By the time customers climb atop tubes and kayaks from Saluda River Rafting Adventures and begin their sunlit floats down the river they may have already reached the halfway point of their outdoor adventure. That's because the rafting company's staffers also set up rustic riverside campsites that customers can rent the night before their river outings. In the morning Bubba the bus driver steers them through idyllic fields to their float site, passing horses along the way that approach the bus for carrots or advice on how to grow turn signals.
The horses are not just for feeding; staffers also lead camps?along with private and semiprivate lessons?that introduce youngsters to the equestrian arts. Alternatively, patrons can hone the more literal art of paint splattering on a lush Airsoft field, where soldiers armed with paintball guns fight in a sportsmanlike fashion, rather than by force-feeding each other paint pellets. Interested campers can also call to inquire about free rustic camping available for youth groups.
Designed in 1918 by prolific course architect Thomas Bendelow—reputed as "The Johnny Appleseed of American Golf" after designing roughly 600 courses over 35 years—Anderson Country Club's 18-hole, par 71 course stretches across 6,402 yards of lush Carolina woodlands. The emerald landscape features mostly straight-ahead fairways and favors a straightforward design in which tight tree lines provide the bulk of the challenge and most obstacles are easily identified from a distance. Four chromatically designated tee options make the course surmountable for players of all abilities, allowing scratch golfers to play alongside 10-handicap frenemies or competitively deficient alter egos.
Southern Oaks? 18-hole golf course is designed to incorporate the tree-lined countryside with 6,495 yards of bermuda-grass fairways and greens. A large, wishbone-shaped lake occupies the south end of the course, its surface forming a glassy resting place for errant golf balls and a natural mirror for self-absorbed golf carts. More than 650 trees line the fairways, further compounding the need for accurate shots. Golfers can warm up for rounds at the onsite driving range and practice green.
From its hilltop perch, Southern Oaks' clubhouse beckons golfers for a postround dinner of savory grill cuisine, an ideal way to replenish muscles after a long day of swinging for distant greens or setting personal long-jump records in sand traps.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,495 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 71.6 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 136 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * Scorecard
Located near Table Rock State Park, Bear Valley Golf Club nestles a community and golf course at the base of South Carolina's third-highest mountain. Trout streams wind through the 18-hole course, which challenges golfers of all skill levels with bending fairways and sloping, bentgrass greens. At the clubhouse, a full sports bar and restaurant let visitors relax before heading out to the links or taking a lesson from a golf professional at the driving range. Surrounded by hundreds of miles of hiking and horseback-riding trails, Bear Valley embeds its golf course within a landscape of towering trees and sweeping foothills, forcing golfers to distinguish between their own balls and rolling acorns.
Most people probably don't consider the television to be a danger to their fresh bouquet of flowers. But because it's an appliance that gives off heat, it can easily wilt or dry out blooms. This is the kind of expert advice doled out by the women of Valentin Occasions, who in their years of flower-shop ownership have perfected the challenging art of ensuring flowers last as long as possible. Their experience has made them adept at handling a variety of jobs—they can put together everything from bridal bouquets and corsages to birthday vases and casket sprays. They also deliver weekly to businesses after an onsite visit to determine the appropriate size and shape for reception or boardroom bouquets.