If you scroll through RV Charters’ photo album, you’ll spy dozens of proud fishermen standing on the deck of charter boats, straining to lift massive salmon and steelhead above their chests. The success of these fishing trips stems partially from RV Charters' top-notch equipment—captains monitor sonars, GPS, and radars, and equip their charges with electric downriggers. They also offer tips to novice fishermen, from selecting the proper bait to imitating the salmon’s mournful mating call. In addition to hosting fishing charters, RV Charters' staff rents out lakefront condos, thereby facilitating multiday excursions across Lake Michigan.
Built 40 years ago on the Clifford Fennedael farm, NorthBrook Country Club’s 18 bucolic holes burst with verdant foliage and the babbling of a small brook. A bar and grill on the first floor of the clubhouse answers postgame appetites with soups, sandwiches, and casual fare, and in the second-story restaurant, hearty steak, shrimp, and chicken entrees adorn tables. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of course play and indiscreet golf carts morphing into Optimus Prime.
After vacationing in France in the early 1970s, retired physicist Carl Sontheimer was inspired to go back to work. He?d seen a new gadget?a mechanized food processor for restaurants?and wanted to retool it for passionate home cooks like himself. His machine was efficient and versatile: mixing eggs into puff pastry took 15 minutes for a human, 10 minutes for a trained chimpanzee, but just 15 seconds in the food processor. Immediately, revered chefs including Julia Child, Jacques P?pin, and James Beard applauded the invention, and Beard even wrote an entire cookbook dedicated to the machine. Decades later, Cuisinart?s line of innovative products ranges from waffle makers and rice cookers to eco-friendly nonstick pans.
The extensive facilities at Bisbee Golf Center, which include a driving range with 40 grass tees and a 5,000-square-foot putting green, set the stage for practice and improvement under the expert eyes of professional teachers. Since opening the center in 1988, owner Jeff Bisbee, a Class A PGA professional, and his father, Doug, a PGA Class A member since 1962, have helped students lower scores and increase their enjoyment of the game through private and group lessons. Their instruction involves thorough analysis of the swing to identify areas for improvement, calling upon computer-aided techniques to break down the swing into its most basic components of backswing, downswing, and bowing to vanquished opponents.
The crunch of fallen leaves or packed snow telegraphs the motions of warriors hidden in the underbrush on the outdoor fields at Commando Paintball Sports. Paintballs whisper through the air, flitting out from the barrels of Tippmann FT-12 or Piranha markers. The projectiles splatter against two-story forts or hollowed-out vehicles on the three wooded fields, which stay open year-round in almost any weather. On the urban combat field, patrons take cover in any of 20 buildings, including a three-story bell tower perfect for getting a birds-eye-view of opponents. Those seeking tournament-style play compete in a hyperball field designed by expert players. Laser tag keeps clothing clean while still eliciting floods of adrenaline.
Every club in a golfer’s bag makes an appearance at the Fox Hills Resort Golf Course, whose 45 fairways sprawl over 500 acres. The resort boasts an 18-hole Scottish-links-style course—The National—where touring professionals including Bob Hope have navigated through sculpted mounds and double greens designed by Ed Locke. The course’s 16 acres of water hazards force players to aim with precision to avoid sailing their golf carts after sunken balls.
Encircling the resort lodges nearby, the three 9-hole Fox Creek courses unfurl parkland-style fairways lined by villas and quietly weeping willows. A sprinkling of aquatic hazards keeps novices on their toes, but players can gear up for these challenges with lessons from experts such as the club’s head golf pro Josh Redo. Before tackling any of the resort’s courses, clubbers can warm up at a driving range with 70 hitting stations.
Golfers enjoy a bevy of dining options before or after rounds, including The 19th Hole Bar & Grill, where they can grab a quick brat or white-cheddar-cheese curds. The Willowview Restaurant invites diners to make reservations before tucking into steak or prime rib, and the Benchwarmers Sports Bar welcomes guests to sip a foamy brew while watching the game, lounging on an outdoor deck, or knitting a new head cover for their favorite sand wedge.
The National Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,010 yards * Course rating of 73.8 * Slope rating of 136 * See the scorecard * Four tee options
Fox Creek Course at a Glance: * Three 9-hole courses * White course, par 36, has length of 3,115 yards * Red course, playable as par 36 or 37, has length of 3,283 yards * Blue course, playable as par 35 or 36, has length of 2,929 yards * Each course has three tee options