Under the steady hand of Coast Guard-licensed captain Larry Vazzano, the Wharf Rat slices through the blue waters of Chesapeake Bay. The intimate vessel's sails harness the breeze, turning this way and that above the heads of passengers to find the best angle to the wind. Its decks bustle with activity of guests helping prepare sails or taking the helm as well as relaxed onlookers enjoying the unique view. Meanwhile, viewed from the cockpit dining table, the sun reaches its zenith and glitters off the peaks of waves, or dips slowly behind the forested shoreline, dyeing the whole world in orange, red, and purple.
Captain Larry loves this experience––the Atlantic Sailing Experience, as he calls it––so much that he's shared it with over 600 guests. In addition to his nautical know-how, he shows off his prowess at the grill for brunch and dinner, churning out tasty barbecue and vegetable sides from his own garden. Of course, he doesn't just sail and eat. He also charters his ship for exciting sailboat races and the occasional voyage to the end of the Earth.
Pasadena Golf Center lets visitors create the satisfying thwack of a club hitting a golf ball in one of two locations. They can make out the sound on the 18-hole mini-golf course—where ears will also pick up the sound of trickling waterfalls and the gurgling of landscaped streams and ponds—or at the driving range. Golfers can manipulate a variety of clubs there since targets are set up at different lengths, and 20 of the range’s 34 hitting stations are covered to provide shade during warm months and heat during cold ones. In addition, a full setup of lights let them swing away into the evening or when Apollo's chariot of fire is in the shop. To assist in swing mechanics and proper alignment, the center organizes lessons led by Golf Academy of America–certified instructor, Brett Francisco.
Pasadena Golf Center is also equipped with a nine-station batting cage that challenges visitors with baseball pitches of varying speeds as well as slow- and fast-pitch softball. A 1,600-square-foot patio nearby can facilitate birthday parties or other special events.
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.
Awarded the Best Fitness Club in The Capital's Reader's Choice 2011, Big Vanilla's modern facilities aim to make a healthy impression on bodies and minds. Both locations jam-pack weekly schedules with more than 60 fitness classes such as cycling, Pilates, Zumba, Cardio Combat, and yoga. Pasadena's Step-N-Abs intertwines intermediate cardio choreography with abdominal exercises to build lean muscle to the core without having to endure elective washboard implants. Dance-inspiration class also permeates into group groove sessions, which pump hit tunes as exercisers wiggle to urban, club, and Latin-inspired moves. The Arnold gym tones an anatomy's worth of muscles in TMC, which challenges physiques with 60 minutes of resistance training toughened by dumbbells, stability balls, and lead-based chocolate cakes.
When it comes to seafood preparation, its seems like the culinary minds at Fifer’s Seafood have thought of just about everything. Every cooking method is fair game—broiling, deep-frying, steaming, and serving it up raw—as long as it enhances the natural sweetness and subtle flavor of each ingredient. They pile platters to the rafters with hand-peeled shrimp, flaky filets of haddock, and quarter-pound crab cakes, and they shuck fresh oysters and clams to pair with classic accoutrements and a squirt of lemon. Seafood even adds an extra punch to some of Fifer’s other options, such as Angus beef burgers crowned with housemade crab dip.
To complement these maritime feasts, bartenders serve pours of liquor and wine behind a tiki-style bar, which also features more than 15 beers on tap. Drinks in hand, diners gather around the dining room’s solid-oak tables, which are surrounded by aquatic décor and high-definition televisions broadcasting sports.
Though it has only been open since February 2013, Firehouse Pub has already established itself as a place with its own traditions. Free plays on the jukebox ring throughout the bar every Monday; on Wednesday and Friday, karaoke brings in the dulcet tones of patrons belting out their favorite songs. Each Thursday, corner pockets consume stripes and solids during free pool games in the billiards corner, where hanging flat-screen TVs keep players abreast of the latest sports and competitive woodworking coverage. The same goes for the TVs hanging above the bar, where bartenders pour wine, mixed drinks, shots, and domestic and imported beers. The rest of the time, Firehouse Pub welcomes an ever-changing lineup of live DJs and musicians to its main stage.