Travel to La Romana
Known for its sugar factories, the area of La Romana is one of the more industrialized in the Dominican Republic. In fact, it's the sugar that makes La Romana and neighboring San Pedro de Macoris two of the leading Major League Baseball player producing towns.
During the six months when sugar is not in high production, workers often compete in baseball games against other sugar mill workers. This has helped to brew the excitement and passion for baseball that has become synonymous with the country. Baseball fans will want to take in a game at the Michelin Baseball Stadium located at the city's west end. The home team is the La Romana Azucareros, which translates to La Romana Sugar Bowls. Tickets range from $50-$150.
To the northeast of the stadium is the Mercado Municipal, an open-air marketplace spanning several city blocks where tourists can purchase fresh produce and shop for crafts and souvenirs.
Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo is considered one of the most complete and luxurious resort communities in the Caribbean. Many celebrities vacation at the complex such as George Hamilton, Bill Clinton, Shakira, Elizabeth Taylor, former President George H. Bush, and the country's very own Sammy Sosa.
PGA golf greats including Dana Quigley, Jim Thorpe, Ed Dougherty and Tom Wargo have all made their way to Casa de Campo to play Teeth of the Dog, the first course to open at the resort nearly 30 years ago. Since creating Teeth of the Dog, Pete Dye has designed Links and his newest course Dye Fore. While this new course is receiving rave reviews from international golfers, Teeth of the Dog is still a favorite and for this reason the resort has invested in its extensive makeover, which is scheduled for completion in October 2005.
In addition to golf, the resort also has a full-service marina capable of accommodating yachts up to 250-feet long with its new expansion. The full-service marina is encapsulated by international boutiques, jewelers, galleries and flavorful restaurants.
The resort has a variety of accommodations from spacious guestrooms with balconies overlooking the golf course to luxury suites brushed with Caribbean flair. Lavish villas ranging from two to six bedrooms provide an elite option for families and groups of friends. Villas come complete with private pool, personal touring car and dedicated maid and butler who will prepare and serve breakfast daily among catering to other requests.
Beyond golf, yachts and living the life of luxury, Casa de Campo also features a polo club, private beach, pool and spa area, horseback riding, sport shooting, tennis and meeting facilities.
Altos de Chavon Cultural Center
Built in 1976, Altos de Chavon is a cobblestone lined replica of a quaint 16th century Tuscan hillside village. Set high above the Chavon River, this cultural center features shops, restaurants, artists studios and galleries housed in stone and coral block buildings. The complex also features a school of design, an open-air amphitheater, archeology museum and art gallery.
The semi-circled 5,000 seat amphitheater practically turns back time thanks to its Grecian qualities. This limestone concert bowl was inaugurated by Frank Sinatra and Carlos Santana in 1982 and has since hosted dozens of concerts, symphonies, theatrical events and festivals. International recording artists Julio Iglesias, Dizzy Gillespie, Air Supply and Gloria Estefan have played under the stars to adoring fans at this one-of-a-kind amphitheater.
The country's most famous fashion designer, Oscar de La Renta, is intimately involved in the Altos de Chavon School of Design. In addition to fashion design, the two-year Associate in Applied Science degree program has concentrations in graphic design, interior design and fine arts/illustration. The controlled curriculum was developed in conjunction with the world renowned Parsons School of Design, which accepts graduates to complete their four-year degree.
The Center also has an artist-in-residence program in which established and up-and-coming artists live and work in Altos de Chavon for three months. Painters, sculptors, photographers, writers, musicians and architects exchange knowledge in open studios throughout the village. Past artists have included author Julia Alvarez and artists Henry Koerner and Roberto Juarez.