Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
Rolling hills, wooded terrain, and shimmering waterways serve as the canvas upon which Beckett Golf Club’s 27-hole, 9,577-yard golf complex shines. The swath of verdant playing grounds forms three distinct nines that golfers mix and match to create varied 18-hole rounds. The longest layout, the blue course, confronts players with bends and jumps in the form of dogleg fairways and water hazards on three holes. A fast-starting swing is a must for golfers starting on the red course, where the first hole—a 498-yard par 5—is also the layout’s most difficult, bending sharply to the left with a lush patch of trees that prevents shortcuts and golf-cart drag races. The shortest of the three nines, the white course puts water in play on two holes and revels in the rolling fairways and medium-size greens that characterize the entire 27-hole layout.
The Cove's menu is packed with pasta, steak, and seafood eats, all sizzled and served next to Harrah's gaming floor. Within the elegant confines, patrons can watch horses run and the river race as their jowls harmoniously nibble on the Atlantic salmon and its accompanying saffron risotto and grilled asparagus sprinkled with a balsamic reduction ($23). Other edibles include the freshly plucked prime rib au jus ($22 for 12 oz., $2/extra oz.) and the New York steak pizziola ($32). In addition to surrounding diners in sustenance, the restaurant is surrounded by casino fun, including live entertainment, horse races, and table games such as poker.
Curves is a fitness center designed exclusively for women. Redeem your Groupon at one of the 21 participating locations. Each membership can be used toward unlimited visits and free weight-management classes with trained professionals. The value of this Groupon also includes a one time $99 service fee.
Okinawa Kenpo Karate Academy teaches children so much more than self-defense. For more than 10 years, instructors armed with at least a bachelor's degree have combined classic fighting techniques with important character-building lessons centered on concepts such as kindness, confidence, personal safety, and the discipline to face opponents armed with cool trading cards. Adult classes instill the same skills, exploring basic martial arts techniques and granting a full-body workout without requiring any previous experience. Beyond their standard karate lessons, the experts also teach other martial arts—such as the self-defense techniques of krav maga, the slow, energetic movements of tai chi, and the somersaults and takedowns of capoeira—and teach general fitness classes, including Pilates.
Third-degree black belt and instructor Gary Quillen was once a regular 12-year-old boy. Today, he can leap into the air and perform a dazzling horizontal split kick. This feat requires immense athletic prowess. But that physical strength means nothing without the equally immense mental strength behind it. The importance of mind over muscle informs Gary's approach to teaching his Korean martial-arts and fitness classes. He has designed each of his classes to teach novice practitioners how to defend themselves with deft, powerful techniques, but also to develop their confidence, respect, and self-control in order to minimize the chance they'll ever need to.