A classic lazy river drifts in a circle around Splash House Water Park's more than 30,000 square feet of deck as visitors soak in the sun in between dips in the water. An undulating wave pool tosses tube-riding swimmers to and fro, and twin waterslides whip riders in high-speed loops before firing them out into a pool of water or a misplaced Super Big Gulp container. Younger visitors frolic in the semi-submerged kids' play zone, constructed of nets, colorful piping, and bright yellow platforms with hidden, water-spewing spouts. Concession stands fuel the continuous fun with cool drinks, hot eats, and room-temperature napkins.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
John and Belle Hufferd, owners and head trainers at Triumph Stables, are experts in producing world-champion horses in a wide range of divisions and training riders of all abilities. The pair specializes in Morgan and Saddlebred horses, exhibiting mastery over such disciplines as park harness and pleasure driving, among others. As horses are only as good as the riders guiding them, human students learn proper technique for horse care, including vocal and non-vocal commands in the saddle as well as inspecting haystacks for needles before letting a horse eat.
Picturesque landscaping and above-average speed greens mark the challenging 18 holes at Honeywell Golf Course. Established in 1944 as a private course situated on the elegant Honeywell estate, landscape architect Arthur Hills expanded the terrain through the family's formal gardens in 1980, blending the old and new styles as seamlessly as a miniskirt made from buffalo-head nickels. Bunkers shelter the undulating front nines from errant shots and scantily clad sunbathers, and emerald fairways wend through the old garden's flowering shrubs and trees toward short, tighter terrain. Swingers looking for a challenge will enjoy testing their club’s mettle on Hills's addition, confronting some of the only back-to-back par-3 holes in the state.
Sycamore Golf Club is an island of shimmering emerald stamped onto an ocean of rolling beige. Once a wide-open farmland, the 100-acre parcel underwent major changes in 1961, when landscapers cleared away the wheat fields and cow communes to make way for the expansive 18-hole course. Today, the charm of the land remains thanks to a trio of ponds and two creeks that make their presence known on 15 holes, all of which are surrounded by newly planted tree groves.
True to the down-home feel of the area, Sycamore Golf Club is managed by the husband-and-wife team of Todd and Kathy Sandow. Kathy minds the pro shop and ushers twosomes and foursomes onto the first tee. And Todd, a PGA Professional, helps with club fittings and lessons for players of all levels.
Course at a Glance:
A 9-hole, par 36 layout, Dogwood Glen Golf Course packs plenty of tee-to-green challenges in its 3,329-yard layout. The course opens with a 570-yard par-five—the first of two 550-plus-yard par-fives—letting golfers tee it high and swing freely to start their round. The course's five par-fours all measure more than 345 yards from the tips, making all but the longest-hitters golfers take a full swing with a wedge, short-iron, or curtain rod to make it to the green in regulation. With five tee options, the course caters to players of all abilities, and also provides alternative tee placements for those who want to play the course twice for an 18-hole round.
Course at a Glance: