Under the tutelage of the highly experienced instructors at Metal Shop Music, fledgling strummers will glean useful guitar-playing how-tos during a pair of half-hour private sessions. Students bring their own electric or acoustic palettes on which to paint their musical pictures, and can explore any style, such as classical, Southern rock, or a capella. In the store's music room, beginners meet with local musician Matt Brown, who teaches modern pick style and methods for soothing your instrument when it gets stage fright. Intermediate to advanced scholars will study with chord-shredding master Kirk Andrews as he leads players through tutorials on how to play lead, increase their accuracy, and survive in the unfriendly wilderness of harmonic minor scales.
The joint vision of husband and wife team Joseph and Diana Marks, Tarpon Springs Castle Winery transports visitors to Old-World Europe, where each bottle of wine is handcrafted, from the crush to the label. Modeled after an 1820 federal building, the winery's Italian style walled-in courtyard, fountains, and wrought-iron gazebo take visitors back in time, but then quickly send them forward again before they have time to un-invent electricity. Trips to the colorful tasting room give visitors a chance to sip wines that range from a clean, fruity blush to a dry, oaked cabernet sauvignon.
At more than 1,000 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
Palm Harbor House of Beer's craft beer bar makes lager lovers and ale experts feel at home with a tap list of 50 beers, plus coolers filled with an array of bottles and cans. Hailing from breweries around the world, including Rogue, Stone, Bell's, and Left Hand, the pub's draft stock (which typically runs between $4.50 and $6) ranges in style from blond ales to Russian imperial stouts, mocha porters to IPAs. Feel free to pair your pint with whatever provisions you choose, as customers are welcome to bring their own food or have it delivered by specially trained poodles. The hop-phobic can also pass on beer altogether in favor of the vine-based virtues of pinot noir ($7.50/glass), Riesling ($6/glass), Shiraz ($5/glass), and other wines.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer's good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.