Jim Scoggins first felt the rocking of a ship's deck in the 1950s on the rolling waters of Lake Champlain. Though he traveled south and found himself in healthcare administration for the next few decades, he never lost the passion for sailing—and eventually returned to New England to conquer more waves in the 1980s. With Sail the Sounds LLC established at three local ports, Captain Jim now uses his original sailing craft, an O'Day 39, as part of his training and charter fleet. He and his wife, Teresa, helm an ASA-certified training center, charter service, and cruising club to set guests out on the sparkling waters of Mystic River and Mystic Harbor. Captains pilot three Hunter yachts for chartered trips, as well as six Hunter 240 sailboats for captain rentals, sailing-club events, and classes teaching technique for keelboats, coastal navigation, and safely chartering parties of water-fearing cats.
Shoreline Fitness's certified trainers hold tight to their philosophy of leading a life in balance. They lead patrons toward this goal by targeting their core tenets of health and fitness—stability, movement, strength, and nourishment. Both of Shoreline Fitness's clubs welcome guests to their more than 15,000-square-foot training studios, which are packed with cardio machines and strength-training equipment to assist them on their journeys to overall fitness.
Throughout the week, instructors lead more than 150 fitness classes on the hardwood floors of their numerous training studios, and NASM-certified personal trainers meet with clients individually, drafting custom workout sessions to suit their specific fitness goals. As their parents burn calories, youngsters can burn excess energy in the onsite Kids Club. In the clean, secure playroom, a childcare staff leads wee ones in hands-on activities and enlightening discourse on the fleeting impermanence of reality.
A crimson curtain rises to unveil the operas, nationally touring musicals, children's shows, and films that pass under the historic movie palace's gilded ceiling. Originally built in 1926 as a home for vaudeville performances and motion pictures, the grand venue has survived more than eight decades with the help of The Garde Arts Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization that formed in 1985 to both preserve the building and pursue its mission "to engage, enrich, entertain, and inspire the region of Greater New London." Today, the center stages a slew of performances and events that keep guests on the edges of all 1,472 seats.
Soft breezes skip off the shores of Amos Lake, rustling through trees and across the grassy acreage that surrounds Dalice Elizabeth Winery, where second-, third-, and fourth-generation Italian Americans share the secrets of their polished craft. Having dispersed its all-natural specialty foods and wines internationally, the winery's founding family continually impresses the palates of casual indulgers and contest judges alike, churning out grape-to-bottle chardonnays, merlots, and sauvignons that cannot be found on the shelves of local stores. In addition to tastings, the winery hosts winemaking and cooking classes, during which glasses clink between aspiring chefs and vintners as they learn to entertain houseguests or polite burglars with style and ease.
Cofounded by the legendary Hollywood dancer himself, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio hosts a team of seven veteran instructors who specialize in ballroom and Latin dances ranging from the rumba to the waltz. Students can build their cache of moves in private lessons with personalized curricula or practice with their peers in the convivial atmosphere of group classes. High-octane Zumba classes help to combust calories, imparting Latin-inspired choreography in an atmosphere that is festive but doesn’t expose students to dangerous swarms of flying champagne corks. Youngsters build their poise in dance classes that cover five different styles, ranging from ballet to hip-hop, and engaged couples prepare to glide elegantly across the dance floor at their nuptials with wedding-oriented classes.