Two towers jut out of facing beaches, joined by cables that span an unusually placid portion of Lake Lanier. When Wake the Lake Cable Park's small groups of customers suit up, however, the cable comes alive, towing boarders to and fro at blistering speeds. Nestled in a secure inlet surrounded by white beaches, the Park is sheltered from boat wakes so that beginners can acclimate themselves and can safely try out new tricks. A brand-new kicker box makes it even easier for boarders to grab some air and, for advanced riders, fistfuls of cloud.
Nestled in the high branches of Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center, a network of ropes, ladders, and bridges invites amateur adventurers to scurry across their lengths. Although Treetop Quest’s ropes courses hover as high as 55 feet above the ground, guests stay safe thanks to a belay system that’s impossible to detach at canopy level. During self-guided adventures, they encounter more than 70 obstacles, whooshing along ziplines, scaling rope nets, and carefully crossing suspension and monkey bridges. Before guests ascend through the branches, instructors issue them harnesses and gloves and give them a thorough safety briefing. The courses vary in difficulty and height to accommodate all experience levels and ages, allowing visitors as young as 4 to enjoy a challenge, even if it’s just trying to sweet-talk a squirrel into sharing his stash of Corn Nuts.
Amid the excitement, Treetop Quest educates patrons on the surrounding environment through plaques and info boards at each course level. The courses operate sustainably to respect their arboreal hosts; the structures are treatment-free and don’t puncture the trees in any way.
Within Sunset Cove, a secluded corner of Lake Lanier, the water is usually quite calm. In fact, only one thing is known to regularly disturb it: the screaming wake of a speeding wake-boarder. The boarders ride courtesy of Wake The Lake Cable Park, whose powered cable system enables visitors to learn the art of wake-boarding in a controlled environment. Within the sheltered cove, the park's steel cable tows riders past a series of towers at a speed designed to simulate that of a professional wake-boarding speedboat or a recently spooked shark. In the process, it sends them gliding over rails and launching off table-top jumps and kickers planted in the middle of the water. One-on-one lessons with Hyperlite high-performance wakeboards begin at the cove's wraparound sand beach before heading out into the aquatic park, where instructors help riders hone their skills. Wake The Lake Cable Park's system is low energy and entirely emissions-free, allowing visitors to ride without worrying about disturbing local marine life or ruining their view of that cool pillow-shaped cloud.
The owners of Dead Center Indoor Gun Range founded their business to give shooters of all ability levels a place to feel safe while improving their marksmanship. To do so, they built a 25-yard, eight-lane indoor range—designed to handle both handgun and rifle fire—with a ventilation system that quickly purifies the air, as well as surveillance cameras that lovingly watch over shooters. To further demonstrate their commitment to safety, range chiefs make sure guests comply with NRA gun safety rules. Beyond supervising open shooting sessions, they also teach both armed and unarmed defense in beginner through advanced classes, such as Don't Be a Victim and the NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation. Dead Center's staff also mans a pro shop and offers four levels of membership with privileges such as waived fees for firearm rentals.
Don’t let the shepherd's pie, fish 'n' chips, and draft beers fool you. Though Tilted Kilt snatches up the best cultural fragments of Scotland, England, and the Emerald Isle, the eatery started in Las Vegas. Restaurateur Mark DiMartino sought to combine the communal, rousing feel of pubs in the British Isles with the campy fun of American sports bars, pairing hearty food and traditional trappings with televisions and waitresses clad in mini kilts and alluring plaid halter-tops modeled after William Wallace’s eveningwear. Since its founding, Tilted Kilt locations have popped up in 25 states and two Canadian provinces, serving all manner of hybrid dishes such as the Scottish cheese steak, the Sloppy Jane made with sliced turkey or shaved rib eye, and the Tilted Guilt, an ice-cream sundae perched atop a cookie.