You could film a training montage for pretty much any type of sports movie at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness. Built on 3.5 acres in Lincoln Park and spanning 185,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor sport and fitness space over four levels, the sprawling fitness center encompasses two swimming pools, a quarter-mile indoor running track, courts for basketball and squash, and four fully-equipped locker rooms. Avid tennis players of all levels and ages can take advantage of the eight indoor and three outdoor tennis courts with private instruction from U.S. and Euro tour pros, or try their alternate swing with recreational and competitive paddle tennis programs.
To complement these areas, fitness instructors lead cardio classes such as cycling, kickboxing, and Zumba, and core-strength classes, including yoga and Pilates reformer classes. Those looking for an advanced group fitness workout can check out Marcelo Ehrhardt's Athlete Zone class, which includes plyometrics, strength, cardio, and flexibility training. The fitness center also hosts workouts in the pool, where kids learn to swim and competitive swimmers learn to avoid dissolving into foam. Passes grant access to the facility's advanced fitness tools, such as the body composition analyzer Inbody 520 and the function movement screen (FMS), used by pro sports teams to identify the body's movement imbalances and asymmetries.
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness gives exercisers ample reasons to stick around after their workouts end. During the summer, the rooftop boasts outdoor yoga classes and the restaurant Harvest, which offers seasonal dishes, craft beers, and cocktails. All year, the 1320 Market serves healthy smoothies and meals, while the onsite spa rewards muscles for their hard work with acupuncture and several types of massage. The club's childcare services and child classes and camps let parents enjoy these extended stays as well.
When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop—then called Pete's Subway—proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number more than 34,000 around the world—almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
Though Larsen's Landing Outfitters has always been family owned, the stretch of wilderness under its care has two additional overseers: a pair of eagles. The birds patrol 30 acres of sheltered trails, two open fields, and miles of marshes, watching visitors as they paddle rental canoes and kayaks down the pristine Kishwaukee River, which has been rated as one of the three cleanest rivers in the state. Visitors aren't alone, though. Beavers, turtles, otters, and sandhill cranes make their homes on the bank, sharing the shore with endangered black terns and mulberry wing butterflies. They move amidst towering trees, including the sycamores that gave the river its name, a Potawatomi word for river of the sycamore.
Like a grumpy scorpion, the river's flourishing ecosystem benefits from minimal and respectful human contact. Larsen's Landing Outfitters preserves this status while still permitting visitors to explore the environment. The staff plans canoe, kayak, and camping trips with package options, from tutorials on steering a boat to boxed lunches and picnic buffets. Travelers can park their vessels at any point to indulge in a swim, go fishing, or relax on a sandbar—and at overnight sites, campfires and pig roasts imbue the air with nostalgic, smoky aromas.
Legendary Excursions’ wheelmen demonstrate the tactics necessary for navigating unpaved environments and install adrenaline-hungry guests inside a 190-horsepower, 4-speed manual-transmission Baja 1000–style off-road racing car. During the Ride Along Adventure, patrons ride shotgun as a professional driver steers them through three laps on a tricky, 6.3-mile off-road course at race-like speeds, navigating tough terrain and catching air on jumps. Experts kick-start the Taste of Baja Adventure by honing fear-conquering clients' driving skills and dressing them in racing helmets and other appropriate gear. Once suited up, racers will be formally introduced to their trusty motor-steed, learning all about its controls, safety equipment, and ticklish spots before having their picture taken with it. Adventurers then spend three laps traversing the baja track's jumps, sweeping turns and rough terrain, letting the colossal BFGoodrich tires create swirling dust formations and spew out perfectly cooked mud pies.
With its massive selection of varietals and styles, Lynfred Winery seems determined to make something for almost any wine drinker. The cellar brims with everything from bold, spicy reds to crisp and refreshing whites, as well as fruit wines made from apples, cherries, rhubarb, and pears. The grapes arrive from vineyards throughout California and Washington state, although the rest of the fruit typically comes from a bit closer to home, including growers throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. Despite this variety, the staff's commitment to approachable, fruit-forward flavors characterizes virtually everything that the winery makes.
This dedication to easy drinking seems only natural given the winery's origins in a home basement. In 1975, Fred Koehler, along with his wife Lynn, decided to try to re-create the family wines his father and grandfather had made throughout the 1920s. The batches grew larger with each passing vintage, and, in 1979, Fred and Lynn chose to upgrade their homespun hobby into a commercial venture. Within six years, Lynfred Winery's creations began to appear in the national spotlight as they garnered awards and medals from wine competitions across the country. This attention allowed Fred to swell production even more, eventually expanding to a larger location in 1990.
Fred and Lynn's legacy continues to inspire the staff as they operate a facility that creates more than 100,000 gallons of wine each year using as many as 80 varietals. These wines appear on restaurant menus, on retail shelves, and inside fish tanks throughout the Chicagoland area.
Less than 90 minutes from St. Louis, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum houses the world’s largest collection of original Lincoln artifacts, complete with the Gettysburg Address. A life-size replica of Lincoln’s log cabin set back in a forest of artificial trees stands 40 feet tall just like the President’s iconic top hat. The museum also houses a re-creation of the Presidential Box at Ford’s Theatre, where the president was assassinated, and the state-of-the-art Union Theater, which projects films such as Lincoln’s Eyes, a broad overview of Lincoln’s personal and political life with a special focus on slavery. In the Ghosts of the Library exhibit, transparent phantoms of Lincoln and his contemporaries drift around powered by Holavision technology. Youngsters, supervised by parents, can try on period dress, pose for photos with life-size cutouts of young Abe, or reenact historic scenes in the Lincoln Home dollhouse located in Mrs. Lincoln’s attic, the hands-on learning center. Before heading home, patrons can browse the museum store—more than 3,500 square feet of artifact replicas and Lincoln-themed merchandise.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.