Banner Country Club's 18-hole public course rolls across 6,015 yards of Connecticut countryside, challenging golfers of all stripes with diverse, player-friendly terrain. The course's emerald corridors roam through a combination of open pastures and tree-lined areas, letting golfers unsheathe muscular drivers on forgiving holes before forcing them to whisper words of confidence to timid long irons when aiming through arboreal alleys. The picturesque par 72 invites aces to hunt birdies across its relatively short layout, while offering a training ground for club-toting cadets still trying to perfect their swing or wield modified canes as golf clubs.
Course at a Glance:
* 18-hole, par 72 course
* Length of 6,015 yards
* Course rating of 68.9
* Slope rating of 118
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Bobby Drought and the crew behind Rhody Surf spent 10 years teaching surf lessons for fun in and around Aquidneck Island before coming together to form a business. Today, this group of certified instructors spreads an infectious love of surfing to as many people as possible, not even bothering to establish a traditional brick-and-mortar shop—lessons are either online or at the beach. Their students learn through private or group lessons, mastering simple movements on dry land before hitting the Atlantic's fully customizable waves. Rhody Surf also offers surf camps for children, as well as surfing excursions for individuals visiting on cruise ships.
Crowned the Best Place for Yoga by the Providence Phoenix in 2009, Innerlight Yoga stretches muscles with more than 40 weekly classes and more than 10 yoga disciplines. The newly lit can explore the foundational poses, breathing techniques, and philosophy of Yoga 101 in a spacious wooden studio, learning the basics without the need to trudge to the top of a snowy mountain and ask for advice from a wise but steely-eyed snowman. After gaining techniques, students may go on to burn their inner candle in mindfulness yoga, where meditation and position meld; blaze in heated Vinyasa, where high temperatures energize flowing movement; or smolder in gentle yoga, where the walls support slow transitions.
Bridge to Fitness’ staff of body-sculpting instructors and trainers guides gym members in knocking down walls that stand in the way of fitness goals. Membership includes everything from use of the weight-training and cardio equipment to access to all the classes that the gym offers, including calorie-burning affairs such as spinning and group exercise classes, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and more. With an army of equipment including spin bikes, treadmills, and new elliptical machines, members can get their hearts going during an intense spin session or a fervid treadmill jousting competition with fellow gym comrades.
Don't be fooled. Though it looks like a relatively small coaster, the Wooden Warrior at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark packs some serious thrills. A turnaround through a pitch-black tunnel and ample amounts of "air time" have made this coaster a favorite for many; in fact, The Coaster Critic put it on the list of the top 25 wooden coasters in 2012. And that's just 1 of more than 20 attractions sprinkled across the park grounds.
Once home to a summer resort, Quassy Amusement Park first began with a picnic area, paddleboats and a carousel. But Quassy really took shape around 1952, when the owners purchased some children's rides. A couple of the rides are still around today, including a boat ride that skims the surface of a circular trough filled with water, and two-seat jet fighters that send flyers up in an aircraft worthy of Flash Gordon. Of course, new kids' attractions have arrived over the decades, including the Frog Hopper, a seating platform that soars up a 16-foot tower and then descends with a series of quick, gentle drops.
Other areas cater to the whole family. The Grand Carousel spins with jumping horses and other animals that have the patience to sit perfectly still.
The largest attraction at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark is Lake Quassapaug, and the park makes great use of its waterfront location. In addition to lounging on the beach, visitors can take a boat tour or charter their own voyages on paddle boats.
Inside tip: When not on rides, park visitors should play a game of Whac-A-Mole or order some ribs at Quassy Restaurant.
Take a virtual ride on the park's star attraction, the Wooden Warrior.