Sculpted through the water-kissed terrain of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, The Island Country Club challenges golfers with a lengthy course that measures 7,010 yards from the farthest tees. Water hazards await on nearly every hole throughout the course, giving advantage to golfers with confident swings and disciplined refusal to give golf-ball treats to the aviary creatures that occupy The Island’s wooden duck houses. The course’s most difficult hole, the 441-yard, par 4 11th offers a PGA Tour-worthy test from the tee, as drives must steer clear of a water hazard that hugs the entire right side of the hole while also shaping the shot to compensate for the fairway’s right-ward bend. In respect of the wildlife that shares the course grounds, The Island uses solar panels to power its clubhouse, golf carts, and herds of robotic caddies hired to graze in the native long grasses.
To prepare for upcoming rounds, golfers can enlist the services of PGA master professional Dave Baron, the club’s head golf pro. After a long day of launching drives and managing 9-irons' tender egos, golfers can unwind at The Island Grill, where executive chef Mark Maggio artfully blends elements of Italian and Louisiana cuisine.
Course at a Glance:
Beneath the purple-and-white-striped walls, ladies of all ages and fitness levels twirl around poles and sink seductively into chairs during The Perfect Poleforma’s alternative fitness classes. Instructors lead groups of up to 10 women through beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes. The classes start with basic pole spins and leg-strength exercises and graduate to swinging upside down, hanging onto the pole with just the inner thighs, and climbing flagpoles to add stars as new states are discovered. They also conduct parties for bachelorettes and birthday girls, allowing groups of friends free rein of the ceiling-mounted poles.
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More akin to a small, self-contained town than a fitness center, each of Spectrum Fitness’s seven locations kowtows to packed schedules and multitasking parents. A slew of classes arranges social body blasting—customers can tone their torsos with squats, presses, and curls in a BodyPump barbell class or sweat in spinning classes atop a stationary bike equipped with pursuit-style handlebars, adjustable resistance, and a front-mounted E.T. Members of Spectrum Fitness can swing by its Central location and trot on the treadmill until dawn. They can drop off their tykes at the childcare center and take a yoga or kickboxing class. And they can follow a swim by basking in the bronzing light of the tanning bed before sauntering up to the Pro Shop for smoothies.
The staff takes great pains to accommodate newcomers of all ages, levels, and car-stacking abilities. Personal trainers concoct customized fitness regimens during solo and group training sessions, and Silver Sneakers and water aerobics classes bring seniors into the fitness fold.
At Metro Bowl, 40 slick lanes, state-of-the-art equipment, and flavorful concessions sate pin-busting cravings within a newly renovated interior. Monitors track and display scores as bowlers compete against friends, family, or time-displaced future selves. Large pizzas from the concession stand fill the air with tantilizing scents, and arcade games entertain players in between sets. Given the alley’s high volume of food, fun, and heavy objects, it’s no wonder that the space often attracts big name athletes, including former LSU football player and Indianapolis Colt Joseph Addai.
Circle Bowling Lanes has been hosting bowling bashes—particularly accommodating of families—for more than 50 years. Thirty-two slick lanes score automatically, allowing ample time to test motor skills at the arcade or snag eats at the full-service snack bar. Cheesy pizzas arrive steaming from the oven beside golden-fried appetizers and brimming pitchers of root beer, Coke, and Dr. Pepper’s lesser-known cousin, Mr. Salt, M.B.A. The recreation haven even offers weekend galactic-bowling sessions that shower patrons with neon lights, fog, and bumping music.
Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.