Engines roar across a tire-lined track, where single and double go-karts speed through turns and on toward victory. Alongside a track for junior go-karts, this is only one of the attractions that greets visitors to The Zone. Baseballs soar across the batting cages' mesh big-top tent, and the mini-golf course dots its baize landscape with obstacles such as miniature barns or tiny warehouses filled with smaller replicas of the mini-golf course. Indoors, video games fill an arcade with a symphony of electronic beeps, while party rooms play host to shindigs with themes such as princesses and activities such as crafts.
Like narrow, perfectly coiffed clearings, the fairways at Hunting Hills Country Club slide through the dense forest that covers the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 18-hole layout was unveiled in 1971, realizing the visions of tight, tree-lined shots and hilly traverses first pictured by architect Raymond F. Loving, Jr. The course's commitment to upkeep and aesthetics has never wavered over the ensuing four decades, and golfers today continue to contend with daunting drives and unsettling elevation swings.
These concerns leave foursomes thoroughly tuckered out by the 18th hole, at which point they might ask a caddy for a piggyback ride to the clubhouse for drinks and lunch.
When they're not swinging away on the golf course, members test their sports skills at the tennis facility's four lighted hard courts and four Har-Tru clay courts. They can then cool off in the swimming pool, which features an adjoining wading pool perfect for kids or pet turtles.
Hot Shots Family Fun Center enchants guests of all ages with four outdoor attractions. Three streams, six ponds, and a waterfall line the par-40 miniature golf course, cultivating peace of mind as players grapple with creative hazards. Friends can test their fear factor on the 24-foot drop slide, attack one another with a barrage of cushy Nerf balls using Cannonball Air Blasters or enjoy the Hot Shots bounce house. Everyone enjoys the food at the Nineteenth Hole Cafe, where adults can even enjoy a sip while kids wear themselves down.
On the scenic Smith Mountain Lake, run-about motorboats and WaveRunners create arcing, white-capped wakes atop the water. Nearby, slower-moving pontoons host anglers and picnickers. The captains of each of these vessels owe their enjoyable day to the family-owned Hales Ford Marina & Boat Rentals, which loans its equipment to locals and visitors alike. In addition to pairing clients with the right boat, staffers also perform repairs and maintenance, including winterization for a variety of vehicles.
As the keepers of their region's heritage, members of the Historical Society of Western Virginia know that best way to spread political traditions is through engaging public exhibits. That's why they operate two museums dedicated to Western Virginia's unique culture.
As a key battleground in the Civil War, West Virginia has no shortage of history for the curators at the History Museum of Western Virginia to draw upon. They leave no manuscript, periodical, or photograph unturned, using the museum's own vast library to build exhibits that celebrate formative moments in the Commonwealth's history. Sometimes, they go back even further. The museum's primary exhibit, Crossroads of History, interprets 10,000 years of heritage through artifacts such as Native American arrowheads, pottery, and the "Rawrenoke" beads that lend their name to the city of Roanoke.
At the O. Winston Link Museum, exhibits focus on more recent?and locomotive?history. Drawn from the collection of photographer Winston Link, the museum continues its namesake's quest to document and memorialize the bygone steam engines of the Norfolk and Western Railway. In addition to housing more than 300 images of these country-conquering machines, the museum also hosts temporary exhibits of other historically significant photos; recent shows featured a collection of Winston Link's work in the world of advertising, and lithographs from engine designer Raymond Loewy.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.