Paddles churn the crystal waters as a rainbow of boards slips silently across the surface of Mountain Island Lake. The shoreline, dappled with trees that shiver with cavorting wildlife, falls away behind the board's passengers as they stand in the middle of the aquatic expanse. Though the view is much different from the oceanic coastlines more commonly associated with the sport, the meditative calm and athletic challenge remain.
With roots in Hawaiian culture, the unique method of riding a board takes advantage of the surfer's panoramic viewpoint and ability to avoid far-off swells and bossy tugboats. The act of constantly balancing and paddling, while simple, tones core muscles and enables participants to silently observe surrounding wildlife. Sup Charlotte keeps adventurers afloat on Riviera boards, which they sell and use in lessons to keep riders of all experience levels gliding more gracefully than swans looking for parking.
In the 1780s, blacksmith John Davidson moved from his log cabin, Rural Retreat, into Rural Hill, a majestic plantation-style house he built on his 265 acres of fertile farmland. The land and two houses were passed down through the Davidson family in the ensuing years, but in 1886, the mansion burned down. Then, in 1898, the log cabin also burned down, and the family was forced to live in a log kitchen building.
Visitors can still visit that log kitchen building today (it's the only historical residence remaining on the property) and see how hard life could be in an era without such modern conveniences as easy-squeeze mayo. The property has become, among other things, a field-trip destination, where historical re-enactors teach youngsters how 18th-century people baked, lit their homes, and did other basic tasks.
There's plenty of other reasons to visit, too. The secluded hill plays host to special events throughout the year, such as a fall corn maze and a Scottish festival with Highland games. And visitors can hike through nature on its peaceful 5K trail or entertain wedding guests at the cultural center.
Through costumed interpreters and guided walks, Historic Latta Plantation ushers visitors through nearly two centuries of its rich history. The former plantation now serves as a living history farm nestled inside a more-than 700-acre nature preserve. At the working farm, which houses several rare species of historic livestock, staff demonstrate growing short-staple cotton and divulge facts about the resident honeybees, touching on which species were traditionally used for pulling tiny carriages. The farm also brings local history to life through 35 seasonal events ranging from ghost walks and interactive historical celebrations to cooking classes and summer day camps.
A PGA-certified instructor, Daniel Ray draws from his extensive experience on the golf course to help golfers improve their overall game and blast bogeys off their scorecard. During lessons, Daniel zeroes in on the nuances of pupil’s individual swings, helping them adjust their motion to straighten out their ball flight and produce reliable, consistent results. As an added convenience, Daniel can conduct lessons at the practice facilities at Skybrook Golf Club in Huntersville, NC as well as Tega Cay Golf Club in South Carolina.
Northeast Mountain Guiding's adventures take place everywhere from the lofty peaks of the Himalayas to the canyons of Arizona and the waters of upstate New York. Guided by outdoors experts that are trained by organizations such as the Professional Climbing Guides Institute, students and expedition groups tackle rocky inclines, mountainous trails, and swiftly flowing waters. Whether Northeast Mountain Guiding is organizing an overnight jaunt through the Adirondacks or a daylong introduction to ice climbing, the company ensures that every detail is considered, drawing on the local familiarity that each of its regional offices possesses to prepare for any possibility. In keeping with this meticulous approach, the professionals either provide any necessary gear for the journey or remind adventurers what they should bring, such as sunscreen or a pint-sized sleeping bag for their teddy bear.
Northcross Lanes at the Lake facilitates friendly competition for families, groups, and individuals with 40 bowling lanes, a laser-tag dome arena, and a full video arcade. Bright lights ricochet from skee-ball and air-hockey games, where players compete for tickets they can redeem for prizes at the game counter. Birthday party packages include food from the onsite kitchen, which serves cheeseburgers, hot sandwiches, and made-from-scratch pizzas. The 41st Lane Lounge hosts several pool tables along with regular karaoke and occasional sets from live bands.