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Wahoo’s Adventures refers to itself as the “original” whitewater outfitter, having facilitated outdoor excursions on rafts, tubes, canoes, and kayaks for the past three decades. Whitewater-rafting tours take place upon the Watauga River, the Nolichucky River, and Wilson Creek Gorge, three waterways with differing levels of frothiness, much like three cappuccinos ordered by a family of bears. Alternatively, adults without rafting experience and children as young as 6 months can lazily drift down the New River while sprawled across tubes. As they pass rugged hillsides and scenic farmland, tubers can smell wildflowers, listen to chirping birds, and keep eyes peeled for Sasquatch footprints. Keeping clients safe is Wahoo’s main priority, which is why their experienced guides equip adventurers with high-quality life jackets, helmets, and paddles before taking the water.

3385 S US Hwy. 321
Boone,
NC
US

Coed dodge ball and flag-football games. Kayaking trips. Ice-climbing excursions. The open-air enthusiasts at Charlotte Outdoor Adventures coordinate a schedule of active events such as these for a membership base passionate about playing in the sunshine. Led by a qualified volunteer, groups set out on excursions ranging from hikes through the Carolinian countryside to waterfall rappelling in the Grand Canyon. Membership benefits include access to hundreds of activities each month as well as friendships forged through shared experience and bartering packed-lunch items.

5580 Shulls Mill Road
Blowing Rock,
NC
US

Cuban Restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cuban Dishes, along with sandwiches, soups, and a variety of coffees

3045 Tynecastle Highway
Banner Elk,
NC
US

Balls roll uphill. Surging streaks of water flow upward behind them. People struggling to stand at a 90-degree angle are upright at 45-degrees. Such are the laws of gravity at Mystery Hill's Mystery House, an enigmatic amusement center perched atop a slope that enjoys a stronger-than-average gravitational pull to the north. The same peculiar pull looms over the nearby Mystery Platform, where people standing on the north side always appear larger than those on the south. For more than 50 years, visitors have flocked to the curious hilltop to explore its strange gravitational pull and interact with other science-related exhibits.

Aside from the Mystery House, most of the museum's scientific attractions congregate in The Hall of Mystery, where guests can step inside a giant bubble, flee the chase of their shadow, or learn to beat the moon at rock-paper-scissors. Alternatively, Mystery Hill museums include Appalachian Heritage Museum, which houses antique sewing machines, books, and a list of the personal blog URLs of mountain families from the late 1800s to early 1900s. The Native Artifacts Museum assembles more than 50,000 arrowheads, effigy pipes, awls, and other accouterments culled over 70 years from 23 states.

129 Mystery Hill Ln
Blowing Rock,
NC
US

Accompanied by USA Raft's guides, tourists can take a few different types of rafting trips on the New River. On the most vigorous trip down the New River, for instance, visitors must paddle through the "Greyhound" rapids, so named for their speed and the way they sometimes spit up functional coach buses. They must also navigate the ?Keeneys," a 32-foot drop that takes place over a quarter of a mile. The trips can be tailored to any group's needs?and USA Raft's flexible team creates tailored outdoor experience on land, too, thanks to their ziplines in the West Virginia forest, cozy cabins and campgrounds, and their acres of paintball courts.

219 Country Rd
Lansing,
WV
US

The PCIA-certified climbing instructors at Rock Dimensions lead guests through a variety of vertical activities that range from the in-air discovery course to half-day or full-day rock-climbing excursions. Using their years of rock-climbing experience and local expertise, they teach all levels and ages, and equip guests with harnesses and helmets for all vertical activities.

131-B S Depot St.
Boone,
NC
US