A bearded and scruffy Shawn Hash launched his outfitting business 20 years ago with a spartan collection of four bicycles, two canoes, and a pickup truck. Tangent Outfitters now oversees a small flotilla of aquatic craft as it leads guests to all the outdoor adventures the New River and its surrounding valley have to offer. Tubing trips afford a leisurely 1- to 2-mile jaunt down the river, with plenty of pit stops at sunny beaches, swimming holes, or riverside nail salons. Instructors bring a slice of Hawaiian watersports to Virginia with standup paddleboard lessons or teach guests to snag unsuspecting smallmouths with guided fishing trips. The surrounding mountainous trails invite bikers to speed through their dirt-stained paths, and the riverbeds host seven different types of kayak and canoe day trips. Adventurers can stock up on excursion rations at Tangent's onsite deli.
On the scenic Smith Mountain Lake, run-about motorboats and WaveRunners create arcing, white-capped wakes atop the water. Nearby, slower-moving pontoons host anglers and picnickers. The captains of each of these vessels owe their enjoyable day to the family-owned Hales Ford Marina & Boat Rentals, which loans its equipment to locals and visitors alike. In addition to pairing clients with the right boat, staffers also perform repairs and maintenance, including winterization for a variety of vehicles.
Green Ridge Recreation Center’s certified swim instructors teach students of all abilities to swim during private lessons held at an indoor pool. Hydro coaches meet with pupils to design a custom program tailored to address individual needs and goals such as perfecting the backstroke or out-swimming your pet orca. Each 30-minute session grants aquanauts one-on-one time with their instructor, effectively bolstering swim skills through 10 lessons’ worth of individualized attention and advice. Lesson can be booked to accommodate most schedules.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength and use more than 150 pieces of cardio equipment, attend over 100 different classes, and play on the racketball court, basketball court and in the pool. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated. Members also have access to Kids Care and even tanning booths.
With three locations in the Valley area, Roanoke/Botetourt Athletic Clubs offer extensive facilities, a focus on member convenience, and a variety of group-exercise classes a week. (Class descriptions and schedules here.) Membership to any of the clubs allows you to use all three facilities. The family membership includes the buyer, his or her spouse, and any children younger than 21 who live at home. Both membership options offer unlimited workouts at any of the locations, allowing patrons to keep their muscles nervous and on edge by constantly varying the time, frequency, and location of exercise. Fitness seekers at the Roanoke Athletic Club and Botetourt Athletic Club can make use of cardio theaters, gymnasiums, steam rooms, professional-grade racquetball courts, and the track. Indoor and outdoor pools allow aquaphiles to immerse themselves in the object of their love year-round, and pool-goers at the Botetourt location can combine the joy of swimming with low-friction delight in the form of a 23-foot water slide. Complimentary child-care is also available at the Roanoke and Botetourt locations. Members with little time can participate in lightning workout rounds at the smaller, more centrally located Zoom express fitness center in downtown Roanoke (however, your Groupon cannot be initially redeemed at this location).
Pump It Up specializes in indoor, inflatable arenas for children looking to get in touch with their natural buoyancy. During three fun-filled pop-in visits, children can leap around gargantuan air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Pump It Up’s giant indoor air arenas are climate-controlled and maintained according to rigorous guidelines enforced by a well-trained staff and local police. Parents bounce for free during pop-in play times, so childless adults who want to play will need to borrow a neighbor’s kid or win one by collecting soda tops.