If you’d rather listen to music than play it, gather 10 friends for a private jazz concert on a St. Charles Streetcar, the oldest continuously running streetcar line in the world. Pass by stately historic homes in the Garden District as some of the coolest cats in town riff on the night away.
As concierge Melissa Comardelle said, “Music is the lifeblood of this great city, and we’ve got your behind-the-scenes pass.”
Four Seasons New Orleans. $472 and up per night. Private music lesson starts at $500. The private jazz concert on the trolley starts at $4,250. 2 Canal St., New Orleans. 504-434-5100, www.fourseasons.com/neworleans
Jekyll Island Club Resort
Croquet players sporting crisp white attire are one of the first things guests notice when checking in to the Jekyll Island Club Resort, a majestic Queen Anne structure topped with an eye-catching turret.
The tradition dates back to 1888 when the property, now a National Historic Landmark, opened on the smallest of Georgia’s barrier islands as one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. It was a winter retreat for Golden Age Bluebloods like the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers and Astors who came to hunt and enjoy miles of peaceful driftwood-strewn beaches.
Croquet was popular with Victorians because it was not considered too strenuous for ladies and therefore a suitable game for men and women to play together. It is considered one of the first mixed sports.
Most of the players on the lawn today are members of the Jekyll Island Croquet Club, but hotel guests can also play, and it’s free. Just grab a mallet and some balls and aim for the wicket.
Modern women have a distinct advantage over their Victorian counterparts; they don’t have to play tied up in a corset and petticoats.
Jekyll Island Club Resort. $450 a night and up. Croquet is free for guests. 371 Riverview Drive, Jekyll Island. 912-319-4349, www.jekyllclub.com
The Omni Homestead Resort
At the command of falconer Linda Spence, a white-bellied hawk flies towards her and lands softly on her gloved arm. He is rewarded with a tasty morsel. Along the way, the captive-bred raptor tucks its wings and shoots like an arrow between a delighted couple of Omni Homestead Resort guests attending their first falconry lesson.
This historic ski resort located on 2,300 scenic acres in the Allegheny Mountains of western Virginia is one of the few southern properties that offers lessons in falconry, an ancient sport where wild birds of prey are trained to hunt small animals.
At Homestead, a beginner’s lesson does not involve hunting. This is an educational program that demonstrates raptor behaviors and describes the various survival techniques employed by hawks, hawks and owls in the wild. In the process, guests learn to command these majestic predators.
Spence says helping facilitate the human-animal connection is always rewarding.
“Some people consider owls and hawks to be pest birds,” Spence said. “This experience offers a different perspective. The more people like them, the less likely they are to harm them.
The Omni Homestead Resort. $349 per night and up. Beginning of the falconry course $99. 7696 Sam Sneed Highway, Hot Springs, Virginia. 504-839-1766, www.theomnihomestead.com
At Hotel Joseph in downtown Nashville, guests are hoping to get the boot, preferably a pair. On the streets of Nashville, cowboy boots are as common as honky-tons and hot chicken, but for a pair that stands out from the crowd, let the Joseph introduce you to Lucchese, a famous boot maker who established the industry standard in craftsmanship. and design for more than a century.
The art-centric hotel’s connection to Lucchese is evident from the moment guests check in. The front desk is adorned with a specially designed leather panel that depicts the migration of a monarch butterfly.
Channel your inner rhinestone cowboy at Hotel Lucchese’s VIP designer loft. A design expert will work with you to create a bespoke, handcrafted pair of boots that captures your unique style. Choose from a range of exotic leathers – python, goat, ray and ostrich to name a few – then let your imagination run wild. The choices of patterns and colors are nearly endless. To really make these boots your own, monogram them.
Lucchese is the official boot maker for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. If you haven’t made the team, you can still rock a pair of those iconic white boots worn by America’s lovers.
The Joseph. $499 per night and up. Custom boots start at $1,200. 401 Korean Veterans Blvd., Nashville, Tennessee. 615-248-1990, www.thejosephnashville.com
Hotel Omni Louisville
Bourbon lovers raise their “spirit” at the Omni Louisville Hotel. The 612-room hotel in the heart of downtown partners with Mint Julep Tours to immerse guests in the city’s famous Bourbon culture. Book a traditional tour or a personalized experience featuring limited editions and coveted single-barrel bourbons.
Start the evening at Pin + Proof, the hotel’s speakeasy and bowling alley that embraces a carefree Jazz Age vibe. A master mixologist shows you how to mix your favorite bourbon cocktail like a pro.
Many distillery tours are offered, but a visit to the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, nicknamed the “Cathedral of Bourbon,” is an almost religious experience for some bourbon enthusiasts. A virtual monument to bourbon history on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, it opened on Derby Day 1935 and reopened in 2014 after being closed for more than 20 years. Guests are introduced to the bourbon-making process and can sample bourbons from a portfolio of products including Blade and Bow, IW Harper, and Orphan Barrel.
When it comes to how you enjoy your bourbon, there are no rules in Louisville. You can even sip bourbon for breakfast. Take a seat at the Café and enjoy a hearty Southern breakfast with samples of Uncle Boojie’s bourbons made from the family’s 200-year-old secret mash recipe. No judgment if you opt for a quick nap after breakfast in that comfy bed at the Omni.
Omni Louisville Hotel. $189 per night and up. Mint Julep Tour $35-$275. 400 S. 2nd St., Louisville, Kentucky. 502-313-6664, www.omnihotels.com/hotels/louisville