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Places to Play: Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
The search for European red clay ends at this iconic Southern California venue.
Published May 30, 2021
WATCH: Rafael Nadal dominated Novak Djokovic in last year's edition of Roland Garros.
A little less than a two-hour drive away from Los Angeles is a hidden gem for tennis enthusiasts, especially those on the hunt to find a rarity in Southern California: red clay. While the Golden State has no shortage of tennis courts to play on onto, it’s not a common sight to see the prevailing European tennis terrain.
The search to find the red stuff ends at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa.
Spanning 45 lush acres of gardens, olive groves and outdoor trails, Rancho Valencia feels anything but hidden, but it remains a secret to some of the most active players in California. The beautiful resort offers expert wellness shops, pools and luxurious spa treatments, and it also boasts 18 on-property tennis courts. Two are European clay courts.
It’s also a venue that welcomes all levels of players. Whether it’s your first time hitting or you’re a seasoned expert, anyone can jump on RV's courts, and it doesn’t even require a stay at the resort. With Roland Garros taking place, players can get a taste of what it’s like to compete on the terre battue in Paris without having to make the trek to France.
The resort offers everything from live-ball play, cardio tennis and private lessons with either the head pro or staff. To play at the resort will cost a pretty penny. It's $100 for a one-hour lesson with the resident head pro, with an option for a quick 30-minute session for $75. There are also options to book court time for just family and friends, with various pricing levels.
One thing is certainly true for this luxuriant tennis oasis: Rancho Valencia is passionate about the game. It’s rich in beauty, and in love with the sport. That comes across in the experience.
Ready to slide around on the red stuff like Rafael Nadal? Now is your chance!