Jump to: Reviews | That's the Spirit! Captain Bonnie Barnacles: In an era when most women were relegated to sitting at home by the fire knitting children to help with chores, Bonnie Barnacles dreamt of more. Stowing away on the S.S. Anti-Authority in 1778, she quickly organized a mutiny, dazzling her crusty shipmates with her cutlass juggling and partial memorization of the alphabet. Today, she and her forsaken crew still haunt the harbor, turning a pretty pence with their home jewelry-making workshops and inspirational cassettes.
It all started with a deflated basketball. Though longtime friends Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin scoured downtown Boston for an inflating needle to fill it, no shops in the area carried one. They were frustrated—and they realized that other Bostonians looking for athletic gear were likely frustrated too. So in 1983, they opened City Sports, a shop stocked with all the footwear, athletic apparel, and sports equipment that the metropolis had been missing.
Nearly three decades later, Mike and Eric's neighborhood business has expanded to 20 shops across the East Coast. In addition to stocking popular brands such as Vibram, The North Face, and Patagonia, the store engineers its own CS by City Sports line. Shoppers include yogis, cyclists, and tennis players—anyone seeking to outfit active lifestyles, whether they're playing a team sport or braving the hike up the world's largest gumdrop. In addition to footwear and apparel, the staff stocks fitness equipment such as kettlebells, lifting gloves, and dumbbells.
The SSI-certified dive-masters at Scuba Hut of Maryland drill amateur amphibians in proper subaquatic conduct with introductory and open-water scuba classes. Solo swimmers and pairs can report to the Try Scuba class for a run-down on flipper fundamentals, in which teachers outfit figures with diving equipment and all other necessary materials. Pupils then spread their maritime wings inside a pool, acclimating to their scuba gear as they navigate both the shallow and deep ends, making sure to avoid crashing into chlorine-water manatees.
The fly-fishing experts at Great Feathers Fly Shop are always willing to help customers choose the perfect knot or select the right material for fly tying. When not selling reels and rods, they teach fly-fishing lessons and head over to the Gunpowder River to fish for trout.
Route 40 Paintball Park challenges players to all-day sessions on four tournament-size hyperball fields, earning distinction by CBS as being one of the Best Paintball Arenas Near Baltimore. Before each game, safety-certified referees lead pigment slingers through the code of conduct and the instructions to summon a force field in extensive safety briefings. Players navigate outdoor labyrinths surrounded by trees, dodging between padded barriers and pillars while firing paint bullets at 285 fps from semiautomatic Tippmann markers. V-Force safety-approved goggles, joined to a full-face mask, guard eyes and eye areas, and markers come with barrel plugs to allow for safe and misfire-free running, jumping, and pirouetting during battle.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Maryland's countryside, the Wakefield Valley Golf Club showcases three different nine-hole courses. Each course presents a unique set of challenges, with the green course showcasing lengthy par 5s and the white course challenging golfers with hilly terrain and water holes that lure errant shots and experimental scuba-tank golf bags. The gold course, meanwhile, sets up demanding tee shots into narrow fairways, as seen on its signature eighth hole, where water guards the green on all sides.
Golfers can warm up for rounds at the driving range and practice green or employ the swing-honing advice of PGA Professional Scott Magee, who teaches enough students to believe that he will find one who can pull a putter from a stone. Guests can also refuel rumbling stomachs with casual food and drinks at Fenby’s Restaurant.