The Cookie Store helps its customers to satisfy their sweet teeth with an extensive assortment of fresh-baked cookies and seven types of smoothies. From classics such as chocolate chip to more inventive flavors including snickerdoodle, honey oatmeal raisin walnut, and heath-bar toffee, The Cookie Store’s bakers concoct a spread of delicious bite-size treats daily. In addition to cookie trays and tins, bakers create custom cookie cakes in a variety of different shapes, including hearts and circles that can be decorated with birthday messages, cartoon characters, or interpretations of Jackson Pollock masterworks.
One of the first in the business of self-development, the origins of Nightingale Conant stretch back to World War II. Earl Nightingale was a serviceman assigned to the USS Arizona—and was one of only 100 to survive the attack on Pearl Harbor. Convinced he had been spared for a reason, Earl became obsessed with the secret of success. Why would one person find wealth and prosperity, another remain uneducated and penniless, and still another pay for everything in nickels? Late one night in 1956, Earl was struck with an idea, and woke up to write down what would become his biggest success: The Strangest Secret. In 1960, fellow WWII veteran Lloyd Conant joined forces with Nightingale, and the two formed Nightingale Conant, a global enterprise dedicated to disseminating positive psychology through radio, books, and now, the internet.
Maple's Leather Furniture enshrines sitters in thrones of supple full-grain leather, eight-way hand-tied coils, and—in most cases—sturdy skeletons of kiln-dried hardwoods. The company's signature line, Green Leaf, contracts private furniture makers to concoct couch confections, including rich chocolate-brown Manfred sofas ($1,799), and its weathered Coronado chairs offer wide button-puckered backs to cradle Disney-movie marathon watchers ($1,880). Maple's Leather Furniture can ship swatches to prospective clients who want to match couches to their underwater grotto's seaweed-themed décor, and shipping varies depending on the location of the aforementioned grotto.
Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Preferred Mountain Real Estate lodges visitors year-round in cozy condo retreats. The fully furnished condos can sleep up to six people or three clones of President Taft and coddle guests with jacuzzi tubs, full kitchens, satellite television, and chances for excursions into the surrounding mountains. Crisscrossed by scenic hiking and cycling trails in the spring, summer, and fall, and by brisk ski runs in the winter, the picturesque peaks are filled with opportunities for adventure and excitement amid their dense forestry.
Balls roll uphill. Surging streaks of water flow upward behind them. People struggling to stand at a 90-degree angle are upright at 45-degrees. Such are the laws of gravity at Mystery Hill's Mystery House, an enigmatic amusement center perched atop a slope that enjoys a stronger-than-average gravitational pull to the north. The same peculiar pull looms over the nearby Mystery Platform, where people standing on the north side always appear larger than those on the south. For more than 50 years, visitors have flocked to the curious hilltop to explore its strange gravitational pull and interact with other science-related exhibits.
Aside from the Mystery House, most of the museum's scientific attractions congregate in The Hall of Mystery, where guests can step inside a giant bubble, flee the chase of their shadow, or learn to beat the moon at rock-paper-scissors. Alternatively, Mystery Hill museums include Appalachian Heritage Museum, which houses antique sewing machines, books, and a list of the personal blog URLs of mountain families from the late 1800s to early 1900s. The Native Artifacts Museum assembles more than 50,000 arrowheads, effigy pipes, awls, and other accouterments culled over 70 years from 23 states.
The PCIA-certified climbing instructors at Rock Dimensions lead guests through a variety of vertical activities that range from the in-air discovery course to half-day or full-day rock-climbing excursions. Using their years of rock-climbing experience and local expertise, they teach all levels and ages, and equip guests with harnesses and helmets for all vertical activities.