The famous fairways at Doral, Sawgrass, and Pebble Beach that make avid golfers salivate are assembled in one place at Lancaster Golf Center, though with one key difference—they’re in miniature. The lilliputian course eschews the windmills and lava pits of normal mini-golf links for smaller replicas of full-sized bunkers and water hazards. Nearby, the center’s driving range challenges golfers to take more forceful swings. Its 78 hitting stations unfurl both natural grass and artificial turf, and there is cover and heating for winter practice as well as illumination for night or when everyone is wearing really dark sunglasses. The practice area also boasts an 8,500-square-foot putting green, a chipping area, and a sand bunker.
Golfers start keeping score at Lancaster's nine-hole executive course, especially at its fifth, sixth, and seventh holes, which compose an Amen Corner that claims 526 of the course’s 1,057 yards. Before trekking across the fairways, players can hone their form during lessons with teaching professionals Dennis Lanciani and Jim Cronin, who boast more than 43 years of combined experience teaching golfers not to illegally attach wings to their balls. As the instructors offer advice, students’ children can entertain themselves at nine batting cages or with bank-shot basketball. Before heading home, visitors of all ages can enjoy a frozen treat from the center's stock of Richardson’s Ice Cream.
In 1843, Charles Lane and Amos Bronson Alcott—father to writer Louisa May Alcott—founded a utopian and transcendentalist community in the fields of Harvard. More than 70 years later, visionary Clara Endicott Sears was so moved by their experiment that she decided to establish a museum on the same site to preserve its history. Today, the Fruitlands Farmhouse stands as a testament to the original settlers’ ingenuity, which surfaced in their trailblazing thoughts on veganism, sustainable living, and harnessing moon beams to power home stereo equipment.
Clara has incorporated the Shakers’ original office into Fruitlands, where it now shows off Shaker artwork and artifacts, many of which were donated by the Shakers themselves. Since then, the museum has also collected a curated assortment of more than 1,000 Native American artifacts, as well as a longhouse, dugout canoe, and traditional garden.
The brains behind the museum are still innovating today, curating permanent additions such as an art gallery with Hudson River School Landscapes. In addition to organizing school field trips, the staff also hires experts to teach classes and workshops on sketching scenes from nature, painting watercolor landscapes, and constructing 3D sculptures.
The rigid heddle loom is a relatively simple machine. Jennifer Baum, The Weaving Shed's owner and a juried fiber artist, likes it because a beginning student can set it up and start a scarf within 45 minutes. Along with the loom's simplicity, Jen appreciates the therapeutic value of its rhythmic, back-and-forth cadence. As students work the loom to steadily pull fiber threads into a hand-woven item, they also shed the stress of their day. Jen sees these transformations—both in the progress of the project and the demeanor of the student—as she guides the technique and lends tips to the up to eight students that attend each class in the newly-expanded studio.
Along with classes, The Weaving Shed also spearheads a Farm to Yarn program with local farms. The natural or hand-dyed sheep's wool or alpaca fleece becomes a sustainable, specialty fiber for weaving, knitting, felting, crotchet, and spinning projects. This interest in cultivating local fibers hits especially close to Jen's home, AKA Sunny Knoll Farm, where, with her husband and children, she helps raise an ever-growing alpaca herd. She describes the alpaca as a very "zen-lifestyle animal," even though scientific journals refer to them as "respiring shag carpets." Along with laughing at the "fun family adventure" that the experience has been, she also praises the hypoallergenic qualities of the fleece and its 22 naturally occurring colors.
Inspired by her passion for creating decadent treats for her friends and family, baker Gloria Casta?o opened Sweet Creations by Gloria as a way to share her signature desserts with others. From these modest beginnings, her bakery has risen in popularity and earned local renown for its made-from-scratch cakes and pastries. Though Gloria?s specialty lies in traditional Hispanic confections, she can just as easily recreate recipes from other cultures or accommodate dietary restrictions with vegan and gluten-free ingredients. A frequent shopper at the local farmers' market, Gloria fills her customizable cakes, cupcakes, and cake pops with fresh fruit whenever possible and slathers buttercream icing on bland stalks of broccoli.
ComeKeto (pronounced koh-may-keh-toe) derives its name from a Brazilian saying translates literally as "eat quietly," meaning "keep your business to yourself." But for Rio de Janeiro and kitchen-master Rodrigo Souza, it's too late for that kind of prudence?the word is out already. Specializing in massive, meaty burgers that are complemented by an optional layer of fiery chili, the sandwich shop offers such rib-stickers as the Salada, a burger with mozzarella and ham and the aptly-named Elephant, with chicken, steak, pork loin, and kielbasa sausage?to name just a few. ComeKeto also serves American-style subs and grinders, and meat-centric entrees such as the picanha na T?bua with sirloin steak and a secret house seasoning.
Al Dente's cooks pay homage to both Italy's Old-World dinner traditions and America's love of quick afternoon lunches. They make their own sausage, meatballs, and pizza dough in house, injecting authenticity into daily lunch specials that pair pizza slices and sandwiches with chips and soda. They prepare more robust entrees for dinner, including pastas and dishes featuring veal and chicken. For seafood, they embrace a variety of preparation methods, crisping up ocean-born delicacies in the fryer, sautéing them over noodles, or stirring them into bowls of stew. With the free WiFi, diners can stay up-to-date on the news and the latest styles in marinara stains.