Within a nineteenth-century grist mill, the Brandywine River Museum exhibits an extensive collection of artwork from three generations of Wyeths as well as myriad other American artists. Three floors of galleries display collections of American landscapes, still-life paintings, and other works. Stare intently into James Wyeth’s Portrait of Pig or peruse the featured exhibition, which is currently an intensive look at N.C. Wyeth’s artistic interpretations of the Civil War. Lobbies of glass walls supply visitors with sweeping views of the river to accompany the museum’s collection. For additional purchases, Brandywine is home to its own museum shop and a restaurant to appease artful appetites.
Club Fit 247's two floors of fitness machines, free weights, and private training studios reverberate with the clangs of dumbbells and the clops of running feet on treadmills equipped with individual TV screens. Amid this bustling round-the-clock activity, a staff of professional bodybuilders, fitness models, and trainers—which collectively boasts a prestigious clientele that includes NFL defensive lineman Bob Kuberski and figure skater Claire Tannet—work one-on-one with clients to help them achieve their exercise goals. During personal-training sessions, they craft sport-specific conditioning plans that combine plyometrics and strength training with hopes of improving balance, speed, and agility. Additionally, this talented team offers nutritional counseling as well as coaching for aspiring or current competitive body builders.
The gym presents clients with a key card that grants them 24-hour access to the facilities and the international cabal of bodybuilders' top-secret lair. The facility also peddles workout supplements, including protein shakes and Ionics powders.
Atlantic Edge Dive Center's dive-masters might technically be classified as land mammals, but they spend enough time under water to earn the honorary title of amphibian. They spend days and nights teaching and leading dives, whether they're arming curious beginners with basic skills in one of their on-site swimming pools, or conducting open water certification tests off the coast. They go beyond simply certifying students for adventure: they provide rescue diving, dive master, and instructor training as well.
Their passion for the aquatic pastime draws them to all kinds of watery outposts. They lead excursions to the Florida keys to help rehabilitate the coral reefs surrounding the islands, and dive into the relatively calm waters of the tanks in the Baltimore National Aquarium, where they have a chance to see 53 species of fish feed in the secret underwater cafeteria.
Vertical Extreme combines the adrenaline-pumping thrill of scaling a cliff face with the safety and comfort of a controlled environment. Spread across 7,500 square feet of space, the indoor facility features handhold-riddled walls that extend as high as 45 feet above the ground. The walls include options for visitors of virtually any age and skill level, which ensures that guests can chart a path that provides a fun climb or a stamina-testing challenge. Safety is always a priority so every harness-equipped climber is spotted by a belayer—such as a friend, family member, or specially programmed android—who vigilantly prevents accidental slips from turning into falls.
As the morning begins, a row of toddlers takes turns tumbling feet over head while their parents guide them into the correct movement. Later, school-age kids sit in a circle, legs stretched before them as they try to touch their toes. The trained staff of My Gym Children's Fitness Center imbue kids with life skills through music, physical activities, and games. Many classes incorporate physical exercises with social and developmental skills, while summer camps are also available seasonally. All classes take place in a well-padded room, led by staff trained in child development and fluent in Muppet.
For more than a decade, the dedicated staff members at Summit Fitness Club have strived to set their gym apart from other athletic facilities with their personal approach to fitness. The owners are regularly on site to oversee operations and offer words of encouragement, and general manager Grace Fiorilla—a longtime gym member and an instructor for the past four years—calls upon her personal experiences at the gym to keep guests engaged.
The team cares for youngsters in the childcare area and leads classes ranging from martial arts–inspired BodyCombat sessions to flowing Pilates classes. The renovated space is populated with large-screen plasma TVs and row after row of free weights and cardio equipment, including cross-trainers, elliptical machines, and spinning cycles with computer feedback. In the lounge area—which is decorated with vibrant orange walls and multicolored, 3-D artwork—guests can sip complimentary coffee to help them ease into the day from workouts inadvertently performed while sleepwalking.