Along an Australian riverbank, a baby calf is being born, opening its eyes to the world for the first time. Carolyn “Chick” Dowd floats just 6 feet away and watches silently as the events unfold. At this moment, she discovers for the first time the powerful experiences kayaking can opportune, and plunges headfirst into the sport. Since this moment, Ms. Dowd has worked as an instructor in Thailand, Nova Scotia, and California, where she is also a member of San Francisco's national kayak polo team.
It wasn't just a love for kayaking that led Ms. Dowd to overcome a human's natural tendency to melt in water. When younger, she dreamed of being Julie, the cruise director from Love Boat. To that end, Island Spirit Kayak is the junction of Ms. Dowd's passions; a place that mixes fun activities with the natural surroundings of her hometown, Martha's Vineyard. Here, Ms. Dowd and her team of ACA-certified instructors can lead tours into tranquil waters or more advanced excursions toward the Aquinnah Cliffs, where sunrises paint warm colors across the exposed clay.
From beginners to experts, Ms. Dowd and her crew cater tours to everyone. Before each trip, they help people belly flop out of their comfort zones with a game of kayak ultimate frisbee, during which many feel compelled to jump out of the boat. The staff—which includes a school teacher—also has a soft spot in their hearts for children, welcoming little ones as young as 5 into kayaks.
You're in the woods playing hide-and-seek. Tucked behind a log, you hear, "Ready or not, here I come!" and then wait for the sound of footsteps to trod past. The steps fade, and you break for base. But then the seeker closes in, but he doesn't need to get close enough to touch you—he just needs a clear shot to tag you with a paintball pellet.
Cape Cod Paintball's founders—friends who spent nearly a decade designing the facility's 14 outdoor fields—love to blend childhood games such as hide-and-seek with the grown-up thrill of paintball. Each course integrates both natural and artificial terrain—picture freestanding timber and brush piles juxtaposed against industrial cable spools, upturned sections of corrugated tubing, and wooden fence panels. Through this mash-up of cover, players split into teams for standard paintball games such as Capture the Flag, or more updated childhood games such as Cops and Robbers. Cape Cod Paintball's team also caters to group play with private parties, and mans a pro shop stocked with gear from brands such as Tippmann and Dangerous Power.
The knowledgeable technicians and therapists of Cape Cod Nails and Spa strive to treat their clients with superlative services in a pristine, ultrahygienic environment. Clients cozy in with a complimentary cup of tea as nailcare pros gild put-upon paws with traditional polishes, no-chip OPI Axxium, CND Shellac, and gel treatments. Each nail service is insured by the salon’s Application guarantee, which promises a redo if the paint chips or quits before a set date. Their pipeless Sanijet pedicure basin is engineered for optimal cleanliness during soaks, and all nail techs keep metal tools sterilized with a dry-heat autoclave, as well as dispose of files and buffers after their first use. The salon’s living-air purification system keeps a steady flow of fresh, clean oxygen swirling past guests as they sample beauty products and aesthetic treatments.
A Mass Tour Card grants golfers one round of golf at each of six Massachusetts courses. Golfers must pay the cart fee at each course, after which they can steer their steed over the upper Cape Cod charm of The Brookside Club's course or park their cart in the rustic covered bridge at Maplegate Country Club. Quail Ridge Country Club's course takes golfers through scenic conservation land and stone relics of its previous life as a farm.
The nine-hole course at Lombardi's Hillside Country Club challenges clubbers with water hazards on six holes, whereas Bradford Country Club's difficult, par 70 layout tests putting strokes with smooth bentgrass greens. The sixth course, Norwood Country Club, invites players to smash shots and stare down flagsticks across 6,009 yards of relatively flat terrain with medium-sized greens.
The Dharma Connection's warm-hued studio space looks out onto the graceful tree limbs of the nearby woods, inspiring students to bend, stretch, and reach through a diverse schedule of yoga classes. Instructors accommodate students of all skill levels by ensuring each pupil gets individual attention and hands-on assistance during sessions, guiding attendees toward correct form and alignment as they develop the stamina, flexibility, and hokey-pokey skills that accompany regular yoga practice. Challenging Vinyasa Flow classes help more experienced students channel their inner power into a kinetic sequence of fluid transitions, engaging muscles and connective tissues alike as cleansing body heat helps purge toxins through sweat. Mindful attention to physical alignment and mental long division characterize Hatha Yoga sessions, where instructors usher students through a more meditative posture series that emphasizes breath awareness. Alternately, Pilates classes target the abdominals with an invigorating regimen of exercises intended to chisel slender, toned musculature without adding the bulk caused by arm wrestling neighborhood gorillas.
In 1958, Ryan Family Amusements founder James A. Ryan opened a simple, eight-lane bowling alley, planting the foundation for a slew of entertainment centers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. At 10 locations, visitors enjoy a variety of arcade and skill games in addition to traditional candlepin, tenpin, or duckpin bowling. Every Friday and Saturday evening from 9 p.m. until midnight, bowling lanes take on an incandescent glow, allowing bowlers to experience futuristic entertainment without the inconvenience of rising jetpack-fuel prices. Bumper bowling is available for younger players, and an onsite concession stand refreshes responsible adults with glasses of beer and wine.