New Britain-Berlin YMCA's 90,000-square-foot complex helps members improve their lives through community programs, personal training programs, and a variety of fitness facilities, including a new massage studio. Besides bulking up on full circuit of Nautilus strength equipment or powering through Precor treadmills, steppers, and ellipticals, visitors can join friends for games of basketball in the double gymnasium or chuck tomatoes at the walls of five on-site racquetball courts. The clear waters of the 25-yard swimming pool parallel the mirrored walls of an 800-square-foot fitness studio, where members can partake in several health and wellness programs throughout the week.
Westfield Water Sports and Wilderness Experiences—a kayak, SUP, camping, and scuba gear shop as well as a camping store and adventure emporium—dispatches a staff of certifiable adventure-seekers to lead sojourners into the great outdoors with scuba classes, kayak classes, dive and non-dive world travel, and rock-climbing excursions. An all-around outdoorsman, camp director T. Scott Cook leans on his doctorate of Leadership Development in Adventure Education to develop nature excursions, including far-flung trips where groups snorkel in the Cayman Islands or evolve gills in the Galapagos. Back home, the summer camp’s elaborate ropes course builds teamwork between coworkers, and caving adventures allow guests to delve into mysterious depths or apartment swap with a black bear.
At The Scuba Shack, the staff’s family-oriented lessons encourage divers to take social rather than solo ventures into the blue beyond. Each instructor carries an impressive résumé of underwater travels—the head trainer has been diving for more than 20 years and others have logged more than 1,000 dives. Captaining PADI-certification courses and specialty seminars—which cover topics such as night diving, photography, and fish identification—they take groups on open-water excursions to area lakes and Clear Spring Scuba Park. They prioritize educating their charges with safe and enjoyable teachings, rather than monotonous quizzes on whether the bends is a serious health issue or a 1980s punk band. With trips to dive sites in Fiji and Mexico, they introduce divers to the visual wonder of reefs and aquatic wildlife throughout the world.
Heritage Hotel Health Club houses more than treadmills and weights. Fitness instructors lead members in sweat-inducing classes such as aqua aerobics, yoga, and Pilates. Racquetball and tennis courts grant members with ample ways to enjoy their favorite sports and burn calories. When relaxation is needed, the gym's steam room and hot tubs stand ready to wash away stress, and heated indoor and outdoor pools beckon members for laid-back recreation or intense lap swims that build strength and enhance speed until swimmers can wipe the smirk off a powerboat's stupid face.
• One month of gym membership with unlimited fitness classes (up to a $34.95 value) • A 30-minute massage from a licensed massage therapist (a $40 value) • A personal training session (a $60 value) • Access to the Champion Skating Rink during all public skate times (approximately 30 held each month; free with membership)