Apartment complex off Highway 78 promotes neighborly qualities

A large swimming pock and deck are focal points of the 240-dwelling Alta Shores rental village in North Charleston.

World-class tennis facilities aren't hard to find in the Charleston area.

Take your pick. From downtown, head down the coast 21 miles to Kiawah Island or up the coast 15 miles to the Isle of Palms. Those two sites own the top two tennis resorts in the world, according to Roger Cox's prestigious Tennis Resorts Online.

That's a first for the state or just about any state. Kiawah Island Golf Resort kept its status as the world's top "tennis" resort in the latest annual rankings by tennisresortsonline.com, while Wild Dunes leaped from 10th to second.

Hilton Head Island's Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is rated seventh, giving the state three top 10 resorts. Hilton Head's Sea Pines Resort (16th) and Port Royal Racquet Club (25th) round out the list of the state's five Gold Medal Resorts.

Florida is the only other state with as many or more top 25 resorts, but only one of the six world's top 25 are in the top 17.

The data for the rankings came from vacationers who answered a survey that assessed resorts and camps in 17 categories, including the tennis experience as well as the quality of the lodging, restaurants, children's programs and value for dollar.

Cox, who started the tennis resorts rankings for Tennis Magazine, is the founder of Tennis Resorts Online.

Roy Emerson Tennis Holidays in Switzerland repeated as the best of the tennis camps.

The Charleston area has an extra jewel in its tennis venues with the internationally acclaimed Family Circle Cup that has been held the last 10 Aprils on Daniel Island.

"Charleston is undoubtedly one of America's premier vacation destinations," said Family Circle Cup general manager Bob Moran. "When you consider that the Lowcountry is home to a pair of the top-ranked tennis resorts, a thriving year-round tennis community and a world-class professional women's tournament, there's no better place for avid players to enjoy a getaway vacation immersed in the sport they love."

Reach James Beck at jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.