After Dustin Canestorp returned home from his tour of duty in Iraq, he and his Marine Corps buddies would gather to play poker and sample the beer Canestorp brewed at home. His dream: to brew beer professionally by opening a microbrewery in eastern North Carolina, a beach-filled haven with a craft-beer desert. That dream came to fruition, though with one additional element: Beer Army would raise funds for local charities and communities. Now, Canestorp holds festivals that introduce revelers to local and regional craft beers while gathering money for those in need. He also runs the brewery, which currently pours four of its own brews, and manages the Beer Army Outpost, a 3,000-square-foot store with a plethora of craft brews for purchase.
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. 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.
The crack of bats and the cheers of putt-putters making hole-in-ones are mainstays in All Stars Family Fun Center's soundscape. Outside, guests navigate the miniature golf course or swat at curveballs in the batting cages. Inside, a plastic-formed pyramid leads kids to the Fun Factory, where they can leap into the air and traverse inflatable obstacles. The arcade, meanwhile, awards prizes to kids who win enough tickets or are particularly adept at blackmailing counter attendants, while the snack bar refuels players with pizza and hot dogs. The fun center can also host memorable birthday parties, replete with cake and a t-shirt for the celebrant.
Spring Bank Equestrian Center is an equine playland equipped with pristine facilities including a 17-stall barn, a jumping ring, and a lighted, covered arena. Throughout the year, head trainer Cynthia Cooke uses her well-appointed stomping grounds for instructing students on proper riding technique, a life calling that won her the East Coast Trainer of the Year award in 2010.
The sun-bathed slopes and immaculate greenery of an 18-hole golf course welcome members and guests to the stately grounds of Timberlake Golf Club. Inspired by the sprawling links of the Emerald Isle, the 6,511-yard, par 71 layout challenges golfers with slick, bent-grass greens, cavernous pot bunkers, and grassy mounds that produce lies more awkward than a middle school dance. Before rounds, golfers can smooth out their swings and putting stroke at the club’s full driving range and recently installed practice green. Members can also work up a sweat while smashing forehands at the club’s tennis courts before tip-toeing, diving, or driving their golf cart into the cerulean waters of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Course at a Glance: