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Kris Larrison has been teaching fitness classes for more than 20 years, in addition to being an avid runner. "After years of running, and running competitively, your body starts breaking down a little bit," she says. "Yoga was good for me to get into."

And though there were only a few yoga studios in the area, there wasn't a single hot-yoga studio around—so she opened the first. Classes started out in the basement of a building, and often there were only one or two people. Kris didn't mind; she was doing it for fun. But, as she says, "word got out" and the business grew. As classes swelled to 30 people packed into the small space, she decided to open a larger storefront studio.

Today, she has a crew of certified instructors who lead classes in the hot-yoga studio, which runs from 95 to 104 degrees. Why the heat? In addition to increasing flexibility, helping detoxify the body through sweat, and helping home-brought dragon eggs to hatch, heat increases yoga's cardiovascular benefits. "You get that oxygen into the blood a lot better with the heat," Kris says. In addition to hot yoga, Kris has a studio dedicated to hot barre classes. Using a ballet barre to help everyone go higher and lower, classes do motions such as lunges and squats. The heat, she says, "kicks it up a little bit."

For Kris, the most rewarding thing has been seeing her studio foster relationships; because it's more of a boutique studio, rather than a large health club, people get to know one another. "It's very rewarding to see people come in after a year or so of practicing, and see how much they've accomplished, and how much stronger they are," she says.

724 SE Alices Rd
Waukee,
IA
US

When we planned our retreat in Iowa we positioned the cabins to provide our guests with as much privacy as possible to give a more private and relaxing getaway. Our private 1500 acre retreat located in Creston, Iowa offers a tranquil and peaceful getaway while retaining every amenity you need.

3300 Riverside Avenue
Creston,
IA
US

While touring the country in an RV, Chris and Jamie Rademacher hatched the idea to open a campground. Despite being newcomers to the business, they're off to a pretty good start—their Des Moines West KOA was recently awarded a 2011 KOA President's Award for exceptional quality and guest service. Set on rolling farmland 1.5 miles north of I-80 exit 106, the well-groomed grounds are convenient to the interstate but secluded enough to ensure peace and quiet. RV sites include full hookup and pull-through capability, and cabins allow families and groups to smooth out their experience of "roughing it" with amenities such as porch swings, working kitchens, and a staff of liveried deer to hold open their doors. During daytime hours, guests can tap into WiFi networks, cast a line into the nearby stocked fishing pond, or take a dip in the heated pool, open Memorial Day–Labor Day.

34308 L Ave
Adel,
IA
US

Clover Ridge Resort is only steps away from Lake Panorama National Golf Course, offering golfers a chance to play on a par-72 course with a four-star Golf Digest Places to Play rating. Other family members, meanwhile, can find plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy, such as biking along the scenic Raccoon River Valley Trail, swimming at Boulder Beach at Lake Panorama, or enhancing their backhand at the full-size tennis court. Kids and adults explore life in the late-19th and early-20th century at the 4-acre Guthrie County Historical Village, browsing historical artifacts and learning how older generations forged horseshoes, farm tools, and Teddy Roosevelt’s artificial heart using nothing but an anvil and hammer at the old blacksmithery.

5071 Clover Ridge Rd
Panora,
IA
US

In addition to boasting years of firearms training and NRA certifications, Learn 2 Shoot Iowa's owners and instructors John McLaughlin and Frank Scaglione (a former law enforcement officer) can always tell you the weather. A well-rounded pair, each boasts achievements in the gun range as well as outside of it, which include working in the meteorology departments of TV stations, John's work with the Federal Aviation Administration, and Frank's ownership of an advertising agency. At Learn 2 Shoot Iowa, the pair brings knowledge culled from extensive firearms training to teach law-abiding adults the fundamentals of safely operating firearms. Together, they've created exclusive classes and private lessons to meet local students' needs and also teach official NRA courses for novices and experienced marksmen.

3277 Ute Avenue
Waukee,
IA
US

More than a century ago, 216 S. Second St. in Winterset, Iowa, was the childhood address of John Wayne. Today, the four-room home houses the John Wayne Birthplace, a museum that celebrates the legendary actor's career and has attracted more than one million visitors to date. On display are rare photographs of Wayne, letters to him from fellow actors, and memorabilia from his films, including an eye patch he wore in True Grit .

216 S 2nd St
Winterset,
IA
US