A U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association–rated master pilot, Matt Taber has been soaring through the skies since 1978, during which time he's managed to design several of his own gliders. He's also devised and constructed other contraptions, such as glider-towing equipment and lightweight tow planes—both of which his company, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, uses to teach new recruits how to surf the skies. Matt leads a team of USHPA-certified pilots and instructors that coaches students of all levels in basics and advanced maneuvers through on-the-ground training and hands-on tandem flights, during which pilots safely guide their charges over the scenic mountains and blurry bushes of Lookout Valley at altitudes of up to 4,000 feet. Conducted on a 55-acre private training facility, lessons can include the overnight use of amenities such as a pool, volleyball court, bathhouse, and cabins.
In 1960, Vin Silvia put his faith in a parachute as he dove from an aircraft for his first freefall. The rush of adrenaline continued beyond the dropzone, inspiring the creation of Chattanooga Skydiving Company. Now in its third generation of family ownership, the company mints new divers on a regular basis. As long as the skies are clear and the clouds slake their appetites on birds rather than planes, instructors give lessons or pair up with novices for tandem jumps. Chattanooga Skydiving Company abides by safety methods approved by the United States Parachute Association so that any client can experience the thrill of great heights without previous experience or access to the shoulders of an obliging tall man. A digital video recording allows customers to upload, email, and share video evidence of their celestial endeavors.
A Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers and winner of the 2009 Larry MacPhail Trophy for inventive promotional efforts in the community, the Lookouts induce crackerjack-tossing cheers thanks to a skilled roster of battle-ready bat-and-glove brandishers. Settle into an up-close lower box seat (the seating areas in green) at scenic AT&T Field, where guests can absorb majestic views of the surrounding greenery and use their souvenir program to call out the opposing first baseman's credit score.
Sports Barn welcomes students of all skill levels and interests with an array of classes that includes gentle, intensive, and restorative yoga styles. The studio’s robust schedule of sessions helmed by dedicated instructors, focus largely on flow sessions that synchronize gracefully cascading transitions with measured breaths to create an invigorating practice. Power yoga engages limbs with vigorous dynamism as it bolsters strength, stamina, and high-fiving ability. Yin yoga draws thoughts inward with a centering sequence of poses that helps loosen uptight connective tissues with deeply held stretches as students learn to focus on improving their range of motion. Although the studios cushion postures with the necessary yoga mats and props, instructors advise students to purchase their own, as chakras can become territorial over particularly good equipment.
Chattanooga Billiard Club is a place for purists and billiards aficionados, however, that shouldn’t scare away newbies who want to learn or practice on some of the best equipment available. The billiards room protects an arsenal of 18 Brunswick Gold Crown IV 8- and 9-foot tables, as well as two championship-tournament 9-foot Diamond tables, all of which are equipped with high-quality Simonis felt. Players can arm themselves with Aramith balls and Nick Varner cues to experience tournament-caliber game play.
Chattanooga Billiard Club also features a dart league, a cigar room that sells rare and hard-to-find cigars, and a plush Havana Room lounge equipped with overstuffed leather furniture and flat-screen TVs that broadcast sports. A full bar and restaurant also serve up tasty fare such as USDA Choice ground-chuck burgers, flagship cuban sandwiches, and pub-style fish 'n' chips.
Somewhere in the mountains of Chattanooga in 1928, Garnet Carter patented the first miniature golf course, inciting a nationwide pastime that brought families and friends together around pintsized putting surfaces.
Inspired by the local history and an indoor golf course visited while on vacation, Nathan Brown and his friends began fantasizing about their own miniature golf course, either building one in their hometown or patenting the first ever zero-gravity moon course. After tireless efforts and multiple failed rocket launches later, Scenic City Mini Golf opened its indoor greens in November 2010.
Dimpled balls roll along verdant turf that simulates real grass, while beige and blue turf mimic sand and water traps, adding strokes to scorecards for errant shots. Hole 14 requires golfers to double back and hit golf balls around, then beneath the hole's rough and toll troll, while hole 17's two-tier design draws shots into one of two preliminary holes before they can approach the green below. Pre- or postrounds, golfers can cool off with Blue Bell ice cream from the snack area, enjoying their frozen treats in a cone or as a milkshake, malt, or float.