Tim Langdon and his wife, Renee, founded Camp Flintlock, Inc. on a simple concept: people learn about history best if they live it. The Langdons know firsthand: they live on the property in an 18th-century-style log home that Tim and his friends built by hand. To immerse visitors in their colonial world, the Langdons host overnight camping trips where visitors can sleep in colonial-style tents, fire muskets, and string together Native American–inspired necklaces. At residential summer camps, guests even don colonial garb and participate in daily chores, such as splitting firewood and looking over their shoulder for the British. For those who just want a taste of colonial living, school field trips and day camps include activities like making beeswax candles and playing colonial games.
Shrouded in groves of leafless trees, Darkside Haunted Estates looms ominously. Dilapidated black shutters hang from the two-story house's white, weather-beaten siding, and behind its black door, nightmares have stirred to life for more than two decades. Throughout its eerie grounds, the staff has installed dynamic special effects on a collection of attractions that has ballooned to more than a dozen, including a quarter-mile haunted trail and a backwoods hayride. Unsettling sites tell the estate's sordid story through the Darkside Mortuary, Rottenkorr Cemetery, and The Manor. They’ve also installed a "Fame of Shame" board, which keeps track of visitors who bail early and of monsters who faint at the sight of their own fake blood.
Established in 2000, Ken's Korny Corn Maze presents an autumn playground where families converge every year for full days of exercise, learning, and fun. As the centerpiece of the property, the 6-acre corn maze snakes visitors through 2.5 miles of trails that take months to design and construct. Burrowed into the stalks are rest areas that provide trekkers with benches and water coolers, and checkpoints track how long groups spend in the maze so they aren't slowed by having to drag cumbersome grandfather clocks behind them. Hasty escapes from the maze's twisting paths leave plenty of time to check out other family-friendly attractions, including an 8,000-square-foot rope maze, a mini-golf course, and hayrides.
The mobile historians at Triangle Glides lead tours through the most exciting locations in Raleigh's past and present. They spin tales as groups glide past modern and historic landmarks on the Downtown Discovery tour or learn of riots, duels, and public hangings during a more macabre tour, aptly named Raleigh's Darkest Secrets. In other tours, groups travel into the 19th-century neighborhood of Oakwood and enjoy the lush grounds of Oakwood Cemetery, the final resting place of nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers.
This sort of exploration is the foundation of Triangle Glides, but its Segways are restricted to land. To explore the area's waters, the company also sells and rents standup paddleboards. Resident instructors can help newbies master these watercraft during seasonal lessons on nearby Lake Wheeler, where paddlers find calm waters surrounded by leafy forests.
Now in its eighth year, the Downtown Raleigh Living Tour sends casual browsers and serious shoppers alike on a self-guided exploration of downtown dwellings. Contemporary condos, beautifully restored homes, and burgeoning neighborhoods join forces to present a mixture of housing styles and locations, enabling tour-takers to survey the center of the city's full spectrum of living options. Information hotspots along the route dole out budget-saving tips, and for additional suggestions, most homeowners will be available at featured abodes to answer questions and make sure excitable garages stay on their leashes. In order to gain further perspective on urban existence, participants are encouraged to offset pad prospecting with stops at some of Raleigh's standout amenities. Restaurants, unique retail shops, and arts and cultural venues intersect searches with relaxing respites, which let groups kick back and drink in the city's ambiance without having to taste-test the water in each of its penny fountains.
Capital City Tours ushers groups through the area's historical and architectural landmarks aboard well-maintained motor coaches. Passengers are brought within camera-shot of historical marvels in the fields of politics, arts, and education—some stops include St. Augustine's College, Shaw University, and the John Chavis memorial park. Capital City Tours also offers airport transport and bus charters for large groups traveling to conferences and other events.