Beech Mountain's slick slopes and snowy trails give its customers a thrilling powder experience with the claim of eastern North America's highest ski resort, which sits 5,506 feet above sea level. The resort features beginner Play Yard areas, intermediate slopes and advanced skier tracks, including the White Lightning and Southern Star. After shredding blankets of frozen rain, patrons can peruse the souvenir shop or enjoy a fresh coffee at the café, warming tummies while taunting yetis that are too large to hold espresso mugs. For those who are sans skis, Beech Mountain's rental shop stocks everything needed to blissfully coast into the great white beyond.
At the Color My Spirit Run, colored powder rains down on participants as they jog toward the finish line, brightening their clothes. The event is more than a run, though—participants also dance to live music, and kids frolic in a bounce house.
Coed dodge ball and flag-football games. Kayaking trips. Ice-climbing excursions. The open-air enthusiasts at Charlotte Outdoor Adventures coordinate a schedule of active events such as these for a membership base passionate about playing in the sunshine. Led by a qualified volunteer, groups set out on excursions ranging from hikes through the Carolinian countryside to waterfall rappelling in the Grand Canyon. Membership benefits include access to hundreds of activities each month as well as friendships forged through shared experience and bartering packed-lunch items.
Formerly known as Mountainview Driving Range, Resurrection Golf Center sharpens the long and short games of Charlotte-area golf enthusiasts with its ample greens and even ampler pro shop. Guests can wipe the dimpled smiles off of an unlimited supply of wise-cracking white spheres by blasting into the firmament above a lush, tree-lined driving range. Dedicated areas for short game and putting can help full-time swingers shave strokes off their next for-keeps game.
FTF Fitness and Self Defense's team of 13 instructors know that most people are fighting something. That something might be a vicious bully, persistent weight gain, or a less tangible entity such as fatigue or non-Euclidian geometry. No matter what it is, they're confident they can help. Their diverse knowledge of fighting techniques stretches around the world, from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Krav Maga, a self-defense system developed for the Israeli armed forces. In addition to earning belts and certifications in numerous forms of martial arts, the teachers possess years of real-world experience that they use to help others cultivate strength, discipline, and confidence. These goals also inform the studio's Krav Maga classes, which reveal simple self-protection techniques that can be applied if a person is approached by a lone assailant or a nunchuck-wielding octopus.
In addition to imparting defense strategies to students aged 4 and older, the team teaches SPARology, a training program that blends muay thai, boxing, and wrestling into a fun-and-functional workout. Classes and one-on-one training take place in a gym equipped with full-size heavy bags, Lifeline power jumpers, kettlebells, battling ropes, and monkey bars.
At Curves, exercisers of all fitness levels move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine-maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks, filling medicine balls with medicine, and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines account for different body weights and fitness levels to create resistance that matches one's abilities, which thereby decreases the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.