Founded by passionate fly fishermen, Uptown Angler's virtual and real shelves brim with a huge variety of tackle, rods, and essential accessories for fly fishing excursions. With rods from Sage, Orvis, and Winston and hundreds of flies, fishermen can customize their lure of choice. The shop also carries sunscreen, instructional books and DVDs, and boat accessories. The knowledgeable staff leads lessons on proper fly-fishing techniques including terminology, roll casting, and rigging without accidentally flying away.
Headed by two former LSU runners, Louisiana Running Company is both a source of high-quality running gear and a social hub in the running community. Patrons can peruse sweat-wicking apparel, watches designed to be worn in motion, and shoes by brands such as Brooks and Mizuno. A shoe-sizing process with video gait analysis ensures a supportive fit. In addition to supplying gear, the shop's staff organizes free running groups and updates customers with news on races throughout the state.
Opened in 1982 by avid runners Mike Andrews and George Owen, Southern Runner not only stocks top-notch athletic apparel and footwear by brands including Asics, Moving Comfort, and New Balance, but also acts as a community center for those who love to run. Though Andrews and Owen still helm this runner’s haven, today they have additional support from a hodgepodge of life-long and late-in-life runners and walkers, including college athlete Kevin Fitzgerald, track coach and founder of Run, Chicks, Run Kristin Depp, and ultra-marathoner Tim Philips. When not helping fellow athletes find their perfect shoe with in-store foot evaluations, the crew leads weekly running groups, helps schools and coaches outfit their teams, and chases down bank robbers on foot.
When Darryl and Larry Massey founded their flagship sporting goods store, Massey’s Professional Outfitters, in 1972, they never dreamed it would become an empire. But that’s exactly what happened. Within a handful of years, the father-and-son company had sprouted five locations stocked with a range of recreational equipment for outdoor enthusiasts. Though an undulating market and shifts in consumer interests challenged the company, Massey’s remained dedicated to equipping its clientele with gear from revered brands such as Patagonia, North Face, and Lowe Alpine. Today, their legacy is carried on by family members who share their vision of focusing on the needs of each consumer, whether the client wants to rent a kayak or requires specialty footwear for hiking or wading through a swimming pool of cake batter.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Seal Sports' stable of sturdy single-person kayaks facilitates lengthy nautical excursions. Each vessel comes equipped with a comfy seat, paddle, and flotation vest. Once deck hands set up shop and draw an anchor tattoo on their foreheads, they can push out from the shoreline to glide atop the placid brackish waters of nearby Lake Pontchartrain or meandering Bogue Chitto River. Kayaks are rented out for periods of 24 hours on weekdays—allowing ample time for cruising, picnics, and general sightseeing. Meanwhile, weekend rentals let clients pick up their boat on Friday, take children around the waterfront on Saturday and Sunday to prove that SpongeBob Squarepants isn’t real, and drop off the equipment on Monday.