The awards continue to pile up for Longaberger Golf Course, which in 2014 was named the top public course in Ohio by both Golfweek and Golf Digest. Located about 40 miles outside of downtown Columbus, this Arthur Hills-designed masterpiece meanders gracefully from ridge top to valley. The imaginative design incorporates the area's natural layout into its wide, rolling fairways, and panoramic views around every turn truly immerse golfers into the area's beauty.
Visitors can also appreciate stunning views of the course from inside the 60,000-square-foot clubhouse, where elegant furnishings, cathedral ceilings, and a dramatic stone fireplace wait to greet tired players or thirsty golf carts. Those luxurious details carry over into The Overlook restaurant, whose floor-to-ceiling bay windows and outdoor verandah overlook the 18th hole.
With a temperature of 84 degrees every day, CoCo Key Water Resort creates a tropical atmosphere for year-round amphibious amusement. With 50,000 square feet of attractions, families and other social units are sure to find something to suit every swimsuit, from the adventurous Parrot's Perch armed with water cannons to soothing giant whirlpools in the Palm Grotto indoor spa. With its balmy climate control, swimmers can spite the weather and enjoy a tropical paradise that's far more relaxing than trying to cram a palm tree and a tube slide into their shower.
Like a museum of living landscape paintings, The Dawes Arboretum combines the delicate beauties of a Japanese garden, a cypress swamp, and an azalea glen, creating a colorful haven of native plants. But this 1,800-acre wonderland wasn’t always so expansive. In 1929, when nature lovers Beman and Bertie Dawes first transformed their woodland property into an arboretum, it was just a 293-acre swath of Licking County. This stretch, with its rolling hills and mature trees, was so calm that it drew visitors from across the state and instilled a love of nature in the Dawes’ children.
Today, many of the arboretum’s more than 16,000 labeled trees and shrubs are representative of types native to central Ohio, such as the 17 Ohio buckeyes planted to form the number 17. Elsewhere, more than 100 bonsai trees adorn the courtyard by the visitors’ center. Along with plants, the grounds entice explorers with more than 12 miles of hiking trails and a 4-mile auto tour. Antiques and memorabilia from the 19th and 20th centuries adorn the Daweswood House Museum, and the Discovery Center enthralls youngsters with bird watching, crafts, and fun facts about honeybees and frogs.
Tucked into the rolling hillsides of Johnstown, The Links at Echo Springs is equal parts pretty and challenging. Fairways lined with mature hardwood forests skirt streams and ponds. Off the course, there’s a fully stocked pro shop, a driving range with a PGA staff available for lessons, and a bar and grill waiting to serve up celebratory hamburgers. Click here to see a scorecard and read the course guidelines.
Robert Cole’s professional ballet career is one of international proportions—he's graced the stage with The National Ballet of Canada and trained with the Joffrey Ballet School, among many others. As The Ballet Academy's director, Robert blends classical training with movement analysis and conditioning while challenging students to contemplate the whys and hows of creative movement. He and his team of professional instructors help adults and children explore their artistic sides in judgment-free dance classes in the styles of tap, jazz, modern, and ballet. The Academy Division grants more serious performers the benefits of a professional training environment as they further master confidence and discipline. For those who merely want to get in shape or hear the sounds of their hearts beating really fast, The Ballet Academy's instructors also lead Zumba and yoga classes.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and manage arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help to manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lifting and lowering motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses pushing and pulling motions to develop toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.