When he cofounded his first sandwich shop in 1965, 17-year-old Fred DeLuca planned to use his profits to pay his way through medical school. But the combination of quality ingredients and friendly service at the shop—then called Pete's Subway—proved so popular that nine years later, he and his partner found themselves in charge of 16 locations across Connecticut, and Fred left behind his doctoring plans for a career in business.
Today, Subway restaurants number more than 34,000 around the world—almost as many shops as there are sightings of Elvis buying cold cuts. At each location, staffers pile sliced ham, marinara-slathered meatballs, and other fillings into halved loaves of bread before customizing handhelds with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and other healthy toppings plucked from chilled containers behind the counter. Salads free crisp veggies from bread's overprotective embrace, and crunchy baked chips or apple slices accompany entrees to tables. Subway's website also facilitates health-conscious eating by listing each item's nutrition information and fastest mile time online.
The kinetic whoosh of powerful swings welcomes patrons to Bogies Indoor Golf Club, which fosters year-round golf training with its professional staff, constructive lessons, and Full Swing golf simulators. Guests can defy seasonal conditions with midwinter rounds at 1 of more than 60 virtual courses, which convincingly emulate the coastal gusts of St. Andrews' Old Course, the unforgiving fairways of Pinehurst No. 2, and the displaced sunbathers of Pebble Beach. Outside the immersive realm of the course simulators, plush seating and a gallery of high-definition TVs keep patrons tethered to their cozy reality in a full-service restaurant that keeps appetites at bay.
The 18-hole, par 72 Fox Bend Golf Course spans 6,890 yards of kempt fairways and rolling greens to form a well-maintained grassy monolith that has played host to three Illinois Opens and a 2010 USGA qualifier. Throughout the lush links, mature trees frame short-grass corridors peppered with a total of 34 sand traps and frequent water hazards that complicate each spheroid's passage onto slick, boldly contoured greens. Take a virtual course tour to begin preparing for the 175-yard shot needed to clear the par 3 15th's deep bunker fortifications while still landing the ball on the hole's relatively shallow green. Hone your fairway wood game to set up an eagle putt on Fox Bend's signature par-5 fifth hole, where bold duffers reckon with a watery ravine that sits right in front of the green and subsists on the souls of mishit orbs.
Listed as one of the best golf resorts on Route 66 by Golf Digest, The Links at Carillon consists of three nine-hole courses of bent-grass fairways and large, well-kept greens. Call up a fellow club wielder and traverse the terrain for 18 holes of golf, crusading from swing to swing aboard a golf cart. Guests can tackle the par 36 red course as a warm-up for the white course and its notorious 9th hole, "The Gauntlet," which requires golfers to defeat expanses of water and slay inner doubting demons. With five different sets of tees, The Links at Carillon accommodates any skill level, whether you’re a borderline PGA professional or unable to distinguish a putter from a flagpole.
The fleet-footed instructors at Vargo’s Dance impart ballroom-dancing skills to beginning or advanced students in custom private lessons and fun, social group classes. Whether students want to learn a variety of dance styles or just brush up their macarena, each lesson is customized to meet individual goals. In addition to styles ranging from the waltz to the hustle, Vargo's Dance offers body-toning Zumba classes for all ages and sizes. Classes are led by licensed instructor Tom Lafser, who lost more than 100 pounds himself through Zumba's fusion of upbeat music and Latin-inspired dance moves.
Sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows drenches the spacious studio as dancers sashay across pale hardwood floors. A long, high mirror allows students to check their form and ensure their tutus are on straight as instructors demonstrate techniques.
Between constant pants and grunts, it can be tough to belt a few song lyrics. But at S&L Tri-Cycle Fit Studio, students strive to do just, spinning feverishly while singing into handheld microphones during karaoke cycling class. The musical motif carries over to the studio's other cycling classes, such as pedal parties, whose colored lights, thumping beats, and disco ball recreate the experience of a nightclub without the mean bouncer drawing mustaches on everyone's IDs.
All these unique class concepts sprout from the mind of owner Leslie Grosshauser, who's worked in the fitness industry for more than 25 years. In S&L, Leslie cultivates a place to get fit, have fun, and fulfill a competitive edge while experiencing plenty of variety—a key component to keeping routines fresh.