When rock-climbing couple Christy and Scott Thrift got engaged, Christy was dangling off the side of Stone Mountain. The same adventurous spirit that elevated their engagement informs their married life, which they spend running their wilderness guiding service, Thrifty Adventures. While some of the duo’s trips require previous outdoor experience, most welcome all participants, and range from ice climbing adventures to rock climbing and backpacking trips. Along the way, Scott and Christy teach safety basics, climbing techniques, and strategies for preserving natural surroundings, such as refraining from nibbling on the mountain.
Located just a short distance from Charlotte and Winston-Salem, The Spa at Rock Barn is considered a "hidden treasure." The Spa offers a variety a spa treatments along with an unforgettable state-of-the-art spa area including a heated indoor mineral pool, therapeutic waterfall whirlpool, Jacuzzi's, sauns and steam rooms.
Seven extreme athletes and one Royal Marine banded together to design Spartan Races' intense miles-long courses, each strewn with obstacles to test resilience, stamina, and strength. Clad in event T-shirts, runners collect smudges and stains as they clamber across mud pits, slide unscathed under barbed wire, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as three miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Planet Ballroom’s studios offer a glimpse of a bygone era, when gentlemanly dancers whisked their partners across dance floors amid elegant decor and soft hanging lanterns. Professional dancers lead both private and group classes within these rustic halls, guiding couples through the steps and proper techniques of social dances such as the waltz, tango, salsa, and swing. The seasoned instructors also conduct fitness-focused classes, leading teens and adults through energetic workouts of cardio Latin dance, ballet, and Pilates. Every Friday night the studio opens to students for an evening of dancing, socializing, and hatching plans to flash-mob the local DMV, and throughout the month, instructors also invite dancers back for a variety of dinner-and-dancing events.
Designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, Birkdale Golf Club’s course transforms natural beauty into challenging obstacles, with 200 acres of rolling hills intersected by streams and framed by mature pines. The course’s bermuda fairways lie beyond elevation changes that give way to greenscapes festooned with ponds and deep, stone-lined bunkers that test players to use every club in their bags before desperately reaching for the oversized soup ladle. Once approach shots find the green, golfers must putt precisely atop the firm and true crenshaw bentgrass greens.
Birkdale Golf Club pampers players before and after rounds with a practice range and onsite tavern trimmed with rich wood hues and green leather barstools. The club also staffs a team of PGA pro instructors who school pupils in the arts of swinging and scorecard penmanship with private lessons and group clinics.
Course at a Glance: