More than 8,000 square feet of space comprise RedPoint, a climbing gym set in a renovated warehouse. Nearly every inch has been set aside for towering climbing walls and exercise equipment to help climbers shore up their skills.
Within these confines, a team of instructors is on hand to teach the skills needed to conquer the facility’s tricky bouldering routes. They can also teach the fundamentals of belaying, which will help you to scale any of the more than 30 onsite climbing stations for top roping, lead climbing, or washing windows on the state capitol building. Back at ground level, you can tone your physique on pull-up bars, rowing machines, and Olympic weights as well as in CrossFit classes, which work on building core strength and overall fitness. The facility also hosts various kid-focused activities such as lock-ins, birthday parties, and corporate retreats for mountain goats.
Love 2 Dance Fitness’s sergeant-at-arms, Tonya Caballero, oversees a high-octane schedule of fun, energetic fitness classes. Zumba classes mix aerobic exercise with an atmosphere as festive as party hats roasting on an open fire, as a certified instructor leads up to 25 students through muscle-toning moves set to Latin and international rhythms. Alternatively, hip-hop cardio flows through a workout of breaks, locks, crackles, and pops set to classic beats.
For a few centuries, Carver’s Falls was closed to the public, and it's easy to see how much the area benefited from that solitude. The natural beauty of its forests and the waterfall at its heart have flourished. But today, the tree canopy has been transformed into an aerial playground. Wires cross the sky, connecting tree to tree. Every day, ZipQuest's guides lead birds-eye tours of the pristine landscape on their expansive zipline network or via the Swing Shot that pendulums vertiginously above Carver's Creek.
Whether the lighting comes from the sun or helmet-mounted lamps, no fewer than two experienced guides lead guests through Carver's Falls' 2.5-hour course. Adventurers fly down eight ziplines—each designed for a long, leisurely glide or an adrenaline-pumping plunge—while pointing out local flora and fauna. Groups pause only to disembark on high platforms anchored to centuries-old trees. Floating spiral staircases and sky bridges, the longest of which stretches 210 feet, interconnect the platforms. A suspension bridge carries explorers over the falls to a penultimate zipline that runs parallel to its creek. At the end of the run, guests catch their breath while looking through the pictures their camera-wielding guide took.
When renowned course architect Ellis Maples first laid eyes on the rolling expanse of land in the Sandhills, he knew he had found the venue for his next course. Whispering Woods Golf Club encompasses both gentle slopes and steeper hills, offering a dynamic canvas atop which Maples designed holes with stark elevation changes. Today, golfers encounter a diverse layout that showcases anything from treacherously undulating bentgrass greens to a small roller coaster for bored caddies to enjoy. Carolina pines line the edges of the fairways and greens throughout the round, stretching out their thin trunks to snag any errant shots. The end product of Ellis’s vision is an 18-hole, 6,324-yard layout described by course architect Dan Maples, Ellis’s son, as “a golf course designed with the average player in mind, but good players won’t find a pushover.”
Cheraw State Park Golf Course, sequestered in the shadow of pine trees alongside Lake Juniper, unfurls a 6,928-yard map of well-groomed fairways and bermuda-grass greens designed to challenge golfers. Begin an afternoon of drive-blasting bravado and competitive putts with a visit to the driving range to loosen up muscles, straighten out swings, and practice "fore!" yodels. Although the 18-hole course's expansive emerald fairways accommodate aggressive swings, undisciplined strokes will pay as the dense, long-leaf pines that lurk in the periphery gobble up wandering golf balls. Rounds reach their crescendo at the signature par 4 13th hole, where a daunting dogleg left can only be overcome by clearing tall trees, water, and ruinous hazards on both sides with a precise power draw for righties or a high fade for lefties. Rather than leapfrogging from hole to hole, golfers reserve their precious leg strength by riding golf carts.
Founded by author and former Scuba Diving magazine editor Michael Ange, Seaduction Dive Center imparts both technical and recreational scuba instruction to phalange-equipped fins of all experience levels. In the Discover Scuba class, aspiring oceanographers get their feet wet in a highly supervised two-hour aquatic adventure. Coursework takes place in a heated indoor pool, with students learning all basic scuba-diving skills and memorizing passwords to gain entrance to hidden undersea wet bars. Seaduction asks divers to bring a bathing suit, a towel, and a smile, since asking politely is the only way the ocean will let you in. All other necessary equipment is provided, including wetsuits, air tanks, and masks.