Framed by the distant peaks of the Helderberg Mountains, Western Turnpike Golf Course's 27-hole layout blankets 250 acres of scenic terrain stitched by pine trees. Though the three nines connect to form three distinct 18-hole courses, the presence of multiple ponds, streams, and small, well-fortified greens act as a unifying feature across the entire grassy labyrinth. The horticultural haven is also peppered by a relatively sparse population of 37 sand bunkers, their scarcity due to the abundance of water hazards and previous issues with disoriented sunbathers. With three courses offering various levels of difficulty and five tee options on each course, Western Turnpike presents a sound golf challenge for bona fide aces, mid-handicappers, and those trying to play with a croquet mallet.
Since first enchanting moviegoers with a screening of The Desert Song on May 30, 1929, Madison Theater continues to treat attendees to the latest cinematic offerings. Designed by acclaimed American theater architect Thomas White Lamb, Madison Theater remained a single-screen establishment until 1994, and now projects motion pictures on seven screens, playing Hollywood features alongside films from local and independent moviemakers. As cinematic stories unfold before their eyes, visitors can scarf down handfuls of daily made, cholesterol- and trans-fat-free popcorn. Snackers seeking richer treats can request kernels slathered in canola oil or drenched in a soy-based buttery topping, which concessions employees also insert in the middle of the corn for lasting buttery taste and protection from the beaks of butter-syphoning hawks.
Though the locally owned ABC Sports and Fitness has been in business since 1989, its sparkling rows of modern fitness facilities make it seem brand new. Past its rows of circuit machines and strength-training equipment lies a full gymnasium with a cushioned indoor track, where instructors lead more than 80 fitness classes throughout the week. Within a private cycling studio, 30 professional indoor bikes bustle and hum during group spinning sessions. Changing rooms house sleek wooden locker rooms and a sauna, along with showers where guests can belt out commercial jingles in privacy. While visiting the gym, members can also take advantage of onsite childcare facilities, professional tanning booths, and regular senior-citizen community group meetings.
Forget the foil. Turn in your épée. At Beaches Sabre Club, the saber is king. The most dynamic of fencing's three categories, saber is quick and aggressive: competitors can score points by striking each other with the edge of the blade or in a slashing motion, and everything above the waist—including the head—is fair game. This approach lends itself to lightning-fast attacks that land across the upper body. Knowing this, the instructors at Beaches emphasize safety during every meeting, whether they’re welcoming beginners to the club's introductory classes or honing seasoned skills during private lessons. They also supply the necessary protective gear so students don't have to mummify themselves in bubble wrap before every visit.
Still emanating fumes from their drag race to the top of the bluegrass scene, Grammy-nominated group The Grascals inspires infectious toe tapping and hand clapping during impassioned performances. Building on roots that trace back more than two decades, the tightly spun sextet fuses harmonious, twang-packed vocals with the plucks of a banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. Light-hearted, jovial jams peppered among soul-searching ballads and dramatic diary readings work together to weave a wondrous catalog–an effort that has led to collaborations with country legends such as Dolly Parton and Hank Williams Jr. This year, the group continued their blitz on the bluegrass genre with four more award nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Local favorites the Ramblin Jug Stompers lay the groundwork for an evening of two-steps, as they carry on the tradition of American string bands and air-harmonica solos of the 1960s.
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