The round sun teeters on the barn's gable roof, threatening to roll right down. In a quick burst of wind, leaves begin clapping, as if in response to the equestrians trotting regally past. A smaller group of 10 riders wait patiently as guides corral a posse of good-natured horses, who toss their manes and lift their hooves with the joy of motion on a woodland trail ride past Wolfshohl Horse Training's gardens. Downwind, an individual lesson has a skilled trainer versing a 5-year-old about tack, grooming, and the techniques involved in English and Western riding styles. After patrons dismount at trail's end, they can question guides about holding a special event, boarding a pony, or the uncertain ramifications of using a lucky horseshoe to break a mirror.
High-quality Paul Mitchell products restore and hydrate damaged strands during haircare sessions at Vanguard College of Cosmetology (Paul Mitchell School). Supervised by experienced instructors, stylists-in-training cultivate client relaxation with a five-minute scalp massage before every haircut, which may also include a scrub with chemical-free salves such as wild-ginger-infused Awapuhi shampoo. The school also strives to give back to the community by hosting regular charity events, and a Green Team aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the 14,000-square-foot campus until it can fit a sleek pair of kitten heels.
One hour from New Orleans, Splendor Farms sits on 75 acres near the Bogue Chitto River. The working farm houses goats, horses, chickens, and a miniature-long-haired-dachshund kennel; guests can gather eggs and pick vegetables from the garden or just relax by the pool. Each of the bed and breakfast’s rooms has a private entrance and its own personality—the Ponderosa room has a distinct cowboy theme, with Western prints on the walls and an equestrian quilt, whereas La Louisiane is more romantic, with flowers and candles scattered around the room.
Every morning, you’ll wake up to a farm-hearty breakfast, with eggs, grits, and bacon making regular appearances on the menu. After eating your fill, head outside to visit the farm’s petting zoo, which has friendly miniature horses, alpacas, and burros. In nearby Covington, five-star restaurants abound, as do art galleries, bookstores, and boutiques.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they?re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness?s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms.
Equipment: Cybex, Woodway
Students should bring: Water, Towels, Yoga Mat
Average class length: 30?60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5?10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.