Two decades ago, a strip mall, parking lot, and acres of invasive plants stood on this land, hosting crowds of shoppers bustling through their daily routines. Now, serene greenery has once again reclaimed the expanse, replacing the concrete and metal with 170 acres of flourishing gardens and pine flatwoods. Naples Botanical Garden's 90-acre preserve is home to seven ecosystems, including untouched forests, marshes, and mangroves, where hundreds of animal species and more than 300 species of native and exotic plants dwell.
Cultivating a diverse array of subtropical flora, the seven garden habitats enchant and educate adults and children alike. Visitors meander along 2.5 miles of walking trails, dropping into the Lea Asian Garden to admire a northern Thailand riverside scene and relax at the Balinese--temple water garden, spying on frogs trying to have a conversation with their own reflections. Throughout the Kapnick Caribbean Garden, guests stroll beneath a vine-covered arbor and through the coconut grove, which showcases plants from Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific that had great economic impact on the islands. Wee ones splash in jets of water in the Smith's Children’s Garden, where they can visit a butterfly house, caper about treehouses, and drop by the healthy-eating garden to ask organic vegetables why there are no mummies in the food pyramid. In addition to engaging the senses, the botanical gardens enlightens minds of all ages with myriad educational programs and events.
The instructors at Bala train fledgling flexers in the flowing, powerful movements of the Baptiste style of Vinyasa yoga. The schedule doles out a daily helping of classes that cater to varied skill sets and areas of focus. A Power Yoga Basics class initiates beginners into the fundamental postures of the Baptiste system, with movements performed at a leisurely pace to ensure proper form and slow-motion replay. Students seeking to fully explore the passive power of Vinyasa are welcomed to partake in the meditation- and motion-focused Power Vinyasa class, and Slow Flow Restorative courses invite students to give into a relaxing series of poses designed to warm the body, open the joints, and prevent the body's molasses stores from hardening. Guests are welcome to rent mats and towels ($1 each) or purchase water bottles ($1), though self-furnished equipment is preferred.
Lined with more than 70 high-definition flat-screen televisions and two 110-inch projector screens, Boston Beer Garden immerses diners in 360 degrees of sports. Every seat is the best in the house, whether it’s a brown leather booth on the restaurant's perimeter, a high-top table in the center, or the bartender's lap. Behind the indoor and outdoor bars, the other barkeeps offer various microbrews and domestic drafts to complement the chefs' all-natural, home-style cooking—burgers stuffed with bacon and cheese, for instance, and short ribs braised in Sam Adams lager and Guinnes stout. To accompany nighttime happenings such as pub trivia and live music, the culinary team cooks until 2 a.m. from a late-night menu that includes deep-fried kosher pickles and sandwiches filled with ingredients such as scallions and harvati cheese.
The beauty professionals at Trim and Tone Spa keep bodies spry and lively with a variety of noninvasive and FDA-approved services, from body-contouring wraps to detoxifying footbaths. Owner Shelle Misiorowski brings expertise in Exilis and VelaShape therapies that smooth cellulite and slim the physique without requiring hours of exercise or corset lacing. The spa also pumps up the volume and length of natural lashes with eyelash extensions, beautifies visages with customized facials, and bronzes skin with sunless VersaSpa spray tans that can last for up to seven days, like a championship-level staring contest.
The instructors at Masterpiece Mixers Paint & Party Studio supply the canvases, paints, and brushes, requiring visitors to bring only their creativity. At studios located around Georgia and Florida, they lead all-level painting classes that last up to 1.5 to 3 hours and focus on subjects ranging from the natural, such as birds and flowers, to still-life guitars, vases, and wine bottles. In some themed sessions, instructors also teach groups to paint abstract pieces or create their own variations on famous landscape paintings that, unlike the originals, can include dinosaurs. Some sessions follow a special date-night structure, whereas others occur off site at a winery retreat. At every location, the staff members encourage visitors to bring their own wine, beer, and snacks if desired.
Within the castle at King Richard’s Family Fun Park, the monarch has decreed one simple rule for all his subjects: have as much fun as possible. And he’s made it easy by packing his kingdom with rides and attractions that include laser tag, bumper boats, roller coasters, and rock climbing. While traveling from ride to ride, guests may wander inside the enclosed arcade and café, where a menu of sizzling-hot burgers, nachos, hot dogs, and chicken wings mingles with the constant chatter of video games. Throughout the park, medieval-themed statues and palm trees mark the very spot where King Richard himself discovered the state of Florida and told nobody. The grounds also house an alligator pit chock-full of the aquatic reptiles on display.