Set atop a sparsely wooded expanse of the Cumberland Plateau, Lake Tansi Village Golf Club’s 18-hole championship golf course traces an undulating tract buttressed on both sides by Lake Tansi and Hiawatha Lake. Though the course is not particularly long, the course layout demands precision with its rolling terrain, deep bunkers, and multitiered greens that will terrify golf balls who fear roller-coasters. When approaching the tee on the par-4 17th, golfers look out onto a green protected by a frontside pond that forces them to carry the glassy surface with a lofted wedge or short iron.
Perched at an altitude that typically keeps the area an average of 10 degrees cooler than Knoxville and Nashville, Lake Tansi Village complements its golf facilities with a full-service marina, lakeside cottages, and stay-and-play packages ideal for golfers hoping to get away for a weekend after a heated argument with their live-in caddy.
This international museum is the only facility of its kind, completely dedicated to the evolution of women's basketball and the talented athletes who helped the sport grow. Bounce buffs can learn the history of women's basketball through the museum's exhibits, including multimedia presentations, numerous basketball artifacts, original photographs, scrapbooks, and old uniforms. Guests inspired by the abundant wooden-court knowledge can try their hand on the facility’s basketball courts, featuring hoops of three different heights (representing the past, present, and future of the sport) and a vertical-leap challenge, allowing you to show off your superb ceiling-dusting skills. No trip to this historical vault is complete without investigating the world's largest basketball, 30-feet tall and weighing 10 tons, which sits atop the museum's northern hall and, during winter months, is used as the base of the world’s largest snowman. Children ages 5 and under receive free admission to the museum.
A seasoned purveyor of outdoor sporting equipment, River Sports Outfitters' adventure experts put gear to work on indoor climbing walls and local kayaking excursions. Rock-top scramblers suit up in provided harness and shoes at the climbing gym, lined with vertical slopes that impersonate cliff faces with gritty-textured walls, rocks in many shapes and sizes, and animatronic dancing mountain goats. Climbers of all skill levels can strengthen and stretch muscles on ascents up the tall rope-climbing wall, or free-climb on the shorter bouldering walls, which lose the rope and vertical ascent in favor of low routes that challenge spidery-men to master specific maneuvers and grips.
For the guides of Lake and Stream Guide Service, days begin long before sunrise—at 3 a.m., an hour when even alarm clocks are tempted to hit the snooze button. That’s when they roll from their beds and trundle outside for the day’s fishing adventures. This dedication stems from a desire to help the anglers on their fishing day trips reel in trophy fish and lasting memories.
Once guides rise to greet the day, they meet up with patrons and set sail on the picturesque waters of Carters Lake, Blue Ridge Lake, or Lake Nottely, or along the frothy spumes of the Toccoa River. The guides provide all the gear and instruction anglers need to reel in hefty trout or fish such as stripers and hybrids that lurk in the clear, deep waters of Carters Lake.
The noble squires at Sir Goony's Family Fun Center engineer amusement with a sprawling facility dedicated to outdoor recreation. Towering, inflatable slides draw guests' eyes upward at the splash zone, where voyagers shatter the sound barrier in a near-vertical plunge before braking softly in a pool of water mixed with the joyful tears of Isaac Newton's supporters. An enclave of absurd obstacles—including a professorial owl and an irate tree—await to disrupt putts at the Center's two 18-hole miniature-golf courses, which runs alongside scenic water features and other cheerful decor. At Sir Goony's 800-foot go-kart track, racers hug the tire-cushioned rails, weaving in and out of fellow drivers in single or tandem karts. Guests can soothe itchy trigger fingers and don their favorite pair of sequined protective goggles at the paintball course, which promotes fast-paced action with a relatively open field populated by inflatable obstacles that supply minimal cover.
The Emerging Cinemas network presents world-class performing arts, recorded on-scene at internationally recognized theaters and splashes them across the big screen before popcorn-chomping American audiences. Coppélia, choreographed by Patrice Bart, is a comic tale that follows the en pointe follies of a lovesick villager whose fiancée must compete with a life-like dancing automaton to win his affections. Professionally filmed, the performance is captured by multiple cameras with a combination of sweeping angles and detailed close-ups, allowing patrons a rare view of production details blasted through Carmike Cinema's high-definition big screens and surround-sound systems. The rich cinematic experience gives audiences front-row access to each magical movement augmented by a flawless score and Morse code toe taps that convey plot points to dance-illiterate viewers.
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.