Captain Pat Needham of Buck N Bass Sports Center & Outfitters equips adventurers on fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities in the nearly 400,000-acre Ocala National Forest. Beneath the mounted bass and 7-foot standing black bear in the shop's interior, an array of gear inspires a multitude of outdoor adventures, from snaring largemouth bass and catfish to sneaking up on squirrels and demanding your Nutter Butters back. Soft baits, such as Reaction Strike, Warrior, and Yum ($3.75–$8.45), undulate beguilingly at the end of ineluctable hooks and tackle ($1.10–$9.99). Jig heads and bodies, such as Fire-Fly, Road Runner, and Jiffy Jigs ($0.60–$4), dance open water at the end of strong spider-silk fishing line, including Vicious, Berkley Big Game, and Sufix ($1.80–$24.10). Dedicate today's Groupon toward storybook-worthy exploits with rugged rods and reels ($10.75–$174.95), camping and hiking gear ($1.90–$200), or hunting ammo and clothing ($2.50–$300) to spur a quest for the buck that grazed insults into your lawn.
Surf Station's wave-riding experts, led by surfing aficionado Tory Strange, equip visitors to explore aqueous avenues with a diverse selection of tools for nautical revelry. With up to 24 hours of rental time, surfers can hop on their boards and conquer swells by zipping through tubes and spelling schoolyard taunts in the sea foam. A four-hour standup-paddleboard rental allows riders to defy the old "sink or swim" adage with a water-walking middle ground, propelling themselves across the deep blue with a single oar that doubles as a manatee back scratcher. Surf Station helps beach-goers corral gnarly crests with its detailed surf reports as well as surfing apparel, equipment, and lessons available for purchase.
It might be hard to believe considering its vast array of products, but Sears, Roebuck and Co. began with one accessory: watches. In 1886, Richard W. Sears bought a box of unwanted watches from a jeweler, thinking he could turn a profit by selling them. He was correct and committed to the watch business by hiring Alvah C. Roebuck, an experienced watchmaker.
As time went on, though, their business expanded its umbrella far beyond what people wore on their wrists. Sears became known as the place to shop for almost any appliance, from sewing machines to those magical boxes that create water from nothing and clean your clothes.
Today, the stores stock clothing, accessories, electronics, kitchen equipment, tools for outdoor living, and home decor. This variety is sustained by Sears's proprietary brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, to name a few—and other national names that populate the shelves.
As an avid athlete in his spare time, Doctor of Chiropractic Kent Owens knows what’s at stake when it comes to maintaining a strong, properly functioning spine. At Dr. Owens’s own advanced chiropractic center, Core Family Health and Wellness, he puts his years of education—both on the field and in the classroom—to use as he gently adjusts spines and soothes aching muscles with massage therapy.
Though it is highly sanitized and filled with a dizzying array of advanced equipment, the ivory-toned clinic maintains a warm, non-intimidating atmosphere. This may be due to Dr. Owens’s friendly smile and demeanor as he sits behind the controls of a NASA-certified nerve-analysis machine or patiently explains to terrified clients why their x-rays look a lot like skeletons. Committed to holistic well-being, Dr. Owens also offers a weight-loss program that focuses on quickly pinching waistlines without relying on a crash diet. His doors remain open to clients with questions, and he even hosts a series of patient-appreciation events aptly entitled Dinner with the Doc.
Spokes have populated the space around 1630 West University Avenue for 65 years, turning stoically as numerous bike shops have come and gone. The spot’s newest cycling incarnation, Chain Reaction Bike Shop, owes its staying power to owner Raleigh Faust and his staff of experts who cater to collegiate commuters, recreational cyclists, and serious athletes alike. Inside the unvarnished wooden storefront, rows of rides from Scott, Jamis Bicycles, and Surly await ownership. Every bike purchased at the shop comes with a lifetime of free service adjustments, making owning a bike as hassle-free as combing a hairless cat. Technicians see to these new rides, taking more than a dozen measurements for individualized fittingsand performing maintenance services that range from spot repairs to comprehensive tune-ups.
At West End Golf Club, the 3,940-yard executive golf course, driving range, and putting green are all fully lit, allowing players to tee it up during the day or night. Scott Dombeck oversees the pro shop, which has been arming golfers with equipment from brands such as TaylorMade, Ping, and Wilson for more than 30 years. The shop also helps golfers shave strokes with custom club repair, private and group golf instruction, and associations for men and women.