BEST GYM: Canton Club Health & Fitness
Dedicated to those who want to live their fitness lives to the fullest, the Canton Club Health & Fitness gym offers a variety of classes, free weights and cardiovascular training that are both typical and outside of the box.
Boasting state-of-the-art workout equipment and a picturesque view of the Inner Harbor, the gym has only been at its current location for four years but has gained a steady following that continues to rise.
"We want our members to successfully become fit and healthy," said General Manager Frank Groves. "We're constantly looking for ways to make it fun. We don't want to just go with the old 'tried and true' ways -- it takes time and effort to be creative and innovative, and we actually like the challenge."
He credited the staff as an integral part of the gym's success.
"They actually know what they're talking about and are informed about the equipment they use and the classes that they teach," Groves said.
The gym is also home to some workout equipment unavailable at many other places. These include the FitWall, which simulates rock climbing; air yoga, a type of yoga done on a hammock-like apparatus; and TRX Suspension Training, a method of training that uses a system of ropes and webbing.
The unique workout programs and equipment have made nearby resident David Caldwell a regular.
"The facilities that are available and the classes enable members to really work on any physical aspect they choose to," Caldwell said. "The versatility and accessibility of it all really does pay off." 2780-D Lighthouse Point East
BEST CAR WASH: Canton Car Wash
Getting a car washed is something that can be done by anyone, acknowledges Chris Rivera, but he's not just anyone.
"To wash a car as quick and as well as we do and treat the customers the way we do, I think that's ultimately what separates the men from the boys," said Rivera, co-owner of the Canton Car Wash -- a green car wash.
Rivera's business offers a full service car wash and auto detailing, and employs water recycling and re-use tanks, which are better for the environment. 1101 Ponca St.
BEST SPA: FX Studios
When people got to a spa, they expect pampering. The staff at FX Studios knows this and are thus dedicated to making any experience at their Sparks location an unforgettable one. Pat Navarro, general manager of the spa, says his strong team of professionals is the essential reason the spa currently has more than 35,000 guests to date.
"Our service providers here are very well educated," Navarro said. "Our facility is well set up, the products that we use, the services that we do are top notch -- we take it to that next level." 11270 Pepper Road, Sparks
BEST HAIR SALON: Padma Salon
Let's face it -- a good hairdo is a necessity for anyone who truly cares about their appearance. But finding the spot that can transform a tangled mess into the perfect cut is difficult. Enter Padma Salon.
In addition to its full menu of traditional hair services, Padma specializes in hair extensions and progressive techniques such as a formaldehyde-free Brazilian straightening treatment. Body waxing is also offered.
The salon also implements eco-conscious practices. 3401 Keswick Road, Wyman Park
BEST BAKERY: Hamilton Bakery
By using local, quality ingredients, it's the goal of Hamilton Bakery to keep Baltimore's economy thriving while providing the best baked goods. Using organic flours, sugars and all-natural dyes, the Harford Road bakery goes to great lengths to let its customers know they "had something awesome."
The bakery thrives at immersing itself in the Hamilton community. It does just that by interacting with customers online, including taking suggestions and giving updates on what's in the works. 5414 Harford Road