Charlotte Sewing Studio’s friendly staff tutors the needle-challenged in the art of clothing construction. Avoid the shame of sporting threads that are so last century with one of the Begin to Sew series’ three classes, which each meet for three-hour sessions for three weeks. Fashionistas flummoxed by the foot pedal should sign up for Class One, which orients attendees to the basics of the sewing machine, demystifies the secrets of straight stitches and seam allowances, and sends students packing with something to show for themselves in the form of a lined tote bag. Needlesmiths who have sewn a seam or two can skip ahead to Class Two, where sew pros will translate the foreign language of patterns and oversee spinning bobbins as students create a pair of insomnia-eradicating sleep pants. Class 3 helps seamsters strengthen skills while creating their choice of project, choosing between a sleep shirt and pillowcase, a simple skirt, or a dress sans sleeves. Call studio for available class times.
Like most success stories, Leader's Casual Furniture didn't start at the top. Founded in a single west Florida show room in 1971, the company now boasts 19 retail show rooms, a 150,000-square-foot distribution center, and an ever-increasing selection of rattan, wicker, and patio furniture. Upon browsing the virtual show room, visitors find rattan dining sets, beds, and entertainment centers as well as wicker tables with stone or glass tops. Custom fabrics and tropical-themed pieces add personal flair to interiors or exteriors, and an online room plannerhelps customers get a feel for how chosen pieces will fit into their homes.
Unfurling across almost two verdant acres, Bayshore Garden Center populates outdoor areas with thousands of plants ready to boost botanical credentials. A staff of professional green-thumbs solves shoppers’ horticultural quandaries, from sharing facts on seasonal flowering annuals ($1.29 each) and juice-laden peach trees ($29.99+) to fielding questions on whether or not pine cones can experience love. Hang a 10-inch premium basket ($11.99) to enthrall area bird populations, or wow garden-peeping passersby with the coquettish pink flowers of a hibiscus ($9.99). Bayshore Garden Center also stocks a wide selection of bushes and shrubs, with entrants such as the heat-friendly butterfly bush ($11.97) ready to thrive in a front lawn’s center stage or grow a labyrinth around backyard minotaurs. In addition to aboveground aesthetics, Bayshore Garden Center carries fertilizer and other nutrient-packed soil amendments to keep gardens green and vibrant.
Shell Factory and Nature Park's 18-acre grounds hold diverse attractions for all ages, including a nature park with more than 350 animals, a seashell replica of All Saints Church, and the sprawling Doggy Heaven dog park. At the 2.5-acre nature park, visitors come face-to-face with animals from across the globe, including alligators, raccoons, Middle Eastern geckos, and indigenous aquatic life. Birds soar overhead in the aviary and tortoises roam freely, waiting for guests to feed them snacks and listen to their stories about growing up during the Hoover presidency. Children can ruffle the coats of goats and sheep at the petting farm or toss a gator biscuit to hungry 7'?9' alligators.
At the fun park, feed fish from inside a paddleboat, collide into one another on bumper boats, and compete in 18-hole games of mini-golf. The park?s Doggy Heaven abounds with open spaces in which pups can swim and run around; dogs are welcome into most attractions at the Shell Factory and Nature Park, including some of the various cafes, which serve dog treats alongside human eats.
The Shell Factory retail shop houses a stunning collection of seashells, coral, and fossils for visitors to take home. Its year-round Christmas shop houses yuletide collectables, even in the summer months. While on the premises, guests can ferret out pirate treasure at the Pirates' Cove or explore a large display of taxidermied animals.
From within Queens' Club Fitness, Infinity Spa Salon strikes an effective balance between natural skincare and advanced aesthetic treatments. Located a short distance from New York City, aestheticians clear and brighten complexions with seven types of facials infused with vitamin C and hydroquinone-free lightening ingredients, and they also use the exfoliating powers of mechanical microdermabrasion. Unwanted hairs can be effortlessly removed using an all-natural, beeswax-infused formula from GiGi or the advanced technology of an Alma Soprano XL laser, which permanently removes hair from any skin type including ghosts' see-through complexions. In massage treatment rooms, therapists rely on 10 different modalities, including the ancient techniques of Thai massage and shiatsu, to release tight muscles and improve circulation.
Infinity's focus on harmony is also apparent in the salon and spa's interior design, which melds contemporary decor with natural earth elements, such as bamboo plants and warm brown walls.
Oasis Yacht Club and Boat Rentals employs friendly staffers who contribute to their community by getting friends, neighbors, and tourists to explore the local waterways via pontoons, kayaks, and fishing charters. The staff can accommodate almost any request, such as customizing cruises to stop along the beach for some shelling. All their charter vessels boast stereos with CD players, and upon request, the crew can load up the boat with refreshments, sunblock, and whale repellent. Oasis Yacht Club also replaces their boats once every year and a half to ensure their equipment is in top shape. On fishing trips, they rent out rods and reels and teach guests basic fishing and boating skills while dishing out information on secluded fishing spots. At the onsite ship store, boaters can stock up on hats, tackle, and gear to prepare for any tours or voyages.