Not every golf course can boast a visit from two of the game’s titans, but Saratoga Spa Golf is one of them. In the late 1950s – some 20 years after the founding of the course – Arnold Palmer and Gary Player strolled among the majestic pine trees during a round to commemorate a major design overhaul. Fast forward to today, and players can walk in their footsteps and scuba dive for their waterlogged golf balls as they take on the 18-hole championship course. Stretching for a mighty 7,145 yards through Saratoga Spa State Park, the course was listed among the country’s ten best courses under $55, according to the July 2012 issue of Golf Digest. Meanwhile, a nine-hole, par 3 course beckons to clubbers looking to hone their short game, and a driving range with grass hitting stalls fosters improvement and grass-eating competitions. Course at a Glance:
Framed by the tree-spotted foothills of Vermont, Rocky Ridge Golf Club’s 18-hole course unfurls across a verdant expanse of rolling farmland. Throughout the course, elevated fairways and greens offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding mountains, as well as a safe lookout from which golfers can detect rival armies of croquet players. Flower beds and rocky outcrops along short-grass corridors further accent the layout’s bucolic environs. Clubbers looking for lessons can seek out golf pro Ed Coleman, who roams the grounds in a zen state attained through 20 years of coaching experience and aromatherapy that uses the odor of freshly mowed fairways. Cozy, green-side seating and tables nestled in shaded porches await golfers for post-round relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant.
Stowe's location in a broad, fertile valley between the Green Mountains and Mount Mansfield—Vermont's highest peak at nearly 4,400 feet—makes it an ideal launching pad for outdoor recreation. Stowe Mountain Resort awaits skiers with 485 acres across 116 powdery trails, and snowboarders can catch big air or an aerial sighting of Bigfoot on the half-pipe.To counterbalance its adventurous outdoors attractions, Stowe also cultivates a more abstractly adventurous art scene. The West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park combines a traditional art gallery with an innovative and spacious sculpture park, showcasing the handiwork of budding and mid-career local artists.
Victory Cycle Works owners Nick and Erin Engelson call upon 20 years of experience and certification from BikeFit to provide services that ensure both comfort and performance for cycling patrons. They keep rides in shape with tune-ups as well as repair services available in-house, through pickup and delivery, or performed on-location with mobile service. Fittings can benefit those looking for a new bike as well as improve the positioning of current bikes, preventing cyclists from having to add an extra seat for the massage therapist. During each bike fitting, Nick invites clients to mount a Dynafit CompuTrainer fit bike. His method properly aligns bike components to work with the natural rhythm of each rider's joints, allowing them to achieve a synergy of feel, function, fitness level, and foundation.
Signature service: Bicycle retailer and service
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Brands Used: Campagnolo, Shimano, SRAM, Topeak, Axiom, Fuji, Raleigh,Trek
Pro Tip: We have tons of accessories and parts, largest collection that is open to the public in the area.
Bike World USA's staff all boast some level of expertise in bicycles, but the store's most incredible asset, according to the manager, is its deep shelves. "Our warehouses grant access to just about any replacement part on the spot," he says, "cutting wait time drastically." Whether someone brings in a bike for repair, tune-up, or soup-up, the team readily tackles the task, drawing upon thousands of brand-name components and accessories already in stock. They're also perfectly willing to follow instructions from experienced cyclists or make comprehensive recommendations to new ones, such as which helmet is a good fit or which set of training wheels is most invisible. In fact, the manager has only one piece of advice everyone needs to know before they come visit: "Drive up Sarnowski Drive. The next road over is riddled with potholes."
Like the bicycle cogs they frequently fine-tune, Plaine and Son’s highly trained staff works together to keep the business running smoothly. Plaine and Son has been expertly stocking and servicing bikes, skis, and snowboards since the 1960s. With cycles from brands such as Specialized and Trek and boards and skis from Atomic and Salomon, employees have a huge cache from which they help outdoor adventurers select the right gear based on riding styles or how many jet skis they plan to haul behind their bikes. Staffers also enlist the Specialized BG Fit Program and other fitting tools to pair riders with the right-size bikes. Once fitted, bikers can join in on Plaine and Son’s weekly group rides or enjoy free workshops in the store, which focus on biking basics such as how to mend a flat or jump the public pool blindfolded.