Aquatic Adventures of Michigan is the joint venture of independent dive instructors Kim D. Parker and Tom Rhoad, who, after years of working with other dive shops, yearned for a place where they could stretch their fins, teach scuba their own way, and bellow sea shanties as loudly as they liked. Today, their PADI Five Star IDC facility is fast approaching its 10-year anniversary, and has grown beyond basic PADI training programs to incorporate everything from underwater digital photography to lessons in deep diving, wreck diving, and night diving. The shop's instructors are fully certified in first aid and emergency oxygen use, and provide factory-authorized service to big-name companies such as Poseidon, Genesis Scuba, and Dive Rite.
On top of offering certified instruction in everything from open-water diving to sea-serpent domestication, the crew supplies fellow divers with quality scuba, snorkeling, and swimming equipment. They also plan exotic expeditions to the Caribbean and tropical Pacific for warm-water dives, and divers looking to stick closer to home can inquire about day trips or weekend getaways to locales such as the Great Lakes or Whitefish Point.
Whitmore Lake Golf Links is like two courses in one. On the front nine, golfers meander across scenic uplands, tackling hills and large, flat greens. In the second half, however, the landscape shifts to mostly wetlands, setting the back nine among boardwalks and teeing decks in the middle of the marsh. All told, wetlands cover much of the facility's 254 acres of property, where wildlife abounds as players conquer the par 71 course's wild challenges.
To prepare for the idyllic gauntlet, visitors can make a day of it at the onsite restaurant or the club's practice facilities. At both the driving range and a short-game area, golfers can perfect every aspect of their game, from their swing mechanics to the flute melodies they use to coax timid clubs from the bag.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 71 course * Designed by Bill Newcomb * Total of 6,257 yards * Four tees per hole * Course slope of 132 from the tips * Course rating of 69.7 from the tips * Click here to view the scorecard.
One empty school bus, twenty-seven abandoned cars, and a desolate two-story house are the only refuges for combatants roving an expansive urban field. Fourteen additional playfields set the stage for games, surrounding players in open fields and dense forests. It's at Futureball Paintball's 115-acre facility that friendly paintball and Airsoft battles unfold each day and have unfolded for more than 20 years. While vehicle carcasses characterize the urban landscapes, two airfields exhibit red inflatables that mimic the ruins of ancient bounce castles. Between games, a 5-acre picnic area serves as neutral ground to strategize and nibble snacks.
To ensure fair play, Futureball Paintball's staff leads brief orientations and monitors all action. They can also repair and upgrade guns.
Yoga Center for Healthy Living's staff makes their more than 35 yoga classes as pain-free as they can. They unite a comfort-inducing mélange of sunshine, plants, and a padded floor in their studio in an effort to make limbering up not a chore, but comfortable way to improve the mind and body. A talented crew of instructors, lead by owner Lee Ann Louis-Prescott, guides students through more than 30 total sessions per week. Their courses include Hatha, which is an ideal class for those new to yoga, as well as restorative yoga, which places an emphasis on achieving a state of tranquility. The team also presents specialized sessions, such as prenatal and kids and parents classes, for mothers-to-be, new mothers, and people dressed up like Mother Goose.
The Earehart clan, boasting fourth- and fifth-generation equestrians and members of the United Professionals Horseman's Association in its ranks, shares their immeasurable equine knowledge with visitors during Liberty Stables' horse-riding and driving lessons. Liberty Stables' 40-acre facility––which includes an observation lobby, tack and feed rooms, and indoor wash racks––has served as a fruitful breeding ground for world and national horse-riding champions over the last 20 years. The seasoned equestrians also house four-legged companions available for sale, specializing in such breeds as american saddlebred, shetland, and ponies painted to look like zebras.
Brothers William and Norman Dabish opened the first Powerhouse Gym in Highland Park, Michigan, in 1975. That gym still stands today in its original location, and has more than 300 sister sites throughout the world, which have hosted workouts by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cameron Diaz, Jerome Bettis, and other celebrities. The internationally recognized chain of gyms keeps its 1.2 million members in shape through fitness classes and a host of free weights and resistance machines at every location. Powerhouse Gym’s rapid growth has even led to the development of a line of branded sportswear, an annual magazine, an internal broadcast network, and the gym's own proprietary muscle.