From nearly a mile above the ground, the sailplane’s wraparound windows open onto sweeping views of the Wisconsin countryside. Rolling hills and forests, streams, and lakes dot the landscape, and on a clear day, the Chicago skyline peeks out from the horizon. Sylvania Soaring Adventures’s FAA-certified flight instructors pilot guests over these vistas in a fleet of Schweizer SGS 1-26E, Schweizer 2-33, and Grob 103 sailplanes. Towed by a traditional airplane, the gliders reach altitudes of up to 5,000 feet, well above the habitat of endangered birthday balloons. Once released, professional pilots demonstrate basic flight principles, point out landmarks of interest, and sometimes hand over the controls. They also helm training programs to certify students who want to fly solo or pilot gliders for their friends and family.
Before it was the Adler, Davenport's flagship theater was known as the Radio-Keith-Orpheum. Built in 1931 to include the Mississippi Hotel, the movie house was a picture of extravagance: gold leaf on the ceiling, crystal light fixtures, black ebony and marble detailing. Although the rise of multiplex theaters made it impractical for the venue to continue lighting its silver screen and hosting shadow-puppet contests, it transformed into a hotspot for rock concerts and road shows. Today, renovated to its original glory, the art-deco space is once again a go-to spot for Broadway shows, standup, and live music.
The sprawling four-day Bhakti Fest West solemnizes emotional attachment and devotion toward a personal god with its 26 yoga demonstrations, workshops where advanced yogis share mystical truths, and healing sanctuaries that feature massage, reiki, and acupuncture. The deep, soulful voice of Krishna Das headlines the festival’s lineup of more than 40 musical acts. Originally from New York, Das has toured the globe with music that interweaves feverish cadences with traditional and modern instrumentation. The former rock ‘n' roller and Grammy nominee explains the atavistic appeal of chanting by saying that it "just hits you and you want to be a part of it . . . you don't have to know what it means."
Packed with pub-style amusements and plasma screens, Sports Page Bar and Grill headlines a menu of delectable pub fare and cold drafts to savor within its neighborhood-bar atmosphere. Fourteen-inch pizzas run circles around hunger ($5–$7), and Wisconsin deep-fried cheese curds sate appetites by the basketful ($7.49). The Sportspage Deluxe's double patties with bacon and cheese join with fries and a 16-ounce domestic draft in a value meal or a search expedition for the missing ketchup bottle ($7.99). Sports Page's wing-slingers toss house-prepared chicken in a selection of glazes, including fire sauce, caribbean-jerk sauce, and garlic-butter-parmesan sauce ($0.50/wing).
Grandmaster Dennis Tosten founded the first Amerikick in 1967 and has since taught several champion fighters, police officers, and everyday students karate and self-defense. Today, the lauded chain teaches fitness classes inspired by martial arts, including cardio kickboxing in six states. Each location upholds a curriculum that blends Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles—including kenpo and tae kwon do—with modern self-defense strategies, further updating traditional practices by eschewing uniforms and belts for casual workout gear. Having attained certification in teaching kickboxing from the National Association of Professional Martial Artists, Amerikick's seasoned instructors also each possess black belts in karate, a rank as difficult to attain as the snake charmer's belt of live cobras.