Worth Stock Show and RodeoFor 23 heart-pounding days, the annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo puts on quite a show at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. The annual event, which draws a crowd of 900,000, showcases the world’s original indoor rodeo, with 36 performances of professional rodeo on display, such as calf roping.
When to go: Mid-January to early February 960 1280
Nebraskaland DaysWild West showman Buffalo Bill considered North Platte, NE, his hometown, and went on to found modern-day rodeo in the city. Today, the legacy continues with Nebraskaland Days: The largest rodeo event in western Nebraska showcases parades, art shows, concerts, food events and, of course, rodeos.
When to go: Mid-June 960 1280
Yellowstone RodeoExciting rodeo action mixes with stunning mountain sunsets at the annual Yellowstone Rodeo in southwestern Montana. The annual event showcases the big rodeo draws -- including bareback bronc riding, bull riding, team roping and saddle broc riding -- as well as a “calf scramble” event in which kids can safely compete.
When to go: June through early September 960 1280
National Western Stock ShowNow in its 106th year, the National Western Stock Show in Denver spans 16 days, and a 100-acre show ground home to the second largest rodeo in the United States. Hands-on animal exhibits feature 15,000 head of horses, cattle, sheep, alpacas, llamas and more -- plus, a chance for the little ones to go giddy-up.
When to go: Last 2 weeks in January 960 1280
RodeoHoustonFor the world’s largest live entertainment and livestock show, head to Houston’s Reliant Stadium. In 2012, this massive 1,900,000-square-foot facility hosted the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo -- and a whole lot of animals: 26,305 livestock and horse show exhibitors competed for a shot at a Houston championship.
When to go: Late February to mid-March 960 1280
Reno RodeoBilled as the “wildest, richest rodeo in the West,” the Reno Rodeo spans 10 days and attracts more than 140,000 fans. Events include a Miss Reno Rodeo Queen pageant, cattle drive, carnival rides and the Xtreme Bull Riding Tour stop, featuring 40 of the world’s best pro bull riders.
When to go: Late June 960 1280
Miss Rodeo AmericaHere she comes, Miss Rodeo America 2012 winner Mackenzie Carr -- the first winner from Oregon. The first pageant was held in Casper, WY, in 1955. Today, the annual pageant is held in Las Vegas, with contestants competing in areas of appearance, horsemanship and personality.
When to go: Early to mid-December 960 1280
Florence Junior ParadaThe world’s oldest continuous junior rodeo finds its home in Florence, AZ. Eighty years since its start, the annual Florence Junior Parada rodeo draws hundreds of future PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assocation) cowboys and cowgirls, ages 5 to 18, to compete in rodeo events such as team roping, breakaway roping and even bull riding.
When to go: Late November 960 1280
America's Biggest Rodeos 14 Photos