Atlantic Edge Dive Center's dive-masters might technically be classified as land mammals, but they spend enough time under water to earn the honorary title of amphibian. They spend days and nights teaching and leading dives, whether they're arming curious beginners with basic skills in one of their on-site swimming pools, or conducting open water certification tests off the coast. They go beyond simply certifying students for adventure: they provide rescue diving, dive master, and instructor training as well.
Their passion for the aquatic pastime draws them to all kinds of watery outposts. They lead excursions to the Florida keys to help rehabilitate the coral reefs surrounding the islands, and dive into the relatively calm waters of the tanks in the Baltimore National Aquarium, where they have a chance to see 53 species of fish feed in the secret underwater cafeteria.
Chesapeake Bay is 200 miles long, but that’s not the only reason it’s the United States’ largest estuary. The Bay also serpentines off into hundreds of rivers and creeks, accessible with South River Boat Rentals’ vessels. Seafarers explore the estuary’s fringes in the powerboats and sailboats, cruising past historic sites, such as Jamestown and Tangier Island. Alternatively, fishing parties set sail for piscatorial hot spots, casting from the boats’ decks. To teach newbies the ropes before they hit the water, the company’s team hosts sessions on boating basics, from steering to stopping at fish crossings.
Within each noncompetitive Curves facility, female fitness seekers are invited to move through a 30-minute circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that are designed to promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Shunning cumbersome weight stacks, the hydraulic gadgets adapt to each exerciser's body weight and fitness level to complement her individual abilities, subsequently decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. And because traditional lift-and-lower motions tend to create bulky muscles, Curves' machines promote push-and-pull movements to sculpt toned, lean muscles, perfect for crushing unsuspecting grapefruit. Experienced trainers are always nearby to help clients manage their machine maneuvering, and a soundtrack of fun, upbeat music includes cues to let women know when it's time to move on to the next station or break for an air viola solo. Customers who wish to continue their membership after the trial will need to pay an enrollment fee of $49 in addition to the monthly rate.
Compass Pointe Golf Courses—voted Baltimore's best public course in 2008 by Baltimore magazine—and Eisenhower Golf Course challenge golfers to put their games to the test. At Compass Pointe, club wielders can athletically traipse or drive across one of two 18-hole courses, where 800 acres of Maryland woodland scenically backdrop time-honored struggles for par. At Eisenhower, cup seekers can negotiate numerous creeks, swales, and federal highways over 18 beautifully manicured holes, pausing only to admire the forest landscape and repeat the word "bogey" until it loses all meaning.
CrossFit South River's coaches liken their system to a kid's time on the playground. They motivate their students to shimmy up ropes, sway from gymnastics rings, and play games of toss-back with medicine balls. These are just a few of the engaging exercises that fill out the CrossFit method. All the exercises condition participants with functional movements, prepping them to excel at sports, physical work tasks, and everyday activities. Routines are switched up every day, too, to keep everyone interested while bolstering their cross-training prowess. To ensure everyone can succeed, they can scale the workouts to suit any age and fitness level, and offer an optional fundamentals class in which first-timers can learn safety measures and proper technique.
The 60,000 square feet of space at South River Fitness is divvied up between cardio and weight-training equipment and classrooms for Yoga, Pilates, and Zumba classes. But the amenities don't stop there--an on-site day care keeps watch over members? kids and sensitive houseplants during workouts, while an organic smoothie bar refuels guests post-workout.