Escape From Chicago

Get outside: Although this resort is golfing nirvana -- the on-site courses at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run both regularly show up on national rankings -- there's plenty to do if you don't know a putter from a driver. Start your morning with a jog on the two-mile paved trail through the village's lush botanical gardens. In the afternoon, head to the nearby River Wildlife, a 500-acre nature preserve, where you can canoe on the Sheboygan River or hike/horseback on 25 miles of trails.

Rainy-day options: The hotel's sprawling 85,000-square-foot gym houses a pool, tennis courts and state-of-the-art exercise equipment. Take one of the 10-plus classes a day ($16.50 each), like Treading (a group treadmill class) or power yoga. The spa specializes in water treatments, such as the Riverbath ($95), a 50-minute mineral-infused soak followed by a shoulder massage with pulsating water.

Book it: Getting a last-minute room during the summer isn't hard; getting a golf reservation is (nonguests can reserve tee times too). If you have to golf, plan a few months in advance. Otherwise, calling early in the week for the upcoming weekend is fine. From $293 a night (800-344-2838,

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