Designed in 1925 by prolific Scottish-born course architect Donald Ross?whose work includes famed American courses Pinehurst No. 2 and Oak Hill?Palatka Golf Club's 18-hole course careens around the swaying trees of Ravine Gardens State Park. Home to the Azalea Amateur Tournament, the course challenges golfers with remarkable hole layouts that thoughtfully weave sand traps, greens, and fairways under a canopy of arbors draped in billowy Spanish moss.
Course at a Glance:
At Anastasia Lanes and Putnam Lanes, bowlers hone skills on newly renovated, synthetic lanes while using digital, animated scoring systems to monitor progress. Bowlers close frames as a digital sound system broadcasts tunes from the Internet's reservoirs, and personal screens display professional sporting events and documentaries of bears rolling curled-up armadillos at soda bottles. Vibrant orange and blue walls surround the lanes at both locations, with full-service lounges and snack bars that fire pizza, nachos, and pitchers of soft drinks or beer to keep famished gamers from hunting small game with their bowling balls.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies to promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The Amrit Yoga Institue is less a facility for practicing yoga and more of portal to a new way of living. Set on a 6-acre campus with flowering tropical gardens, walking paths, and a tranquil beach, this institute is designed to help its students learn the art of self-discovery and experience greater freedom in their minds, bodies, and spirits. Amrit Yoga is a method of learning and teaching Yoga Nidra, a type of yoga that works to relieve stress and change day-to-day habits, improving sleep, releasing muscle tension, and decreasing anxiety. Learn to understand addiction through yoga and meditation in the Self Discovery Through Recovery program, or train to teach Yoga Nidra through the Yoga Nidra Certification program. The Amrit Yoga Institute also offers therapeutic yoga, massage therapy, and Ayurvedic body treatments to help speed the healing process.
The grappling fighting style known as jujitsu first came to Brazil in 1914 stored in the hands and mind of Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese immigrant and master of the art. He only stayed a year, but it was enough time to plant the seeds for a new jujitsu academy in Brazil. One of the first students at that academy was Hélio Gracie.
Hélio absorbed the fighting style quickly, adapting many of the techniques to suit his small frame. He discovered methods of leverage that allowed him to execute joint locks, choke holds, and takedowns on much larger opponents, forming the core of his new Gracie jujitsu method. Ultimately, Hélio's son Royce brought the fighting style to America, famously winning UFC 1, 2, and 4 by defeating opponents many times his own size. Suddenly, Americans lined up to learn this newly unveiled Brazilian fighting style, demonstrating their eagerness by folding themselves inside a box and shipping themselves south.
Relson Gracie, Hélio's second oldest son, chose to be an ambassador of his family's fighting style. He was already teaching abroad when his little brother Royce skyrocketed Brazilian jujitsu to popularity. He founded his first school under the name Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Hawaii, and as the art became popular, he opened new branches of his academy all across the United States. Today, he visits more than 40 academies and associations, sharing his knowledge with thousands of students. In his absence, he leaves instructors whom he personally trained to oversee the education of aspiring fighters.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse has been keeping its luminous eye on the Atlantic’s endless horizon since 1874. In the 130 years since, the tower of Alabama brick and Philadelphia iron has served as the home of light keepers, a beacon to sailors, and a target of arson, eventually benefiting from a 15-year restoration project that commenced in 1980. Today, a staff of historians and protectors is eager to share the rich history of the nation's oldest port, not only through education and preservation but also by letting guests explore.
Visitors can scale the 165-foot, black-and-white lighthouse's 219 steps to the bright-red observation deck to catch breathtaking views of St. Augustine and spot gangs of dolphins making trouble by the shore. Lens-room tours allow up-close access to the regularly off-limits Fresnel lens, built in 1873, which weighs 2,000 pounds and shepherds ships with a light that radiates for 25 miles on a clear night. The clink of champagne glasses adds an element of glamour to Sunset Moonrise events, whereas Dark of the Moon tours let guests in after-hours to hear the tales of paranormal activity that earned the lighthouse a feature on Ghost Hunters.