IQ Raising Amenities

Raise your IQ as you indulge in these one-of-a-kind amenities. Communities are constantly coming up with new ways to create impressive amenities for their residents and guests, and these communities are doing just that. 

From studying the stars through a luxury telescope, to hands-on learning from conservationists, residents at these communities are offered the chance to learn from the comfort of their own homes. 

Study the Stars in Style

As you are perched atop a protected hilltop, set up a telescope and take in the stars at Headwaters — a tech-inflected home community developed by Freehold Communities.

The structure has been carefully deconstructed to become the setting for a stargazing amphitheater. Astronomers from the University of Texas frequently gather with Headwaters families to create a high-touch, outdoor classroom for residents to learn about celestial events — eclipses, meteor showers and supermoons.

Located in Dripping Springs, Texas, the Headwaters integrates 1,000 homes within expanses of natural habitat, eight miles of walking trails, as well as five protected hilltops.

Photos courtesy of Freehold Communities

Learn from Onsite Conservationists

With thousands of acres of unspoiled nature and 32 miles of riverfront, Palmetto Bluff offers a natural classroom where teachers — onsite conservationists and guides — run tours, classes, workshops and field trips open to all residents of the luxury, South Carolina community. Learn about life oaks, wild turkeys and other Low Country flora and fauna on bike, horseback or on foot, or head to the May River to explore by kayak, canoe or paddle board.

Looking to learn about the area’s rich history? Onsite archeologist Dr. Mary Socci leads artifact hunting expeditions from past communities dating back 12,000 BC and even leads cemetery walks that include past inhabitants’ pets.

Photos courtesy of Palmetto Bluff

Explore Surrounding Nature

At the Walden Monterey, the luxury agrihood where expansive lots will start in the $5 millions, developers are launching a tree-naming app described as “Pokémon go meets Google Sky, but for trees.” The goal? To increase residents’ interactions with nature through gamification.

Focus on Sustainability and Environmentalism

Located along Ecuador’s Pacific Riviera in the town of Puerto Caya, Oceanside Farms allows residents to gather for onsite lectures and TedX presentations focusing on sustainability and environmentalism.

Discover Astronomy from an Astronomer  

For those interested in astronomy, Mountain Shadows is the place to be. The destination offers the Cocktails Under the Cosmos Series and the Spirited Sipping SeminarsAstronomy lessons take place at the hotel’s Camelback Overlook rooftop deck, offered to both hotel guests and residents of the community. Each astronomer-led event features a signature cocktail themed around that month’s astrological sign, which can be seen brighter in the valley due to its low light pollution and dramatic desert backdrop.