Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 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 or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Along the shores of Iowa's Great Lakes?specifically near the intersection of Smiths Bay and East Okoboji Lake?Mau Marine is part of a tradition spanning more than 100 years of outfitting and sending boaters out onto the water. Specializing in boat sales, rentals, and storage, the staff works with regulars and visitors alike, seeing them off on pontoon, kayak, or speed-boat chases to rescue the nearest princess. They also stock boating gear and accessories for fishing excursions to catch walleye or nature trips to spot a white-tailed deer along the shoreline.
If it weren't for Sheena, stand-up paddleboarding??a sport that originated in Hawaii and developed a mass following on the California coast??may never have found its way to Iowa. Or at least it would have taken a lot longer. Yet thanks to the SUP Iowa paddler-in-chief, visitors to Oak Hill Marina on Lake Okoboji can now participate in the invigorating aquatic sport through lessons, camps, by-the-hour rentals, as well as fitness classes and corporate or team-building events.
400 pounds of lift. 60 pounds per square inch, more than 35 feet straight into the air—or below the water. The specifications of Aquafly's jet-powered Flyboard add up to a unique experience in extreme aquatic sports. Devised in 2011 by French jet-ski racer Franky Zapata, the FlyBoard system uses the jet discharge of a personal watercraft to propel its strapped-in pilot above or through the water. The company's factory-certified instructors help customers break the shimmering surface of Lake Okoboji in beginner through advanced pilot-training classes, divulging tips for basic Flyboard operation while introducing a range of maneuvers and complex tricks. They also provide Flyboard rentals and routine maintenance.
The history of golf in Spencer dates back more than a century, to a time when enthusiasts used buried tin cans for cups and grazing sheep as on-course spectators. Today's game would look remarkably different to Spencer's earliest players, as the Spencer Municipal Golf Course is now an 18-hole, par-72 facility with four tee options and no sheep to be found. From the back tees, golfers face a 6,809-yard layout fraught with 34 sand traps and a smattering of water hazards that can only be avoided with strategically-placed shots or by drinking all the water beforehand.
The course at Emerald Hills Golf Club sweeps over hilly terrain marked by frequent doglegs, fast greens, and stone-lined water hazards. Though the relatively short, flat first hole would lead first-timers to believe otherwise, the course rewards conservative play: most fairways bend to some degree and require distance control to avoid unfavorable lies in the rough and holes that lead to China. The par 5 fifth hole, the course's most difficult, presents an uphill dogleg left onto an elevated, two-tiered green with breaks that can be difficult to discern. Emerald Hills Golf Club also features pristine practice facilities, lessons with resident golf pros, and an onsite clubhouse with a banquet hall and a cocktail lounge.
Course at a Glance: