Exotic animals from six continents call Hollywild Animal Park home, though many have also firmly planted their paws and hooves in the entertainment business?hence the name Hollywild. Tank the rhino, for instance, has appeared in multiple national advertising campaigns, avoiding the paparazzi by hiding himself in his dressing room. But the nonprofit park gives visitors more than a brush with stardom, as many of the animals they shelter are extinct in the wild. Virtually nowhere else on earth will guests get to visit a Syrian Brown Bear or get up close and personal with a waffalo (a cross between an African Watusi and a buffalo).
Hollywild gives visitors a bounty of ways to experience this variety. On Safari Rides, knowledgeable guides drive tour buses through more than 70 acres where zebra, emus, donkeys, camels, antelope, and other animals roam free. In the ampitheater, audiences get close encounters with fascinating fauna thanks to interactive Creature Feature shows. And throughout the park, visitors have ample opportunities to pet and feed the animals.
Nestled in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cherokee Hill Farm’s 100 acres have hosted the equestrian pursuits of owners Mike and Linda Schatzberg for more than 25 years. When the horses aren't resting in one of the stable's 22 stalls, they graze on green grass and croquet mallets in one of the grounds' pastures or tote riders into the 380-acre landscape of the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center. Horse owners board their steeds at the farm, where staff members lovingly care for and train them. The Schatzbergs' passion for shar-peis led them to create an onsite kennel where pups can play while their owners ride. Beginning riders benefit from the blue ribbon expertise of instructor Mike, who specializes in hunt-seat riding.:m]]
A rider since age 5, Brooke Walton saddled up to a horse not long after her own feet knew steady ground. By age 15, she had already qualified for national medal finals, ridden in her first Grand Prix, and earned invitations to represent the United States for Young Riders in France and Venezuela. In 2003, Brooke finally harnessed her passion and natural aptitude for horse riding into the founding of Indigo Road Farm, a training facility on whose grassy pastures she now nurtures show horses and hosts lessons for new riders. Horses housed in one of three barns whinny in contentment as they survey their lodgings, which include 17 rubber-matted, ventilated stalls and perks such as bimonthly massages from a professional chiropractor. When freed from their stalls, steeds gallop across Indigo Road Farm's four spacious pastures, sand area, and derby fields strewn with waterside jumps.
League bowling is alive and well at Wade Hampton Lanes. There are morning and late-night leagues, church and practice leagues, leagues for men and seniors and youths, and even a league for homeschoolers and their families. This roster is a testament to the broad range of people who enjoy bowling at the center, where 32 synthetic lanes also attract casual bowlers, especially during events such as the creepy cosmic bowling that takes place on Halloween weekend. When these bowlers aren't picking up splits or pouring concrete in the gutters, they're playing video games in the arcade, browsing the pro shop, or noshing on wings and sipping draft Yuengling brews in the bar and grill.
A finalist in the 2003 season of Nashville Star, Grammy-winner Miranda Lambert's lively, heartfelt country rock sets toes a-tapping and eardrums abuzz with catchy Southern tunes. Strumming such well-known country songs as "The House That Built Me," and "Heart Like Mine," Lambert's virtuosic singing and guitar playing lends life to touching ballads and high-energy tunes alike, touching even the most curmudgeonly hearts and compelling weeping willows to wave their tendrils with unabashed excitement. Aural oceans wash over listeners in the Frank Gehry–designed Merriweather Post Pavilion, nestled among 40 acres of forest between Washington and Baltimore. Today's deal lets concertgoers relax with a Bud Light on the lawn, where they can watch the show beneath the open sky or whisper movie endings to clusters of furiously immobile grass stalks.