The course at the private Wolf Laurel Country Club leads players on a secluded retreat into the Blue Ridge Mountains, with mature forests and alpine vistas dappling climbs to elevations of more than 5,000 feet. Designer W.B. Lewis planned the fairways so that no two run directly parallel to each other, allowing players to explore every angle of the sprawling resort that’s bounded to the north by the Appalachian Trail. With tee-to-green elevation changes of as much as 300 feet, golfers must make careful club selections to give themselves the best shot at the par of 74. The signature sixth hole, a par 3, couples a downhill tee shot that plummets more than 200 feet with a dramatic vista from the tee box, spelling doom for shots that fly long and golfers who recover slowly after tee-to-green barrel rolls.
Course at a Glance:
Upon arriving at the USA Raft site—which is located in Marshall, about three hours from Charlotte—whitewater explorers over the age of 8 can change into appropriate apparel and receive the provided gear (helmet, personal flotation device, and paddle). After an instructional orientation describing the itinerary and proper rafting techniques, riders will be shuttled to the river drop-in point 15 minutes away. Voyagers in search of frothy spumes will spend the next two to three hours conquering frequent rapids with nicknames such as Pinball, Sandy Bottom, and Ledges. Stops will be made along the way at Jump Rock to allow jumping jocks the opportunity to leap into the river, and also at Swimmers Rapid to let rafters cool off with a few laps. Afterward, a small snack will be provided. A skilled rafting guide will be in the boat at all times, which means no experience is necessary for this trip. If a half-day isn't enough for you, you can upgrade to a full day of rafting ($79.95 per person) for an additional fee. Call to make a reservation.
On September 1, Bristol Motor Speedway will be buried under one ton of bacon. At the first annual Tri-Cities BaconFest, the pungent pork will be served up in a multitude of ways: Visitors can snag it for free at bacon stations during three tasting times, sample it in vendors’ bacon-infused desserts and entrees, or attempt to shovel down three pounds of it to claim the title Lord of the Bacon during the Man vs. Bacon eating contest. Other swine-themed events include the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pigskin Challenge, where preregistered participants aged 5 and up test their throwing arms on an accuracy obstacle course. At the hog-calling competition, shouters stretch their lungs as they imitate the sounds of hogs and, later, the sounds of hogs imitating celebrities. The family-friendly event will donate part of its proceeds to the Bristol Speedway Children’s Charities, a nonprofit organization that raises contributions for educational, financial, social, and medical causes.
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, running 2,180 miles over mountains, rocky slopes, and deep valleys. Since it was established in 1925, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has cared for the trail, maintaining 250,000 acres of public land. The organization educates hikers on Leave No Trace camping and why it's not a good idea to challenge a bear to a hugging contest.
Volunteers and trail crews build and repair shelters along the footpath and engage youth and community members in outdoor activities. In addition to these human-oriented services, the ATC works to protect endangered species living along the trail and to preserve the land's watershed streams and migratory corridor.
Having spent more than 24,000 hours at the controls of airborne helicopters and fixed-wing planes, Richard Cantley possesses a sure footing at any elevation. From his post within the gray T-hangar at the privately owned Johnson City Airport, the experienced pilot and flight instructor escorts first-time flyers to the skies during hands-on lessons. Whether students aspire to obtain a license of their own or just a panoramic view of Tennessee’s scenic landscape, Richard peppers each lesson with tips on how to read instruments, adhere to proper safety precautions, and swerve around zeppelins during rush hour.
Each pass is valid for multiple visits or multiple children. Passes can be redeemed during all open-bounce hours, excluding Parent’s Night Out. Parents can join their kids in the play structures at no additional cost.
[[m:####Leaping Lizards Family Entertainment Center
Leaping Lizards Family Entertainment Center’s inflatables range from rainbow-striped complexes of slides and obstacles to a wave-riding shark feasting on a boat. Youngsters—and parents, if they want—can bound across the bouncy surfaces during regular hours, or add some bounce to a birthday party, complete with pizza, drinks, and a private room. Alternatively, staffers who have undergone rigorous safety training supervise tots on Parents Night Out, a Friday-night event that replaces babysitters with bounce-house fun and gives parents an opportunity to check out the local fight club.