You don't need to see Mary Frankel's United States Dressage Federation bronze medal to tell she knows her way around a saddle. The owner of Sonora Creek—which opened in 1995—has been riding and showing horses for 40 years, and in that time she's coached locally, regionally, and nationally in both hunter/jumper and dressage. It's fortunate she has so much experience, since she's charged with operating such a sprawling space.
Spanning 22 acres, the facility rolls across hills and pastures and includes an indoor arena, two tack rooms, a regulation-size dressage arena, a 300'x150' outdoor jumping arena, and a 25-stall boarding facility. The scope of the facility's services is just as ambitious; staffers board and train horses, teach riding lessons, and lead a summer camp for kids aged 5–15 who grow weary of brushing and tacking their parents' motorcycles.
Upon their arrival to Fairways of Canton Golf Club, golfers feast their eyes on the club’s bucolic 18-hole course as it unfurls across 6,515 yards of rolling terrain and scenic Georgia pines. The pristine par-72 course fosters aggressive drives into generous fairways, which lead to small bermuda-grass greens teeming with subtle slopes and trick holes that lead to another dimension in Space Jam. Dimpled orbs graze the stratosphere at the club’s practice facilities, which include a driving range, a putting green, a chipping area, and a sand bunker. Back muscles weary from a day of smashing drives or wrestling a gang of rogue golf carts can recess at the club’s onsite Canyon Grill, which slings sumptuous fare such as philly cheesesteaks, pizza margherita, and pasta with a choice of sauce.
Cherokee Valley Ranch lays out an adrenaline-filled buffet of outdoor adventures propelled by gravity. Guests soar above the ranch on the gossamer wings of harness and cable across one of two legs of the zipline course. Cherokee Valley Ranch also sends riders careening down its tobogganing and tubing course. Gravity tugs thrill seekers down two frost-free chutes for snowless year-round sledding to make up for winters of sledless snowing. Other outdoor adventures include guided horseback rides, hayrides to a wooded campsite, and a cowboy-style lunch or dinner cooked over an open campfire. Children up to 17 years old can learn basic horseback-riding skills during Summer Horse Camp, including proper riding technique, grooming, and hoof-based sign language.
The experienced pilots and FAA-certified flight instructors at Sharp Mountain Aviation take fledgling flyers soaring in well-maintained, up-to-date aircraft. The North Georgia mountains helicopter tour escorts airborne sightseers over the tree-topped panoramas of Appalachia, providing unobstructed views of the Blue Ridge mountain chain and the nation's last remaining whiskey mine. This particular parcel of picturesque Earth-lumps are some of America's oldest mountains and were once the stomping grounds of Cherokee Indians. The tour also whisks airborne adventurers over several of northern Georgia's scenic cities and counties, allowing sky voyagers to get a taste of the Peach State's varied terrain and pecan-flavored clouds.
At Play! Music and Art, children try their had at different artistic ventures in an intimate and supportive environment. Students test their tiny fingers on the fretboard of a violin or viola or shred sounds on a flute, clarinet, or saxophone during private music lessons. Children also grip brushes and pencils in one of several art classes exploring basic drawing, painting, basic Photoshop editing, and Monopoly-money counterfeiting. Play! Music and Art hosts birthday parties that blend pizza with artistic endeavors and summer camps in music-video creation or Native American art. The studio also equips parents with free WiFi.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.