Carved into the rolling landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Auburn Hills Golf Club's 18-hole course features 6,534 yards of elevated tee boxes and breathtaking views of the Southwest Virginia countryside. Throughout the course, players encounter tantalizing high-risk-and-high-reward shots straight from the architectural mind of Algie Pulley, such as the par-4 13th hole, which dares big hitters to drive for a half-visible green hiding 306 yards in the distance. More straightforward challenges await at the 190-yard, par-3 17th, where duffers must calm gun-shy golf carts before sending tee shots somersaulting over two large ponds that stand sentry in front of the green. The pristine par-72 opens its arboreal arms to golfers of all ages and experience levels with four tee options.
PGA instructor Werner Riemer uses Auburn Hills' sunlit green as a classroom, where the master dispenses his golf wisdom to students. Werner’s teaching techniques have bolstered the talents of LPGA Hall of Famer Sandra Handy, and also earned him special PGA certification in golf instruction, a feat obtained by only 1% of PGA members and 3% of computer simulators.
Course at a Glance:
Staffed by experienced fly-fishermen, New River Fly Fishing offers both a wide selection of fishing gear and a wealth of local-waters knowledge to help customers master trophy-trout waters. Guides lead day trips to a private trout stream for dedicated fishermen looking to haul in prize-worthy specimens, as opposed to just lackadaisically drifting down the currents and pointing out which clouds look like Burt Reynolds. Staffers also provide tips on casting during day trips or half-day workshops that cover everything from casting and fly selection to water reading.
At Adventure World Skate & Fun Center, kids and adults alike entertain both muscle and mind-matter in through a variety of heart-pounding activities. In the laser tag arena, players strap on receivers, holster a laser-emitting gun, and re-enact the galactic phase of the Crimean War on a phosphorescent battlefield. Competitors have the option of playing the four 10-minute games consecutively or spacing them out to fuel grudge matches or plan for potential roommate border disputes. With an additional admission fee ($3–$6), zapped compatriots can take backward victory laps around the skate rink ($3 skate rental) or purchase tokens to conquer the arcade room.
Floating is the number-one activity at this small-town fitness center, which boasts three pools. A two-story water slide ushers guests into the leisure pool via three slick loops, and a zero-depth beach entry lets them ease into the water at their own pace without getting drenched. Guests can hone their butterfly strokes in four 20-yard lap lanes or existentially ponder the nature of water in the deep end, which is heated to 86 degrees. Visitors may also dive into an Olympic–size competition pool from 5-, 7.5- and 10-meter platforms, then speed through 9-foot lanes. Those with sore joints can ease into the therapy pool, which pampers sore joints with soothing 94-degree water.
Swimmer-specific fitness equipment fills a nearby cardio room, where Vasa trainers help guests to perfect front crawls and backstrokes with body-weight exercises. Treadmills, ellipticals, and recumbent bikes bolster cross-training regimens, along with Magnum strength trainers designed to tone the entire body. The facility also boasts a wet classroom that hosts scuba trainings, a kitchen, and shower-equipped locker rooms.
Designed by Ray Vaughn, Sr. in 1955, Meadows Golf and Swim Club is among the oldest continually-run golf courses in the New River Valley. That distinction doesn't just mean the course is a good role model for younger courses: it also means challenges here are a bit different than modern-day facilities. Water comes into play on 15 holes, and fast greens make reading and executing putts a necessity for lower scores. No matter what happens from one hole to the next, though, the layout incorporates mountain views and lush rippling terrain. Away from the links, visitors can also warm up and stock up at the practice range and pro shop, or they can take a dip in the heated pool.
The indoor summits at Crimper?s Climbing Gym stretch up to 16 feet in the bouldering arena, 23 feet in the top-rope range, and 30 feet in the lead climbing section. In each specialized area, colorful holds of different shapes and sizes riddle wall faces. Climbers navigate these holds by practicing the fundamentals across the varied angles, heights, and distances that span between them. Beginners will find wall routes tailored to their skill set, just as technically advanced climbers will find more complicated boulder scenarios. Crimper?s Climbing also offers classes, hosts birthday parties and team-building exercises, and extends membership opportunities to enthusiasts and agoraphobic billy goats.