Written by Doug Simmons
October 2017

Like golf, the sport of tennis possesses a country-club tenor that fits hand in glove with the yachting lifestyle. Here are the best tennis courts to visit by boat where you can serve and volley – or simply indulge a love of the game during your travels.

International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport, R.I.

Set in the Newport Casino, a National Historic Landmark that opened in 1880, this shingle-and-stone mansion is Grand Slam ground zero. The on-site museum houses thousands of artifacts — including sketches of the first Wimbledon championships in 1877 and tennis fashions from throughout the 20th century — as well as two galleries highlighting the 252 Hall of Famers. The Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open brings the top ATP World Tour players here each July. It’s the only tournament played on grass courts outside of Europe. You can enjoy the Hall of Fame’s clinics, camps and rental programs.

Where to Dock: Newport Yachting Center (401-847-9047, newportyachtingcenter.com)

Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, Hilton Head, S.C.

Part of the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, this “ace” destination repeatedly ranks among Tennis Magazine’s Top 10 Tennis Resorts. The 26-court facility recently shortened two courts for players 10 and younger per new regulations from the USTA, and for the addition of the lively sport of POP tennis. There are also eight newly renovated pickleball courts colored with U.S. Open green and blue. The center offers both adult and junior programs, from fast-paced drills to custom programs, as well as court reservations for members and guests. From March to October, Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center adds a complimentary happy hour on Monday nights and free demonstrations every Tuesday.

Where to Dock: Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina (866-400-7894, palmettodunes.com)

Delray Beach Tennis Center, Delray Beach, Fla.

Held here each February, the Delray Beach Open is the world’s only combined ATP World Tour/ATP Champions Tour event, drawing both current and past legends for 10 days of action. Or, come for the Chris Evert Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic in November, featuring three days of matches with former tennis pros as well as other famous personalities. The Tennis Center, located just west of the Delray Beach downtown area on Atlantic Avenue, has 14 clay and six hard courts, an 8,200-seat stadium, upstairs pavilion, conference room, pro shop and full menu of adult and junior programs, leagues, clinics and camps.

Where to Dock: Seagate Yacht Club at Delray Beach (877-673-6564, theseagateyachtclub.com)

Crandon Park Tennis Center, Key Biscayne, Fla.

The 13,800-seat Stadium Court at the Crandon Park Tennis Center is home to the Miami Open, a 12-day tournament held each March featuring the top 96 men and women players in the world. It’s one of the most prestigious competitions in professional tennis, and a bucket-list event for fans. The facility is home to 26 courts overall — hard court, European red clay and American green clay. Lessons are offered, reservations are accepted and the courts are wheel-chair accessible. A clubhouse and pro shop are on site, just steps away from Crandon Park Beach, renowned as one of the best swatches of sand in the U.S.

Where to Dock: Crandon Park Marina (305-361-8446, miamidade.gov/parks)

Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key, Fla.

Along with its world-class water-based activities — fishing, diving, paddleboarding, dolphin encounters and the 85-slip marina — exclusive Hawks Cay Resort also offers Cliff Drysdale Tennis. One of 28 such programs in the U.S. and the creation of champion player and former ATP president Cliff Drysdale. The specialized clinics and camps, held at the resort’s recently renovated Tennis Garden, are led by certified coaches and intended to teach fundamental skills as well as match play, game strategy, team building and camaraderie. Feel those competitive juices flowing? Register for a league or tournament, or just have one of the resort’s tennis professionals arrange a match for you.

Where to Dock: Hawks Cay Resort & Marina (305-743-9000, hawkscay.com)

Naples Bay Resort & Marina, Naples, Fla.

This Italian-inspired destination along the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast features an amenity-rich environment with waterfront shopping and fine dining, a Euro-style spa, three swimming pools and a meandering lazy river, a fitness center with aerobic and Pilates studios, a kids’ club — and a full-service tennis complex with six lighted clay courts. The pro shop here features designer apparel, shoes, racquets and tennis accessories, and the professionally led tennis program offers a variety of options for juniors and adults alike, including clinics, round-robins and private lessons.

Where to Dock: Naples Bay Resort & Marina (239-530-5134, naplesbayresort.com)

The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Longboat Key, Fla.

Whether you want to schedule a friendly game with your spouse, plan a tournament for your group or perfect your swing with personalized lessons, one of Florida’s top tennis resort awaits. The beautifully landscaped Tennis Garden at The Resort at Longboat Key Club boasts 20 clay courts maintained by a state-of-the-art water irrigation system for consistently excellent playing conditions. Recharge after a match in the adjacent clubhouse or players patio, or refuel with a bite on the terrace at the Court 21 Café & Lounge. A fully-stocked pro shop offers the latest tennis accessories, apparel and racquet rentals.

Where to Dock: Longboat Key Club Moorings (941-383-8383, longboatkeymarina.com)

Tops’l Beach & Racquet Resort, Destin, Fla.

Choose from more than a dozen individual and group tennis packages (or request a custom one) at this top-ranked racquet resort in Northwest Florida. Each package contains reserved court times and a Tops’l T-shirt, along with options including player-matching service, lessons or clinics, round robins and even food service. Along with 12 newly resurfaced clay courts, the tennis club here has a pro shop, fitness center, private locker rooms, racquetball court, indoor-outdoor pool and sauna with massage therapy. The resort is situated on 52 beautiful acres and bordered by the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and a nature preserve.

Where to Dock: Sandestin Baytowne Marina (850-267-7773, sandestin.com)

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

A pastoral setting of bougainvillea and citrus groves offers a serene, scenic backdrop for the 18 hard courts here. The tennis menu includes complimentary match play as well as daily clinics, family tennis, and a unique video lesson option with replay and tailored game analysis. For guests seeking an inclusive tennis experience, Rancho Valencia offers a Stay and Play package that combines one night in a luxury casita with a per-person tennis credit to use as they see fit. The all-suite, Relais & Châteaux property has been selected by Tennis Magazine as its No. 1 U.S. Tennis Resort multiple times since 2008.

Where to Dock: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina (619-221-4858, missionbay.regency.hyatt.com)

Caneel Bay Resort, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Few cruising destinations are as pristine and secluded as the U.S. Virgin Islands. To wit, Caneel Bay Resort lies at the edge of Virgin Islands National Park and is accessible only by boat or ferry. Water activities like scuba and sailing beguile, but when you’re ready for some shore leave, check out the resort’s nine synthetic grass and hard courts. Two are illuminated for evening play, with complimentary rackets and unlimited court time. Lessons and clinics are taught using the proven Peter Burwash International (PBI) curriculum. Other services include player match-up, or a free hitting session with a ball machine or pro.

Where to Dock: Caneel Bay Anchorage (340-776-6111, nps.gov/viis)

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Waimea Hawaii

It’s a long crossing for the average yachtsman, but, oh, is the trip worth it. The aptly named Seaside Tennis Club at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel showcases 11 courts right at the ocean’s edge, so you can hear the waves break on the black, volcanic rock shore while you break your opponent’s serve. All the amenities of a luxury tennis club are present here — pro shop, locker rooms, tournament planning, match-making, private and group lessons with a professional instructor — plus the Seaside Tennis Club Grand Prix Championship occurs each fall and includes special hotel rates for participants.

Where to Dock: Gentry’s Kona Marina (808-329-7896, gentryskonamarina.com)