The instructors at Gracie Barra Lexington have three aims for their students: to help them get in shape, to teach them how to defend themselves, and to bolster the quality of their lives. To this end, they teach Brazilian jiu jitsu to kids and adults. Created by the Gracie family in Brazil in the 20th century, jiu jitsu is one of the world’s most popular forms of grappling and ground fighting, second only to extreme thumb warring. Practitioners young and old have noted that jiu jitsu has improved their self-confidence as well as their self-discipline.
With a passion for the great outdoors, the outfitters at Get Your Gear On provide equipment and instruction for navigating trails and waterways. While leading groups, expert guides glide through scenic locales in search of wildlife views and serene experiences. Their canoe trips drift along the warm urban areas and tree-littered landscapes that run along the Congaree River, and their stand-up-paddleboard rentals allow guests to view the banks of Lake Murray from a perspective previously exclusive to sightseeing mermen. They also offer cycling equipment and maintenance along with hiking gear for dry climates, snowy landscapes, and rooms where the sink has been left on all night.
Built in 1772, the Laurence Corley Log House is Lexington's oldest documented abode. It's a logical starting point for visits to Lexington County Museum, a seven-acre village of 36 historic structures that recreate Lexington life from 1770 until the Civil War.
Those buildings include the original Lexington County post office and the Hazelius House, where Charlie D. Tillman composed "Give Me That Old Time Religion." The first Lexington County building included on the National Register of Historic Places, the John Fox House is even outfitted with furnishings the family would have used, such as a pine lazy susan and a mahogany Xbox. Other structures likewise stock authentic 19th century artifacts, such as textiles, pottery, and weapons.
While the exhibited buildings grant a visual glimpse into the past, 13 hands-on activities immerse kids in authentic 19th century experiences. Youngsters can weave on individual lap looms inside the loom house, play with replica toys from the 1800s, or churn butter in the Fox house yard. In the one-room schoolhouse, schoolmasters in period dress teach full lessons to children who must jot down notes with quill pens.
Scuba John's Dive Shop owners John Baker, his wife Amanda, father Mendle, and a number of scuba-diving instructors?go out of their way to make customers feel welcome. The staff believes everyone should be able to explore underwater worlds?and that they should stay safe and avoid buying ocean-floor real estate while doing so. To that end, the store is stocked with top-flight dive equipment and accessories by brands such as Hog, Omer, Ocean Rhino, Aeris, and Edge.
All of the classes are led by an instructor and conducted to meet SDI standard. Courses are designed for all levels, from beginner to master diver, instructors, and professionals. In specialty courses, participants learn skills required to become an enriched-air nitrox diver, deep-sea diver, or rescue diver. Students hone their open-water diving and dolphin-language skills in the warm depths of Florida Springs and other sites.
As golfers stand over teed-up golf balls, staring down the fairway of Indian Trail Golf Course’s 370-yard 14th hole—the course signature—they may be perplexed by its ranking as the round’s most difficult hole. Though the scorecard reads “short par 4,” the hole packs a good deal of hardship into its diminutive stature. Golfers must aim for the top of the fairway hill off the tee, while steering clear of the boulder on the right side and the large pond just beyond. Players are forgiven for going the conservative route with a long iron off the tee, as opposed to risking the driver or a retrofitted t-shirt cannon. If they leave themselves a decent lie on the approach, a two-tiered green awaits just over the water, making three-putts an all-too-common occurrence.
While not every hole features boulders, uphill fairways, and the ever-present threat of boogeyman attacks, the course is characterized by the ubiquitous threat of hazards. In all, nine ponds and more than 40 bunkers haunt players along the 6,272 yards of Bermuda-covered terrain, lending an air of hostility to the otherwise pristine surroundings.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,272 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 69.4 from the back tees * Course slope of 127 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole