Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The swimsuit-clad guests at Surf's Up may not be going anywhere, but they're having lots of fun along the way. Designed to be the largest indoor wave park of its kind, the new venue from simulated-extreme-sports specialists sets surfers atop a standing wave that can—depending on the settings of its modular SurfStream machine—reach heights of 6 feet. Surfers with experience can use it to stay conditioned and improve their balance on barrel waves year round, while beginners can more easily learn to mount their boards in a 100% jellyfish-free setting. As reported on the Discovery Channel, the machine can release a rush of 750,000 liters of water per minute. And because the water temperature is kept at a mild 83 degrees, no wetsuits are necessary.
At 32 feet wide—making it the largest in North America, the owners say—the surf pool is a star attraction. But it's not the only one. There's also the FishPipe, a wildly spinning water-filled sphere that replicates the thrill of an ultra-steep water slide, a 24-foot Nicros art rock wall with an auto-belay system, and SkyVenture. The last provides the surreal thrill of falling slowly through the air with no need for a parachute—it's an indoor, vertical wind tunnel, of a kind used not only by everyday thrill-seekers but also by pro skydivers.
Right beside the rolling waters and powerful winds is the Oasis Cafe Restaurant, which completes the beachy experience with a thatched roof and tabletop shakers of sand. Even approaching the wave park puts surfers in a tropical mood, its exterior bedecked with towering palm trees and other tiki trimmings.
At Evolution Rock + Fitness, the climbing courses, fitness programs, and climbing parties follow its mission statement's goal "To build upon, strengthen, and evolve with climbers and the climbing community." Boasting 16,000 square feet of climbing surface, the center provides some of the most modern and extensive climbing walls in northern New England. On a given day, a mix of expert and novice climbers scale surfaces through lead climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering. Energy-efficient and nontoxic furnishings earned the center accolades as a top energy efficient and environmentally friendly climbing gym in the region. A team of design experts at Rockwerx in Barre, Mass., also sculpted the signature walls, which welcome all ranges of climbers throughout the week. In addition to whipping people into shape, Evolution Rock + Fitness seeks to be "the conduit between this rich history and the future of climbing." The Fitness center also offers yoga and Pilates mat classes, aerial fabric yoga, zumba, and a mix of fitness equipment.
The Motorsport Lab lets drivers tame and test a fleet of classic American muscle cars and exotic, foreign sportsters. Drivers receive instruction before sampling the speed and handling of vehicles such as the Aston Martin DB9, Bentley GT, and Lotus Elise. Instructors either compress racing experiences into 60-minute agility tests or prolong the rush by guiding drivers on three-day excursions to Tampa, the Berkshires, or the nearest no-contact demolition derby. The Motorsport Lab also runs an advanced driving school, teaching students the subtleties of controlling Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
The inspiration for Zorvino Vineyards came to Jim and Cheryl Zanello in the same way it does for many American vintners—from a trip to Italy. Taken by the contrast in the quality of the wines and the pace of life between the two countries, the Zanellos brought over their own taste of the old country to an 80-acre New England estate. With grapes sourced both from their own vineyard and such regions as Tuscany, Chile, and California, the pair crafts a suite of red, white, and fruit wines that they sell on site and proffer to local restaurants and merchants. However, the winery itself is worth a trip, with its wrought-iron gate, lantern posts that seem to grow out of empty casks, and swarms of fireflies that send Morse code recommendations for the best wine to pair with salmon. Inside the tasting room, guests lean on hardwood banisters as they sip samples of the winery’s creations.
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