Archery is more than a high-stakes game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. It's an art that requires a good eye and lots of practice, and Big Oak Archery provides the space and equipment necessary to perfect that art. The facility houses an archery range, which hosts target practice and archery leagues and tournaments. In addition, its pro shop stocks an inventory of Elite Archery bows along with various firearms.
Hosted by the Western Iowa Grape Growers Association, the 2011 Loess Hills Fall Wine Festival corrals local vineyards to share the fruits of their labor in a comprehensive tasting paired with a slew of family-friendly festivities. As patrons inhale floral aromas and enjoy the subtleties of local varietals, the festival’s annual grape stomp enlists 100 guests to act out scenes from The Grapes of Wrath barefoot on a stage of vine-ripened fruit. Craft and food vendors are sprinkled throughout the grounds to help patrons cleanse palates, while judges evaluate entries in such categories as best red, best white, and most likely to succeed in staining a cloud costume.
In the warmer months, Moonstone Lavender Gardens' three acres of lush, purple flowers provide a dreamy and fragrant setting for wine tastings, live music festivals, and picturesque weddings. Entirely organic, the gardens are also home to annuals and perennials, so something is always in bloom. Each batch of lavender sold at the on-site store is hand-cut, bundled, and hung up to dry—or incorporated into items such as aromatic soaps, candles, and even aromatherapy pillows.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine-maneuvering and your muscle-making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Xtreme Xperience was founded by a pair of car aficionados who understand the thrill of commanding a $253,000 piece of four-wheeled poetry in motion, like the Lamborghini LP560. They know that exaggerating the pronunciation of Porsche is only half as fun as horsewhipping its 530 horsepower from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3.3 seconds. They realize that the Ferrari F430's supercharged Launch Control console button is too irresistible not to push coming out of every red light and into every dark, quiet, and hopefully vacant train tunnel. The smooth, spaceship-esque aluminum body shell of the Audi R8 makes them appreciate how discreet something like 782 rivets, 382 self-tapping screws, and more than 300 feet of welding can be. The people at Xtreme Xperience love supercars, and they love matchmaking them to other car enthusiasts who live to cruise across the great, oil-stained arteries of the American interstate-highway system.
Wildwood Golf Course’s nine-hole layout spans 2,945 yards of relatively open, parkland terrain cleaved through the shadows of scenic trees. Clubbers can send balls somersaulting into the stratos with their driver or T-shirt cannon, as wide fairways provide generous margins for slightly inaccurate tee shots. The bulk of the course’s difficulty awaits at the end of each hole, where large, undulating greens turn even routine two-putts into testy trials of steady-handed strokes. Golfers in need of new clubs, collared shirts, or other accessories can visit the pro shop, which is patrolled by resident aces who are available to schedule lessons or discuss the science behind recent, closed-door attempts at growing natural spikes out of their feet.
Course at a Glance:
9-hole, par-36 course
Length of 2,945 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 34.7 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 122 from the farthest tees
Three tee options