At any of the 15 Great Life Golf and Fitness locations, guests are encouraged to invent their own triathlon of gusto, switching from swimming in the pool to getting a total body workout to playing a round of golf. Great Life has facilities scattered throughout Kansas and Missouri, including golf courses such as the National Audubon Society–certified River Oaks and the links at The Oaks, which were designed by Tom Bendelow and opened in the 1920s. Golfers looking for quick rounds can drop by the nine-hole courses at Maple Creek, Abilene, and CedarBrook. Gyms such as the 14,000-square-foot fitness center at Berkshire allow members or guests to pump iron or run on treadmills when they aren’t helping their golf balls safely reach the greens by paying golf carts to drink all of the water hazards dry. Although amenities vary at each club, all of Great Life Golf and Fitness’s venues boast a pro shop, and the courses at Berkshire and Prairie View maintain driving ranges where golfers can make golf balls practice flying without their parachutes.
Sculpted into the rocky hillsides that comprise the shores of an Atlantic Ocean inlet, The View Golf Resort charms clubbers with sweeping vistas throughout its nine-hole, executive course. Seaside breezes snake through groves of pine trees and fairway-side shrubs, cooling off players and hot-tempered 9-irons as they traverse the 2,250-yard layout. Though lacking in overall length, the course challenges duffers with narrow fairways cleaved through ponds, sand traps, and natural hazards, placing accurate shot-making at a premium.
Along with its scenic fairway chain, The View Golf Resort regales guests with two distinct eating options—the Dining Room and Lounge—that serve a menu of traditional Newfoundland cuisine. Six well-appointed suites dot the resort’s placid expanse, providing overnight accommodations for those hoping to enjoy a romantic getaway with their golf bag or spend a weekend boating, hiking, or fishing in the resort’s rustic surroundings.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 34 course * Length of 2,250 yards from the farthest tees * Two tee options * View scorecard
The Ellis family traces its history of working with plants to the late 1800s, when they operated a pottery-manufacturing company in Texas. Current-generation family members build from their familial expertise at all five of their store locations, spread between Louisiana and Texas. Twice a year, the Ellises travel overseas to identify upcoming horticulture trends decided by UN meetings in The Hague. This has expanded their decorative focus to include all aspects of home décor to complement greenhouses filled with tropical blooms and locally grown shrubbery. Clocks, lamps, and vases score homeowners extra credit in interior-design classes, and fountains and outdoor furniture make gardens hospitable for warm weather. For those who want to get ahead on holiday decorating, they offer an extensive selection of seasonal decor and accents year round. The Ellises encourage creativity with hands-on classes in subjects such as making centerpieces, weaving wreaths, and tying ribbon into perfect bows.
A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
Opened in 1989, Drop Zone Paintball Park's six fields sprawl over 89 acres of land, which play host to combat during sun or rain showers. In one field, a castle scenario corrals players into elevated turrets to defend against opponents who fire from surrounding towers across a makeshift moat. Elsewhere, trees lining ravines offer safe cover so shooters can take careful aim at their foes or draw their sweetheart's initials upon the trunks. Along with space for paintball and tournament-style speedball, the park's designers designated a special zone near the castle field where nonplayers can watch the action from a safe distance.
Wheat State Pizza assembles its pies on signature dough made fresh daily, including hand-tossed and thin-crust wheat. Customers may adorn their pizzas with more than 30 different toppings, ranging from cashews and mushrooms to pineapple and avocado. The menu also features a robust roster of pizza alternatives, such as sandwiches, salads, and create-your-own calzones, which pack in three main toppings along with fresh basil, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese.